OK, we have the parallel drama thread, full of bad family moments. What are the funniest moments of your recent holiday? Here’s mine:
Bobby is an almost-4-year-old who was recently adopted into the family. He’s never really warmed up to me so far, until this past Thursday. After dinner I collapsed on a couch in a heap of turkified misery. Shortly thereafter, Bobby decided he wanted to take a nap with me, so he climbed up on top of me. He then plopped down on my full belly with a thud.
“Ow!”, I said, “Careful, Bobby, my tummy is full of turkey.” He gave me a puzzled look. I tried to explain again, by pointing at my stomach and saying “There’s a lot of turkey in here.” After another puzzled look, Bobby lifted the bottom of my shirt and looked underneath to see if it was true.
Not so much a knee-slapper as just kinda weird, I was never sure quite where my friends live. Massachusetts? Rhode Island? I don’t know. Last Thursday I found out that they live in MA, but in order to get there from MA, one must pass through RI. Kind of strange. This prompted me to ask where the state line is. The owner of the house pointed to a house across the street. “See that guy?”, he said. “The state line goes right through his living room.” Hilarity ensued as we imagined all sorts of minor legal infractions that might turn into FBI cases simply moving the crime from the kitchen to the bedroom, thus crossing state lines.
And yes, apparently the guy pays property taxes to both states.
One Thanksgiving, back when I was a teenaged hussy, I had a large hickey on my neck. I patted on some makeup, hiked up my collar, and tried to keep all my relatives on my left side. All was well until we sat down to dinner. We all bowed our heads as my uncle said grace. “Thank you, Lord, for the bounty you have given us…” et cetera, something about family and blessings and I hope he shuts up soon so we can eat…
“And, dear Lord, please heal Julie’s neck. In Jesus’ name, Amen.” :o
My husband decides to get up early and make a turkey, even though we didn’t need cook to as other family members were doing the cooking this year. No matter – we could always use another turkey, says he. However, we had no bread to make stuffing with. No problem! He makes do with potatoes, one hot dog bun, a state crust of bread, an onion, celery…anything else we had around; he shoved it all into the food processor. He deep fries his “stuffing”, and stuffs it in the bird. I noticed that he had an old copy of “The Joy of Cooking” nearby. That’s good. A bit later and the bird is in the oven. Things start to smell nice. Hmm! I think. The family will be surprised!
Then I notice that the room is getting pretty smoky. I open the window, and it seems that the smoke is going IN the house instead of OUT. Curious. Hey, you should check on that, I said. He says, DON’T come in here. Great. The ovens on fire. It wasn’t just some measly little fire either. Once we opened the over door, I’m talking leaping flames and great big clouds of smoke. We did the panic dance of opening windows/look for potholders/get the fire extinguisher, so all was safe and well in the end. Well, except for the turkey.
The Joy of Cooking says to place a coarsely woven cloth (soaked in oil) over the bird. Don’t to this, especially if your idea of a coarsely woven cloth is a dishtowel.
(I think this qualifies for funny rather than dramatic for three reasons: 1. I was wearing a towel when it happened, so I was running around naked during the dance of panic. 2. there were no injuries or serious damage and 3. My husband! What was he thinking???)
Ah, you’ve brought back memories of… shudder …nevermind.
A few years ago I was visiting the family mentioned above. The man of the house got a belated birthday present, a DVD. It was Fight Club. When his elderly (and seriously pop-culture-ignorant) mother asked what it was about, I explained that it was about a couple of guys that started a club wherein member would beat each other up. “Oh”, she asked, “Is that like one of those dungeoness dragons?”
My brother and father came to my place for Thanksgiving this year. My brother’s flight out was Friday morning, and I got up extra early to make breakfast for the three of us. I made omlettes with some leftover salsa and turkey. When Dad got up, he was surprised to see that I’d made breakfast. “I wasn’t expecting this,” he said.
One Thanksgiving Eve, My sister-in-law and I were helping my mother-in-law prepare the turkey for the following day. My sister-in-law is not the brightest bulb in the box, and has provided the rest of the family with much entertainment over the years.
MIL pulled the giblets out of the turkey, and laid them on the counter. SIL asked what they were, and I told her they were the turkey’s organs. She picked up the turkey neck, and in an incredulous voice said, “Is this his dick?”
My short story might be more of “you had to be there” kind of thing.
A little background: my sister is a bitch. We’ve never gotten along, ever. We can only stand one another for like 5 minutes. Maybe her threshold for me is higher, but I can’t communicate with her more than small talk. For example, about 6+ years ago, my mom was moving out of the house she shared with my now ex-step-father. My current roommate (who’s first child was around 3 at the time) and I were helping her pack and get moved into her new apartment. My roommate’s child is napping on the couch while we’re working away. I had had the unfortunate luck of having an abortion several months prior (was not ready for kids) and I thought only select few had known about it - my sister was not part of the few. I looked at my mom and made a comment about how cute the kid was sleeping and my sister looks at me and says “well, you HAD your chance!”.
