idiotprufs

Illegal in 38 states–frowned upon in the rest.

Archive for the tag “Thanksgiving”

Purple Pilgrims and the Death of Artistic Choice

pilgrims

The way Pilgrims are supposed to look…if you have no creativity.

As a child you learn many lessons:

  • Regardless of how far your garden hose sprays, you’re still too close to the hornet’s nest.
  • You never want to discover the quantitative value for the phrase “mad as a hornet.”
  • Regardless of how sturdy it seems, an umbrella is not an adequate substitute for a parachute.
  • Your cousins lie.
  • You can be lying in a crumpled heap, several bones broken, some of them relatively important, and the first thing any adult will think to say is: “look at what you did to my umbrella.”
  • Even though most varieties of snakes are not venomous, you still don’t want them to bite you.
  • Convincing your cousin to let a snake bite him so that you find out whether or not it’s venomous, seems like a good idea, but it will really piss-off your aunt.
  • Did I mention cousins lie.
  • Never utter the phrase “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never harm me,” to someone who is in possession of sticks or stones. In the savage jungle of playground justice, you will be pelted with a barrage of sticks and stones.
  • When adults say cheaters never prosper, they’re full of it. Cheaters prosper all of the time, mostly because they’re cheating.
  • Don’t melt Play-Doh on the stove. What seems like a voyage of scientific discovery to you, is just wanton destruction to some people.
  • Burning Play-Doh emits a noxious smoke.
  • Smoke alarms are startlingly loud.
  • Melting crayons on the radiator is fun, until your mom finds them.
  • And finally: artistic creativity is not always welcomed.

It happened when I was a first-grader at R.R. Rogers Elementary School in Jamestown, NY.

Our class was making a Thanksgiving Day mural from construction paper. We were broken into groups, my group was tasked with making the Pilgrims.

We immediately found there to be a dearth of orange construction paper, the color used to make the Pilgrims’ faces and hands.

I made a command decision: we’ll use purple construction paper for the Pilgrims faces and hands. “It’ll be avant-garde,” I said.

Note: I’ll bet you don’t think a six-year old would use the word avant-garde. It’s my story, and I’ll tell it the way I want.

Tracy the tattletale strongly objected and ran to inform the teacher, (Tracy was such a conformist) but as a renown tattletale, the teacher simply told her to hush, and just work with the others.

Note: not only was our group saddled with Tracy the tattletale, we also had Keith the paste-eater. It was a nightmare.

We completed our project and handed it in with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.

Our teacher was displeased. It’s difficult to overemphasize just how displeased she was.

“They’re purple,” she shrieked, as if we were a bunch of colorblind idiots.

“We know they’re purple,” we told her, “we’re not kindergarteners.”

As it happened, the mural was going up on the wall for a big parent/teacher thing that night. She’d left that bit of information out of the instructions.

Note: on the heels of Halloween, and our pumpkin making spree, she should have known we’d be low on orange construction paper, which brings me to another important lesson learned: when at all possible, deflect blame.

It was the end of the day, and there was no time to do anything about it, so up they went.

In the end the parents were simply amused by the purple Pilgrims; it seems adults really don’t expect a lot from six-year old children.

Addendum:

I wonder if Salvador Dali’s teacher criticized him for drawing everything all floppy.

floppy watches

At least he didn’t have the gall to make Pilgrims purple.

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Thanksgiving with the Family 2016: Oh the Humanity

thankgiving hindenburg

The big family Thanksgiving almost went this well.

You’re back at the big family Thanksgiving for another year of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, a giant heaping of accusation and guilt, and copious amounts of liquor to numb the senses.

They’re all there: grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, second cousins, Cousin It, fat hobbits, in-laws, out-laws, felons, those still awaiting trial, significant others, insignificant others, and the cast of that creepy movie The Others.

Your family is a bit like the Manson Family, but your leader isn’t in prison.

You’re in for a treat this year because your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) is going to cook the turkey in a deep fryer.

You question the wisdom of allowing your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) to operate a deep fryer as his presence seems to frequently precede catastrophe.

You decide to check on your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) to see how he is doing. Not out of concern, but out of the sheer the enjoyment you derive when bad things happen to him (your uncle–the volunteer firefighter).

Note: you may think I’m bringing up the point that your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) is a volunteer firefighter a little too often. But it’s not as often as he brings it up.

“How are things going with the turkey,” you ask.

“Things are going great–I’m volunteer firefighter you know,” he boasts.

“I’ve heard that once or twice,” you tell him. “It’s just that…when you leave a place, things tend to be on fire that weren’t on fire before you got there. You’re really more like a fireman from Fahrenheit 451 than a genuine firefighter.”

“If I understood that reference, would I be pissed off?” he asks you.

You explain that Fahrenheit 451 is a Ray Bradbury novel set in a dystopian future where firemen start fires rather than putting them out.

“If I knew what dystopian means, would I be pissed off?” he follows.

“I think you’d be fine with it,” you reply.

You decide you don’t actually want to be within the blast radius when events unfold as they inevitably will, so you go back inside.

You discover one of your cousins sitting on the couch moping because her boyfriend couldn’t be there. It seems coming within one-hundred feet of your family is a parole violation…for him and 12 different members of your family.

