Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Warning Shot over the Bow

It's raining. That cold rain that usually precedes either Thanksgiving or Christmas here in the low state of Delaware. Just a few more charitable chilly degrees and white stuff would be floating but, alas, those degrees are being held close to the chest a bit north and west in Pennsylvania where hills and mountains seem to magnetically attract snow. So, with only two full weekends left this month to prepare for the 27th, this year's fourth Thursday of November, I'll leave you with Bruce McCall's:

Thanksgiving Rules Revised (New Yorker 12/01/2003)
By Bruce McCall (famous Canadian gone south)
(as typed painstakingly by yours truly)
Post this document within ten feet of all liquor cabinets, TV sets, sofas, and any distant relations who are still sitting or standing upright on the Day of Thanks and Overeating (or, "Overcooking" if one is in the mode to not blame the victim).

Article XII of the 1663 Jamestown Convention has been amended as of this date to include the following:

1) Thanksgiving-dinner guests are no longer required to play Scrabble, Go Fish, or Monoploy with children under the age of ten. Withholding of liquor is coercion.
2) A shaker of Martinis no longer has official standing as Thanksgiving breakfast. Early risers: the Thanksgiving Day cocktail hour now begins only after you have arrived at the venue and parked your car, and never before sunrise.
3) You cannot decline the Kansas Riesling served with dinner out of professional adherence to the claim that "the official Thanksgiving mascot is the 101-proof Wild Turkey." This is apocryphal.
4) The mandatory minimum number of guests related by blood to the host/hostess is increased to sixteen. Seating them on the sun porch, in the attic, or in the basement for the Thanksgiving meal is no longer permissible, nor is the requirement that they wear bags over their heads and/or name tags. Asking how they’re doing remains optional.
5) In-laws must now be accorded full human status. Their chairs must face the dinner table, and they must be offered a choice of dark or white meat.
6) Native American guests must no be offered bourbon, Scotch, gin, or other alcoholic beverages by name. They must not be described as "heap strong firewater".
7) When you are handed a family scrapbook or photo album, you must keep such article in your possession for at least a hundred and twenty seconds (or 120 silent repetitions of“Thanksgiving stuffing”) before passing it on to the next person. You may not ask if your hundred and twenty seconds are up.
8) Precocious children under 12 years of age may now be fitted with muzzles by a non-parent after the first hour.
9) Reminiscences that touch upon parental favoritism, unpaid personal loans, and arrests of blood relations’ children are discouraged.
10) You are entitled to ten naps per twelve-hour Thanksgiving Day period. Moments after 4 P.M., when time itself seems to have stopped, do not count as naps. Do not commence a nap when a blood relation older than you is addressing you directly.
11) You will be videotaped by your most moronic relation. Failing to cooperate by smiling/making funny faces/rushing the lens carries the penalty of spending next Thanksgiving at this relation’s house. Keep in mind that whatever your cooperation level is, there is always a possibility your potentially embarrassing behaviour may end up with 15,798 view on YouTube.
12) Vacating the premises before Thanksgiving dinner is served in order to "get a breath of fresh air", "check the pressure in the tires", or "watch shooting stars" will now be considered a desertion of familial responsibilities, punishable by talking college football with an in-law for thirty minutes without the aid of an alcoholic beverage.
13) The host/hostess cannot depart the house, for any reason, until one hour after the last guest has left, been expelled, or vanished. (Check corners, crawl spaces, and under the dinner table before lights-out.)


#5 and 13 hold a special place in my heart. What's wrong with seating the in-laws at the kiddie table out back? My husband/co-host has been known to disappear before dinner has even been served...not that I blame him. 8-}
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