My annual Thanksgiving post

The big question will be how many people burn down their house this year trying to deep fry a heavy frozen bird inside their house.

Most people don't have the common sense to put the bird in, fill the fryer with oil and then take the bird out and get the oil hot. Instead, the fill the fryer with too much oil, get it close to the temperature of the sun and throw in a thirty pound, partially frozen Butterball. When that thing hits the oil it goes up like Michael Jackson's hair on a Pepsi shoot, not including the displaced oil that splashes out of the fryer and onto linoleum, which I believe is extruded from petroleum products. Last year something like 400 homes caught fire attempting this trick and I predict the numbers will double this year.

In days of old, boiling oil was a great weapon when poured over the castle walls. Imagine the potential in the average American kitchen. Somebody's Uncle Frank will probably learn a lesson the hard way.

Aside from the skin, I have no use for turkey. I find it unappealing in taste and texture.

But even though I don't care for turkey, I am a fan of Thanksgiving. I'll be at the in-law's with many friends in tow and the drinking always starts early. We usually drink champagne on the holidays and no one is about to complain that it's too early to drink when you're uncorking the good stuff. We generally stand around in the kitchen patting each other on the back and swilling drinks and demanding to be fed.

I find the waiting to be the biggest problem. That's because my family are liars. The day before we always call over to see what time we're eating. They'll say 2:00PM, when they know damned well it won't be until 4:00PM. They lie because they want to spend time with us, which is odd, because I can't comprehend anyone wanting to spend time with us.

On the way over there I guarantee that some doofus will be outside hanging his Christmas lights, which will start my wife up and I'll have to listen to how I'd better get our shit up right away and not wait too long like last year. And when we finally arrive we'll walk in on a shouting match about the turkey, and how it's not cooking fast enough or hot enough, or when the tin foil should be taken off to brown the skin, even though it won't be ready for hours.

So we stand around the kitchen and drink champagne until a card game breaks out or we can start poaching food. Some will sneak out for a smoke, others will incite slanderous talk about other relatives and the majority will bitch and moan about anything that comes to mind. And when the bird is done everyone will argue about the proper way to carve it and how this family, “doesn't have a goddamned sharp knife” and there won't be enough of the same type of plates for everyone and it will ruin the photos.

Somehow, I find comfort in all this. There we are, all together and complaining as a family. It's hard to describe. And when the time comes to trot the bird out everyone takes on a solemn demeanor and we go around the table and everyone expresses what they're thankful for this year. I never use to participate and this whole thing used to make me very uncomfortable. The first couple of years tried to hide in the bathroom for this part but they refused to start until everyone was seated. Nowadays I don't mind so much. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Since I don't eat turkey I'll fill up on my old lady's pecan crusted sweet potato pie and mashed potatoes and gravy and swill more champagne. And towards the end, when the pumpkin pie comes out I'll fill half my coffee cup with good cognac and reflect on the fact I don't have to work the next day. And while the mess is being cleaned I'll sit there with my daughter on my lap and plan a graceful exit strategy as the old lady packs up as much of the leftovers as she can before her siblings can get it all.

And when we get home and put the kid to bed I'll pour myself a single malt and sit on my lazy ass-sated-as my wife and I look through the pay channels for amusement.

Happy Thanksgiving.