Ah, soon we will Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing. And we don't even have to sneeze to ask. Get ready for the end-of-year dysfunctional family gatherings. And -- trust this -- they WILL be dysfunctional even if the family is generally amiable and normal, normally.
The Thanksgiving Dinner is a mere preview of later holiday gatherings. But it's kind of like the ice breaker that gets us ready. Some family members will slave in the kitchen for days and be too tired for hunger at dinner time. Funny uncles will arrive in time to make the lives of the small children miserable. And every family has its quiet drunk. He'll sit (it's almost always a "he,") in the best chair in the living room with a pitcher of martinis or a jug of marginal wine and quietly turn some shade between pink and deep red.
The Devout Republican and the Devout Democrat will argue about the latest rumors on who will do what in the incoming Obama administration. The little kids will get cranky. The furnace will shudder and seem ready to shut down on what probably will be the coldest day of the month.
Someone will need, yes need, to see the ball games on TV. The noise from the game will annoy the little kids even more. And the quiet drunk will fall asleep and snore at top volume. Ah, the roar of the snore and of the crowd. All this goes on as people filter into the dining room to eat.
The kids don't want to sit at the "kids' table." The adults get confused by the passing of a zillion plates back and forth. There will be a dispute about the light meat and the dark meat. And everyone will praise the cook(s) for the stuffing, which, secretly was made not from scratch, but from a box. (Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone!)
When it's all over, the same people who spent time slaving in the kitchen and are too tired to eat will return to the kitchen to clean up the mess. It will take them until the end of December to recover. The year-end holidays will be a repeat of Thanksgiving Day at some homes, but will cause many people make for dinner what many a Thanksgiving Day home cook really wants: reservations.
--The coupons are pouring in. Every is getting ready for the year end holidays, and early at that. And each one is searching for money that isn't there.
--Detroit's Holy Trinity, Wagoner, Mulally and Nardelli were on Capitol Hill this week, begging for bailout money. Pretty humbling for them. But it didn't help their cause when each of them flew a corporate jet into DC instead of driving a Cobalt, a Fiesta and maybe a K-car with 150,000 miles already on the clock.
--Some scientists have mapped the DNA of the Woolly Mammoth. They think they eventually will be able to revive the species. Interesting bio-trick and great for the elephant gun business.
I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.(sm)