This week families get together to celebrate Christmas’ younger and distinctly more chill sibling, Thanksgiving. Sure it’s only one day not a whole ‘season’ and there are only a couple of TV specials and that one Adam Sandler song everyone pretends is funny (it is not funny) but there is certainly parity in both holiday’s ability to leave you stranded in transit with nothing to do. Whether you’re splayed out across the terminal seats at a crappy regional airport or stuck in the off-smelling waiting area of a small-town service station held-up until “Chester” can look at your Honda after it started making that weird grinding noise on the Interstate, we’re here to help. You and your traveling companions can while away some fruitless minutes with:
THE CLAM’S THANKSGIVING MAD LIB
Not pictured: small pox
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! It’s a special time to get the whole clan together for meal fit for a [title of William S. Burroughs Novel]______________________. Our family has many traditions, some you’d recognize and a few carried over from [unfashionable foreign country] ______________.
We’re a little old-school, so around here the [exploited group] _____________ are up early to start cooking first thing Thursday morning. By noon the house is full of delicious smells and [negative emotion typically responsive to medication] _________________.
Soon the family begin to arrive. Some travel by [unaffordable and unnecessarily oversized vehicle] ____________________ others we have to pick up from [neglected public transportation hub] _______________. Uncle [first name of 20th Century European dictator] ___________ will no doubt pour himself a glass of [mass-produced brown liquor] __________________and tell his story about the time he shared an overcrowded restaurant table with [regular guest cast member from Love Boat] __________________ when visiting Los Angeles.
Soon we’re sitting down at a table full of meats dripping with [human hormone] _______________ and and roasted [vegetable that will inevitably be passed over in favor of potatoes] ______________. Also, there is always plenty of [different vegetable with some kind of processed sugar added to make it remotely palatable] ___________________! And let’s not forget a big bowl of [food in the “NEVER” column on the list handed to you by the cardiologist] ___________________with lots of butter. Every year we try a new stuffing recipe. This year will be one featuring [nut and dried fruit combo on sale at Trader Joe’s] _________________________!
To remind us of the true origins of the holiday Mom reads a prayer by [Native American chief, but it was actually written by a white college professor in the ‘60s] _______________________reminding us of our connection to the Earth and all we have to be grateful for.
Now it’s time to eat! We always have lively conversations about [topic that is not: immigration policy, climate change, the statistical unlikelihood we live in a universe controlled by a just god and the nature of the relationship of the female “friend” your sister has brought for the past three years running] ___________________. There are a variety of opinions, but the one thing we always agree on is desert! [Person who actually has Master’s Degree in topic everyone else is spouting off uninformed opinions about] _____________ will always be the first one to say, “Hey Mom, isn’t it time for [heated combination of dextrose and carbohydrates] _________________?”
After the meal we all sit down to watch [Screw it, just write ‘football’] ____________ . Dad always likes to comment on his love for his favorite player [Athlete with multiple arrests and a history of violent behavior] ________________. It’s always great to see our guys out on the gridiron not matter if they wind up with a win or a [permanent, debilitating injury] __________________. Sometimes cousin [overused millennial name like ‘Justin’ or ‘Ashley’] ___________________will suggest we head outside to play a little ‘touch,’ but it usually depends on the [thinly veiled excuse] ______________ if we actually make it out or not.
Eventually Dad succumbs to [chronic, unacknowledged medical condition] ________________ and falls asleep on the couch while mom cleans up and listens to [band that reminds her of a carefree youth oh so many years ago] __________________. That’s the signal head downtown and catch up with old friends. Maybe you’ll even run into [the girl who said, “I’ll wait for you’ and then when you came home from freshman year told you she was confused about her feelings for ‘Jake’ and you’re like, “Who the fuck is Jake?”] ____________________!
I hear they have two kids now.