Happy Thanksgiving!

In a move that is particularly lazy on my part, I’m going to celebrate the holiday by re-posting an old blog entry of mine in which I tell the woeful tale of the year my dog ruined Thanksgiving. I originally posted it the day after Thanksgiving on the year we lost our old girl.

Have a great holiday!

The Thanksgiving Feast

To me, one of the greatest parts of Thanksgiving is what starts today. No, not Black Friday shopping—I refuse to participate in such madness. I made the mistake of facing the crowds at dawn once, years ago, and found myself clutching a Game Cube in a football hold, rushing toward the registers in a frantic rush to escape the feeding frenzy as quickly as possible, preferably with all of my limbs still attached.

No, today is the day we begin to consume the beautiful and succulent delicacy known as leftovers. Turkey sandwiches, soup, pot pie…and speaking of pie, we have pumpkin and sweet potato. Alas, I should stop before Ralphie from A Christmas Story sues me for copyright infringement, which brings up a story fans of this holiday classic will appreciate: our very own Bumpus Hound.

For those not familiar with A Christmas Story, first of all, stop reading and go watch the movie—right now! I’ll wait…

All right, just in case you don’t know about the Bumpus Hounds, and didn’t follow my instructions, I will give you a brief recap, though it will ruin my life-imitating-art story.

Ralphie’s family lives next door to the Bumpus family and, as Ralphie put it:

“Our hillbilly neighbors, the Bumpuses had over 785 smelly hound dogs, and they ignored every other human being on earth except my old man!”

On Christmas morning, the Bumpus Hounds come barreling into Ralphie’s kitchen, and devour the unprotected turkey, fresh from the oven and resting on the kitchen table. His mother screams; his father declares the family will be going out to eat. Cut to the Chinese restaurant and roast duck.

Which brings us to Thanksgiving, 2000. My husband and I were the proud owners of an eight month old black lab puppy named Karma (insert irony joke here). She was, of course, extremely interested in all the smells of deliciousness emanating from the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. Every time I would take the turkey from the oven and baste it, she would be right by my side, sniffing joyfully.

This, dear reader, is called foreshadowing.

Dinner went off without a hitch, the turkey and all its trimmings enjoyed by all. As is typical, I made far more food than was needed, leaving us with a bounty of leftovers to enjoy.

On that fateful Friday, we went out for a while (for what purpose, I no longer recall. Perhaps the day has been blocked out as result of the ensuing trauma we endured). We came home in happy anticipation of tasty turkey sandwiches for lunch, but instead found ourselves in what we would later describe as KARMAGEDDON.

You can see where this is going.

Karma, our precious pooch, had made a discovery. She could open the refrigerator.

AND

SHE

ATE

EVERY

SCRAP

All of the turkey—the carcass was stripped bare.

All of the stuffing.

The mashed potatoes.

The cranberries.

The sweet potatoes.

The gravy.

And the pies. Oh, the pies.

We found her lying on her side, her belly protruding in an obscenely convex manner, her groans of pain (or ecstasy? We’ll never know) greeting us at the door. It was a scene of horror and destruction: foil and storage containers strewn about as though struck by a hurricane, the refrigerator door swung open wide, its bare shelves taunting us, the dog in a heap on the kitchen floor, having eaten herself into a stupor, unable to even escape to the next room. The smell of Thanksgiving was in the air, but the contents of Thanksgiving were in her belly.

I’m pretty sure the dog recovered before we did.

It was with great sadness that we had to have our dear old Karma Doggy put down this year, unexpectedly.

I thought of you every time I basted the turkey, old girl. Thanks for the memories.

The Thanksgiving Feast

To me, one of the greatest parts of Thanksgiving is what starts today. No, not Black Friday shopping—I refuse to participate in such madness. I made the mistake of facing the crowds at dawn once, years ago, and found myself clutching a Game Cube in a football hold, rushing toward the registers in a frantic rush to escape the feeding frenzy as quickly as possible, preferably with all of my limbs still attached.

No, today is the day we begin to consume the beautiful and succulent delicacy known as leftovers. Turkey sandwiches, soup, pot pie…and speaking of pie, we have pumpkin and sweet potato. Alas, I should stop before Ralphie from A Christmas Story sues me for copyright infringement, which brings up a story fans of this holiday classic will appreciate: our very own Bumpus Hound.

For those not familiar with A Christmas Story, first of all, stop reading and go watch the movie—right now! I’ll wait…

All right, just in case you don’t know about the Bumpus Hounds, and didn’t follow my instructions, I will give you a brief recap, though it will ruin my life-imitating-art story.

Ralphie’s family lives next door to the Bumpus family and, as Ralphie put it:

“Our hillbilly neighbors, the Bumpuses had over 785 smelly hound dogs, and they ignored every other human being on earth except my old man!”

On Christmas morning, the Bumpus Hounds come barreling into Ralphie’s kitchen, and devour the unprotected turkey, fresh from the oven and resting on the kitchen table. His mother screams; his father declares the family will be going out to eat. Cut to the Chinese restaurant and roast duck.

Which brings us to Thanksgiving, 2000. My husband and I were the proud owners of an eight month old black lab puppy named Karma (insert irony joke here). She was, of course, extremely interested in all the smells of deliciousness emanating from the kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. Every time I would take the turkey from the oven and baste it, she would be right by my side, sniffing joyfully.

This, dear reader, is called foreshadowing.

Dinner went off without a hitch, the turkey and all its trimmings enjoyed by all. As is typical, I made far more food than was needed, leaving us with a bounty of leftovers to enjoy.