One of your uncles enters the house in full blood-stained camouflage hunting gear. You ask him if he had any luck in the woods today.

“What makes you think I’ve been hunting today,” he replies.

You walk away quickly.

One of your aunts comments on how well things seem to be going this year. “There hasn’t been one stabbing yet,” she exclaims. Then she shows everyone how well the bayonet wound in her face is healing.

One of your cousins is reminiscing about the year her father was carving the turkey and inadvertently cut his thumb off.

Note: he drinks.

Clarification: he drinks an enormous amount.

Luckily your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) was there to administer first-aid.

“The doctor said they could have reattached the thumb if it hadn’t caught on fire,” your cousin comments. “The doctor said he had never seen something packed in a bag of ice catch on fire before.”

You spend some time talking to the guy with the eye-patch and the hook for a hand. You have no idea how you’re related to him, but he’s the only one you actually get along with.

hook hand

You have no idea who this guy is, but you like him.

Your aunt arrives with a bunch of homemade pies, creating a horrible dilemma: you love sweet potato pie, but your aunt is a twisted wreck of hatred and soul-devouring evil…but you love sweet potato pie.

Your uncle (the one you refer to as Two-Faced Rat-Bastard) starts to make an announcement.

“I’ve discovered something disturbing about my wife,” he says.

“We’ve all heard about her vestigial penis,” you tell him.

“It’s not the penis thing,” he says, “it’s something much worse.”

But before he can make his announcement, another cousin bursts through the door to tell everyone your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) has accidentally set his face on fire.

“How did that happen?” your aunt yells.

“I don’t know,” your cousin responds. “It just burst into flames like the Hindenburg. One minute he was just standing there telling us about how he’s a volunteer firefighter, the next minute he’s burning like he’s full of hydrogen.”

“Did anyone put the fire out?” your aunt demands.

“We tried. He just yelled,don’t worry, I’ve got this, I’m a volunteer firefighter.’” Then he ran into the barn and shoved his face into a big pile of hay.

“And that put the fire out?”

“No,” your cousin answers. “Also, the barn’s on fire now.”

As luck would have it, as your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) was running from the barn after setting it on fire, he tripped and fell face first into a pile of cow manure, extinguishing the fire on his face.

“Amazing,” you comment, “normally the bullshit is coming out of his face, not going into it.”

Your family stares at you with a level of hatred that’s more intense than normal.

“Relax,” you tell them. “At least it wasn’t a stabbing.”

fire

Your uncle (the volunteer firefighter) was here.

 

Thanksgiving With the Family: The Aftermath

breaking bad Thanksgiving.

That seems about right.

Did you have a good Thanksgiving with the family?

Of course you didn’t; you had it with the family.

The phrase “with the family” is equivalent to the phrase “while being tortured sadistically.”

Let’s try it out: Did you have a good Thanksgiving while being tortured sadistically? See how the words are different, but their meaning hasn’t changed.

Are you nursing a headache today because getting through Thanksgiving with the family means more Wild Turkey than actual turkey?

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey: helping you survive family get-togethers since 1869.

Did your crazy uncle pull out his pictures of what he claims to be a Bigfoot, but what looks suspiciously like the stump in his backyard.

Did your vegan cousin punctuate the Thanksgiving Day prayer by loudly proclaiming that meat is murder?

Did your aunt then correct your vegan cousin by informing her that this year’s Thanksgiving dinner was roadkill, and therefore its death was clearly an accident. (It may have been opossum, nobody was quite sure. Your uncle was really drunk when he hit it.)

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey: helping provide your Thanksgiving dinner since 1869.

Did your crazy uncle once again regale you with story of how he once shot a unicorn, but by the time he got to it, it had turned back into his neighbor’s goat?

Did you cousin, the serial dater, arrive with a man who was a definite upgrade from previous years: he did have a face tattoo and prosthetic fangs, but at least he didn’t have a hook for a hand?

Did an argument break out over whether the term inbred is pejorative?

Did the argument rapidly escalate when somebody looked up the word pejorative?

Did the argument result in multiple stabbings, limited gun-play, and one injury from a crossbow?

Do you now have a wound on your forehead that you will describe in the future as the scar of Thanksgiving 2017?

Did your aunt, the mean one, bring her infamous three bean salad?

Did the three bean salad taste like a monkey had peed on a pile of death?

Did everyone suffer through the three bean salad because they’re too afraid of her to comment?

Note: Among your aunts, being labeled as “the mean one” is a bit like being labeled as “the racist Nazi.”

Did your drunken uncle attempt to carve the turkey (or opossum, groundhog, warthog, whatever) and sever his pinky finger…again?

Did your uncle, the volunteer fireman who thinks he’s a doctor because he’s had first aid training, attempt to reattach the finger using liquor as an antiseptic and fishing line as sutures?

Was the phrase, “I’ve never seen so much blood” uttered multiple times during the procedure?

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey: aiding your family with ill-advised medical procedures since 1869.

Did you promise yourself that you would never again step into this unholy cacophony?

Well, at least not until Christmas, or you’ve procured holy water and a crucifix.

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