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6:00 a.m. - 2001-11-21

HOW TO RUIN A PERFECTLY GOOD DAY OFF

Dammit all to F'n Hell!!!

So last night, I'm sitting in my recliner, just enjoying myself immensely, watching Fox's "Undeclared" when a commercial comes on.

I take this opportune time to ask the Mrs. a pretty important question.

"Sooo...what are we doing for Thanksgiving?" I ask.

"My family's all coming over here," she says with a straight face.

I stare at her.

She stares at me.

We stare for about 20 seconds at which time she starts laughing.

I was relieved. Since she laughed first, it must be a joke...right?

"Ahhh...you were kidding...good one," I say.

"I'm not kidding," she said. "They're each bringing a side dish."

"Each" means two side dishes. Her brother's family has five people in it and count as one side dish while her mother and brother who still live together count as one side dish.

Which means...as usual ... we spend close to $150 for everything else.

And the word "side dish" translates loosely to "Whatever's got the least amount of mold on it that's been laying around the house since last Thanksgiving" for these people.

My brother-in-law with the family always bakes bread because he likes to do this. And it's always sourdough bread. ALWAYS. I don't really care for sourdough. So that means I'm screwed in the bread department.

My mother in law is famous for her green bean casserole. I hate casseroles, especially green beans.

She has also been known to buck the tradition and actually bring TWO side items before, her other being dressing. I f'n HATE dressing. Ever since I was a kid, you can NOT get me to put dressing in my mouth. It's just clumps of soggy bread with the absolute foulest spices available tossed in. When I was a young boy, I watched Mom make dressing and it sickened me. At the table, I was forced to eat some dressing and I promptly vomited at the Thanksgiving table upon tasting it. I've never been asked to eat it again. I've always blamed it on the sage, but the whole idea of dressing/stuffing makes me cringe.

Susie's Mom can't figure out why I won't eat her dressing. For 15 years now, I haven't eaten it and it pisses her off every year.

"You don't know what you're missing," she said one year.

"I know I'm missing having to mop up vomit during Thanksgiving dinner," I responded. "That's enough for me."

I abhor Thanksgiving dinner. With the exception of the pumpkin pie, there's nothing on the table that I like.

On our first Thanksgiving together, Susie and I had tacos. Since then, whenever we're lucky enough to have Thanksgiving together or with my family, we either have tacos or fajitas.

My family's cool with it. The only one who likes Thanksgiving dinner is Dad and he doesn't whine as loud as everyone else so he has to eat what the majority wants ... which is fajitas.

So I'm pissed. This means that we have to buy a turkey. And a ham. And several different side dishes and dessert. Plus drinks for everyone ... namely Coca-Cola. And what really irks me is that these g-damned gypsies can all drink generic soft drinks at their homes because they're too damned poor to spring for the real thing ... but when they come to our house it has to be the genuine Coca-Cola or else they start muttering.

And we have to do all this tonight...basically the busiest grocery shopping night of the year.

So instead of a quiet, relaxing Thanksgiving capped off with some delicious fajitas, I have to clean house all day and have the dreaded in-laws come in and tell boring assed stories and lame assed jokes and listen to them all laugh like hyenas when someone says "Don't go there!" or "I know you are, but what am I?" or some other lame saying that we've all heard a billion and one times but still cracks them up like they've never heard it before because they're all borderline retarded.

And I have to spend a day's pay to do it.

And this is not counting the always-inevitable "eating contests" between the two brothers, who stack their plates a foot high with stuff while everyone cheers them on like it's the Special Olympics.

The worst part?

Dinner is at 5:30.

Ummmmm..."Survivor", "Friends", and "Family Guy" all come on at 7. Which means I have two VCRs rolling and three TV's occupied.

Which doesn't fly with my in-laws. They ALWAYS have something they have to watch on TV. And it's never anything interesting.

"See what's on the Fox News Channel," my mother-in-law will say.

"News," I will mutter as I flip the channel over to appease her.

"I hear they're doing open heart surgery on a guy on the Learning Channel," my half-deaf brother-in-law will mumble, thinking everyone can hear him.

"Oh, that's lovely right after Thanksgiving dinner," I'll mutter.

"Uncle Bob, do you have the Playboy Channel?" my 13 year-old porn surfing nephew will ask.

"Just go in the bathroom, lock the door and get it over with," I'll tell him as I hand him a Victoria's Secret catalog.

"Isn't 'Dallas' still on," my legally insane sister-in-law will always ask.

"No dear, it's been off the air for fifteen years. Take your medicine," I'll always reply.

"Do they have any shows that talk about the repercussions of having rocks thrown at your head every day for 12 years?" my good-for-nothing, $6,000-owing, Coke-swilling, ugly assed brother-in-law will ask.

"They sure do," I'll reply in a chipper voice. "But it'll cost you $6,000 to watch it!"

So I can hang up having a relaxing day and enjoying my favorite shows that night.

I've got the in-laws coming.

Maybe this year...I'll try the stuffing.

Projectile vomiting at the dinner table may be just what the doctor ordered in getting them to leave early.

Awwwww...who am I kidding?

They'd just pick the chunks out and eat those too.

Goddamned human vultures.

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