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Peggy Keener: Our turkey day propugnaculum

Thanksgiving will be different this year. Actually it will be unlike any year we’ve ever known. The reason—we will have to protect ourselves by socially distancing from our turkeys. Let’s face it, the turkeys here in Austin have been hanging out with droves of other irresponsible turkeys in overcrowded settings, fraternizing like crazy with heaven only knows what kinds of turkey trash?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not taking any chances. I won’t even consider a turkey that’s not wearing a mask. No mask? No way! He’s not going to see his sorry roasted self sitting on my Thanksgiving table. Okay, so I’ll grant you that it’s tricky wearing a mask when your face comes to a sharp point, but if man was able to design the bra, then surely a turkey mask cannot be all that hard. Just cut the bra in half, for Pete’s sake!

Above all, don’t be fooled into thinking your turkey is safe just because he tells you he’s had a negative Covid test. Ask yourself, how do we know that turkeys tell the truth? And besides, how would a nurse ever get the testing swab into a turkey’s nostril? Do turkeys even have accessible nostrils or does that fleshy red thingy that hangs over their beaks block them? Furthermore, I don’t know a single turkey that carries a cell phone so he can be called with the test results.

See what I mean? Turkeys are just plain not to be trusted.  I’ll bet you the farm that just because your turkey says his name is Tom, you shouldn’t believe him. Does he have an ID to prove it …. or even a back pocket in which to put an ID?

Another serious turkey threat is its nutritional value. Take cholesterol for example. Who wants to eat something loaded with bad stuff? Not me! For crying out loud, all the turkeys I know brag about their artery clogging selves. The package they come in says it all …. Butterball !!!

One easy-peasy thing about Thanksgiving this year is that no guests will come. (This does not, however, include children who have returned home either temporarily or permanently. It’s still unclear what to do about them.) But, one thing is ecstatically evident, we are finally free from the burden of having to invite people we don’t want to invite. Out the window with Aunt Beulah and that ne-’er-do-well son of hers, along with spaced-out Cousin Clarence who never has a lucid thought on anything. (What do you expect? He voted for the Marijuana Party.)

With no guests, it also means that dusting the furniture is a wasted effort. Who are we trying to impress? And we do not have to get all gussied up, although knife pleated sweatpants would be a nice touch. For the truly natty dressers, concentrate only on the top half. Heck, everything below the table is out of sight anyway. For Dad that means shirt, tie and sports coat from the waist up turning him into Dad, the dinner dandy. And Mom, who after months of no use, must once again struggle into her bra. Ouch! Pinch!

So, just how do we virtually eat our virtual holiday meal with our virtual families? If, for instance, someone says, “Pass the potatoes,” do we smash the mashed potatoes all over the computer screen? Well, do we?

And how do we politely, but covertly, ignore the virtual faces and instead look behind them into the rooms our kin are sitting in? OMG! Who knew they had such deplorable decorating sense? Yiiikes! There’s simply no accounting for taste, is there? Harrumph!

Then there is the question of honesty. Do we come clean over how truly yummy our meal actually tastes? Moreover do we admit—when it’s right there on the computer screen—that their meal looks a whole lot yummier than ours? And finally, is it considered bad virtual manners to turn off the computer when we’ve had enough of them …. and their more delicious virtual food?

All this is going to take some critical planning because this year we’re more stressed than usual. For the last nine months we’ve been day-in and day-out with our children. With that in mind, should we or should we not remove the duct tape from our little ones’ mouths before they sit down at the table or wait until just before the food is served? And should the ropes holding them in their chairs be visible or not?

If we’re really smart, this Thanksgiving we should go simpler—less complicated, less contrived. How about serving, say, Vienna Sausages? They don’t need masks and they’ve been quarantined in those little cans forever. Bingo! Talk about getting the ever-suffering housewife off the hook. No stuffing, baking, table setting. Why suffer through all that when ready-to-go Vienna Sausages are, well, ready-to-go? Each person gets a can. A pull tab can! What could be simpler?

Case in point …. do you know any turkeys that come with a pull tab? In addition, Vienna Sausages do not have those unspeakable severed necks-in-a-bag stuffed in their cavities. Do Vienna Sausages even have cavities? No, they do not. They are solidly packed, dense, tiny questionable tubes of pinkish deliciousness.

Who knows? Social Thanksgiving distancing may well set a new holiday trend. Wouldn’t we all be shocked, for instance, if we went over the river and through the woods only to find that Gramma’s door is bolted shut? That Gramma has cried foul on fowl? Out the window with trussing a turkey; out the window with Gramma’s truss. You go, Grams!

Think about it. With all of us isolated at home ignoring the Thanksgiving fuss, we can do as we darn well please. For all we know, there may even be an explosion of babies nine months from now. And that, dear readers, means that in 2033, we will witness the rise of the Thanksgiving quaranteens.