This type of stuff has gone on forever. She made another really nasty comment to me (in front of like 20+ people) at my bridal luncheon and embarrassed me. My family has enabled her bahavior because a) she was the first born (though you’d wonder by how she acts) b) she was the first grandchild and c) she got bit my a mosquito at a young age and contracted a form of what’s now West Niles Virus. It was traumatic on the whole family, but she got away with EVERYTHING after that. Thus, I became the black sheep.
Anywho . . .
My MIL wins “the comment of the night” this past Thanksgiving. After taking all my sister’s barbs in stride most of the day and brushing her off, her family (herself, her husband, and two kids) decide they’re going home. She announces that she’s tired of her kids and my MIL responds with “well maybe they’re tired of you too!”. That was all good and we all were laughing inside, but the funniest part was watching my sister’s face get beet red. She was so pissed off! It was great.
I know it’s terrible to laugh at someone’s misery, but she has single-handedly tried to make my life, and any major even in my life, shit because she always has to be a mean-spirited bitch.
This was well-deserved. Especially after the way she talked to my SIL that day. My husband and his little brother have the same first names as my sister’s husband and his little brother respectively. It’s an ongoing thing in our family, our cousin just married a guy by the same first name as mine and my sister’s husband. Basically, any female of our particular born surname (our generation) has married a guy named the same. It’s weird, really (I can clarify if anyone’s confused). So my SIL hasn’t been around my sister very much and couldn’t remember if it was one of their kids named the little brother’s name or something completely different. When she asked my sister to clarify, my sister screamed at her for even asking. This is very typical behavior of her. It upset my SIL so much, she went upstairs and slept until my sister left.
In short - my sister is a bitch and got a much-needed dose of her own medicine!
My aunt, a home economist, used to work the Butterball Turkey help line every holiday season.
One night they got a call from some poor distraught cook who had brought out the bird, lovely golden brown and done to a turn, plattered it and set it aside to cool. When she came back to it, she found her chihuahua had poked its head inside the body cavity in search of yummies. She pulled on the back end of the doggie, but the poor darling was good and stuck.
I forget how this came out. I imagine rescuing the dog took priority over salvaging the bird.
I was a teenager and my grandfather had died the previous August. That year’s family Thanksgiving dinner was held at the hotel where my aunt worked. For grace, my (very Catholic) grandmother stood up and gave a long, heartfelt, sappy, religious speech about the loved ones who were with us in spirit, etc., etc. Total silence when she sat down. Followed immediately by my uncle Dave’s grace:*
“Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub, yay God!!”
Everybody cracked up. Except Grandma.
*I was amazed to discover that Lou & Peter Berryman recorded a song titled “Uncle Dave’s Grace.” Theirs is a bit different, but I had to tell them about MY Uncle Dave’s Grace they next time I saw them play.
My sister and I went to our mother’s house. Mom’s cousin and his wife joined us. Conversation turned to my brother and his family, which turned into a discussion about how he and his wife are constantly forcing their daughter (age 4) to clean her room, but they also constantly buy her more and more toys and clothes and other shit. Anyone who has visited them has seen the “go clean your room” routine. Even when everything’s put away it is so crowded with junk it still looks messy.
Later that evening, my brother called to wish us a happy Thanksgiving. Eventually they put the 4 year old on the phone, and we put it on speaker so everyone could hear her. We asked her about dinner and she told us all about the turkey, etc. Then someone asked her what else she did today and she immediately replied “I cleaned my room.” Hilarity ensued.
One of my cousins is a complete loser. Didn’t graduate high school, knocked up at 17, currently lives off welfare. Anywho,
the younger portion of the family, (everyone but my aunts etc) is sitting around eating dinner when my sister commented on how it was quiet. I look to my loser cousin and ask, with a straight face, “So, how’s work going?”
Everyone busted up laughing. Yes, I know it was mean, but she should get a damn job.
My brother was dating kind of an idiot at the time, a real drama queen. We were visiting our Charlotte relatives, and Brother and Queen had stopped by the house briefly while Brother said hello to the relatives in preparation for a night out on the town clubbing. We were all full of food, and Queen was sitting on the couch stiffly, watching in terror as my (then) six-year-old triplet cousins were spazzing out on the floor, whacking each other with pillows stolen from the furniture and screaming. They were crawling everywhere, and Queen was clearly Not A Fan of Children.
So I said to them, “Hey, you guys know what would be really fun? If you attacked Queen with your pillows!”
There was a moment of utter stillness as Queen looked at me, wide-eyed with horror and betrayal; and the children looked at me, wide-eyed with the rich possibilities of my suggestion.
Then Queen disappeared under a torrent of children and pillows. We could faintly hear her muffled screams, and every now and then a clutching arm burst forth; but mostly we were laughing helplessly at her misfortune. The kids eventually tired out, and I don’t think she ever forgave me, which suited me just fine.