On that fateful Friday, we went out for a while (for what purpose, I no longer recall. Perhaps the day has been blocked out as result of the ensuing trauma we endured). We came home in happy anticipation of tasty turkey sandwiches for lunch, but instead found ourselves in what we would later describe as KARMAGEDDON.

You can see where this is going.

Karma, our precious pooch, had made a discovery. She could open the refrigerator.

AND

SHE

ATE

EVERY

SCRAP

All of the turkey—the carcass was stripped bare.

All of the stuffing.

The mashed potatoes.

The cranberries.

The sweet potatoes.

The gravy.

And the pies. Oh, the pies.

We found her lying on her side, her belly protruding in an obscenely convex manner, her groans of pain (or ecstasy? We’ll never know) greeting us at the door. It was a scene of horror and destruction: foil and storage containers strewn about as though struck by a hurricane, the refrigerator door swung open wide, its bare shelves taunting us, the dog in a heap on the kitchen floor, having eaten herself into a stupor, unable to even escape to the next room. The smell of Thanksgiving was in the air, but the contents of Thanksgiving were in her belly.

I’m pretty sure the dog recovered before we did.

It was with great sadness that we had to have our dear old Karma Doggy put down this year, unexpectedly.

I thought of you every time I basted the turkey, old girl. Thanks for the memories.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

First of all, let me say this: I love Christmas. L-O-V-E love it. I love the decorations, the baking, buying the perfect gifts (in my pajamas. Thanks, Amazon!), getting together with family…well, you get the idea. I say this to give you some perspective as my tale of woe—or rage…tomato, tomahto—unfolds.

This morning found us in another visit to the Big Box Evil Retailer, once again trailing through the toy department so my son could check out everysingletoy—you know, in case the selection has changed since Thursday. The cinnamon was back, assailing my nostrils and putting me in a teensy bit of a mood, when a moment of silence fell upon my little shopper. In this moment, I was able to actually hear what was going on around us, and the assault on my ears became noticeable.

And had a name. Andy Williams.

That’s right. Christmas carols.

As he crooned his way through Silver Bells, his syrupy voice dripping with pure holiday goodness, my eye began to twitch. “It’s November seventh,” I said in a low growl.

“Look at this! It’s Batman!” shouted Little Shopper, unaware that mommy was ramping up for a good freak-out.

“Wow, that’s really cool.” I managed, pushing Mr. Williams out of my brain. “That sure has a lot of pieces.”

“Look at his CAR!”

“That’s the Batmobile, buddy.”

“COOL!”

Silver bells, silver bells…

Little Shopper moved on to Cars 2, his eyes locked on a giant, talking Mater.

…it’s Christmas time in the city.

“What is happening with this world?” I demanded. Little Shopper didn’t answer. Or even notice I was talking.  It was all about Mater for him. “It is NOT Christmas time in the city. Thanksgiving is still two and a half weeks away and it’s FIFTY DEGREES OUT!”

I turned to Little Shopper. “You know, when I was your age,” That’s right. I said THAT. “When I was your age, Thanksgiving was its own holiday, and Christmas didn’t start until AFTER it was DONE. You know what that meant? Christmas was SPECIAL. It wasn’t RUINED by being dragged out so long that everyone was SICK OF IT by the time it was here. We didn’t watch Christmas movies in JULY. We didn’t have DVD players, or even VCRs. We watched the Christmas movies when they came on TV at CHRISTMAS TIME. ONCE. And it was SPECIAL.”

“Mater TALKS, mommy!”

Yes, yes he does.

Merry Christmas.

It’s Never Too Early

This morning while I was dutifully perusing the toy aisles at the local Big Box Evil Retailer, listening to my three year old’s delighted squeals of “Oooooh! Look at THAT! And THAT!” on endless repeat, my nostrils rebelling at the assault of cinnamon wafting from a few aisles over like a nose seeking missile (and who decided it’s cinnamon season, anyway?), I noticed a toy which will undoubtedly be the must-have Christmas hit of 2011.

My eyes beheld an amazing sight. The I Am T-Pain Microphone. That’s right, the man who has brought us such hits as I’m N Luv (Wit a Stripper), Calm the F*ck Doun, and Chopped N Screwed has entered the toy market. Hooray!

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of an as yet untapped market, and I have some ideas for the good folks at Mattel, Fisher-Price and Hasbro, should they wish to get in on the action. Here are a few suggestions:

1) The Insane Clown Posse Slushie Machine: That’s right, little Juggalos and Juggalettes, now you can turn your Faygo Soda into a refreshing frozen drink! Mom and Dad, just imagine the smiles on your little clowns’ faces when they see this under the tree! With a powerful motor and patented Sta-Cool technology, refreshing iced drinks are a breeze! Thought slushies were a summertime treat? It’s the Fourth of July the whole year through with the ICP Slushie Machine!

2) The Snoop Dogg Easy Bake(d) Oven: For the little pastry chef on your holiday list. You’ll be the most popular kid on the block when your friends get their first taste of your brownies, and they’ll keep coming back for more! Just follow the simple recipes using the included mixes, and
enjoy the endless creations!

3) The Lady Gaga Lil’ Lady Dress Up: Now your little princess can look like a star! Feathers, light bulbs, sequins, beef jerky—it’s all included, and  with the themed accessory kits (sold separately), the possibilities are endless! Your Lil’ Lady will enjoy hours of dress up fun—the only limit is your imagination!*

*Requires eight 9-volt batteries (not included).

Just don’t forget to send a little commission my way, toymakers!