Sunday, November 22, 2015

Thanksgiving advice

I originally published this column in November, 2008. But botulism humor never goes out of style. Enjoy and share—GW

My Thanksgiving advice column was so popular last year (judging by only one cancelled subscription, and you know who you are…mom), I felt no harm could be done by another one this year, unless you count the botulism. Below are a few of the most common questions people ask about Thanksgiving preparation, as far as I know, not having asked anybody.

Q: Which is more traditional—cornbread stuffing or giblet stuffing?

A: Traditionally, giblet, but seeing as how the dictionary defines giblets as "the edible offal of a fowl," I say we break with tradition this year before I hurl a few edibles of my own.

Q: What is offal?

A: I'll tell you what's offal. The Titans playing the Lions while people are trying to eat.

Q: Why do some people say "stuffing" while some people say "dressing"?

A: Some people are "idiots." No, really, stuffing gets its name because it is stuffed into the cavity of the bird for cooking, while dressing is something you put on a wound at a field hospital. So the latter is not as appetizing.

Q: You call this "advice"?

A: Oh no. Gosh, no.

Q: How can I accommodate my vegetarian relatives?

A: I don't believe in doing so. Look where that got us with Hitler.

Q: Are there any new trends this year, like that "tur-duck-en," where they stick the chicken inside the duck inside the turkey?

A: Yes, in order to be "cutting edge" in the arena of nested meats, this year some of the more fashionable tables will play host to the "squir-munk-oon," a squirrel stuck in a chipmunk stuck in a raccoon.

Q: Are you making that up?

A: If you have to ask, I can tell there is a career waiting for you in the manly and lucrative world of snipe hunting.

Q: Is the watching of football on Thanksgiving, with its emphasis on the symbolic conquest of terrain, kind of ironic, considering what early European settlers eventually did to the Native Americans?

A: No. The Redskins actually have a good shot this year.

Q: Where did the tradition of serving cranberry sauce come from? That stuff is foul.

A: Foul things becoming traditions are actually very common in U.S. history. Just look at war.

Q: Should I be worried about food-borne disease?

A: Yes.

Q: How worried?

A: Let me put it this way. Don't eat the dressing. It used to be on a wound.

Q: What is the secret to hosting a successful Thanksgiving party?

A: Remembering the best part of what the day truly represents, and honoring it with at least two television sets in each room.

Q: Even the bathroom?

A: Ha ha, don't get nuts on me here! One is fine.

Q: What is the best beverage to serve on this festive occasion?

A: A lot of people like that non-alcoholic sparkling cider, and I call these people "Seahawks fans." Wine is better, or, if the Cowboys are losing, beer in your lucky stein. The one with the spurs.

Q: How do they get the squirrel into the chipmunk? Isn't a chipmunk smaller?

A: You don't want to know.

In just a few days, one of our nation's oldest celebrations will be upon us. Our forefathers, who overcame great hardship, could not possibly have imagined our own travails in the 21st Century, like covering the point spread, but if they were here now, and able to speak, I know they would agree with us on one thing: those Dallas cheerleaders just never get old.

. . .