Thanksgiving: The Story of the Bloody Turkey

Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays for years; alot of that has to do with food but a close second is because when you bring my family together it means many hours of entertainment. This year I was able to come home for the first time in many years; past years always involved projects that were due the next day or jobs not giving me enough vacation time so I missed the comedy routines that usually centered around getting a rise out of my mother. You see, she’s the only girl out of 5 boys. It becomes a competition amongst her brothers as to who can rile her up the most.

There was the usual amazing food, including my mom’s signature sausage stuffing, sweet potato casserole, apple-cranberry sauce and a juicy turkey and all of this doused in gravy. Throw in the entertainment of 15 relatives, 2 bottles of champagne, 5 bottles of wine and endless beer and you have a party. It started with a fight with my father over the chair arrangement in the dining room at the table most definitely not built for fifteen people but we were making them fit, godddamnit and ended with my mother yelling at me for, after 35 years, outing her and dad to my grandfather.

Outside of the usual spats within my family over who was really left at the rest stop when they were five, I’m reminded of a past thanksgiving (as we all were, since every thanksgiving it is brought up) which stands out on the radar as being one of the best freakouts my mother ever had. Although when my father outed my mother to my grandfather (apparently, he didn’t know they lived together before marriage. And this is a problem NOW after they’ve had two children and have been married 30 years…) and my mother turned around and blamed it on me, THAT might rival this story. (at least the murderous expression on my moms face might).

Many thanksgivings ago, when we still lived in Connecticut and family rarely came out for the big turkey, we had my Uncle John, my mom’s youngest brother, over along with a few other family friends. This was before my mom had gotten her new oven and she was having massive difficulties cooking the turkey. Every time she took it out of the oven, it wasn’t done. Even after the timer thingy had popped up, it was still oozing red juice. After several glasses of wine my mothers mouth turned a little foul, disregarding all her guests and we could tell the state of the turkey by the stream of words coming out of the kitchen. It became a little bit of a joke. To everyone but my mother. (She’s italian, if the cooking isn’t going right, the world isn’t right)

After about 4 hours had gone by, it finally was done and she pulled it out of the oven, placed it on a white platter and was preparing to bring it out to the dining room where everything else was already waiting. In the brief moment she turned away from the turkey, my uncle being the comedian he was, took his glass of red wine and poured alittle onto the platter right next to the turkey. My mom then turns around, sees the “blood” and screams bloody murder.

As if we had just murdered my uncle and he lay twitching on the ground at her feet.

Are you fucking kidding me? ITS BEEN SEVEN HOURS! I hate this oven, I hate this house, I fucking hate this holiday.

We were all in stitches and this made her even more wild with The Crazy. She starts waving the carving knife at all of us while yelling at my father to put the fucking bird back in the goddamn fucking oven and he better be fucking buying her a new oven the next morning at 5 am or else she was getting a divorce. A DIVORCE. AND THIS IS NOT FUNNY, madly pointing the knife in our faces.

That’s when we were forced to tell her, through gasps and tears, that it was red wine. Not blood.

Her face then turned about the color of the red wine and she placed the knife back on the table and walked out in the dining room to compose herself while the rest of the family lay on the floor in hysterics.

I think now she can laugh about it (like…10 years later). But it was a touchy subject for a while there. Especially after how many “fuckings” she used. And how she almost murdered her entire family over a turkey and a little bit of red wine.

6 Responses

  1. That is hysterical!! I think the most memorable Thanksgiving is this year because nobody cried! Last year I stormed away from the table three sheets to the wind and locked myself in the bathroom for a while, then threatened to drive myself home to NYC, all over one snide comment from my mom. Good times.

  2. You’re half Italian?

    That explains A LOT.

  3. That story is hilarious!

  4. I got nothing. Apparently my family is on sedatives.

  5. Well, my Thanksgiving story isn’t funny as much as it’s destructive.

    My brother (the one with autism) was trying to get up from the table at my grandma’s house (which is actually two full sized dining room tables put together) and he knocked into this china cabinet that she had.

    EVERYTHING fell down. And broke. It was so loud and Jamie just stood there and laughed.

    My grandparents weren’t upset because apparently they didn’t even like that china, but my mom was in hysterics and it was a bad Thanksgiving because of that.

    This year at Thanksgiving, my other brother goes “Hey, remember that year that Jamie broke all the china and Mom was screaming and crying and really upset and stuff? That was way funny!”

    Except not.

  6. HAHA, excellent story.

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