Thanksgiving: Add Liquor and Stir

Mary Agnes Antonopoulos of remembers her family traditions, which always seem to begin with everyone getting drunk...:

Age 7: Under a big covered silver chafing dish, to be funny, my uncle has hidden a LIVE baby turkey (they are massively ugly, btw). But it does not cooperate and remain quiet for the joke. It squawks and jumps, and the cover flies up and beans my grandmother, giving her a concussion. The baby turkey screams and runs over everyone's dishes on the table. My younger uncle Jerry finally catches it and in his TERROR (they're from Brooklyn, he said he thought it was a rat), he threw it OUT THE WINDOW (four stories up). I think we ate at McDonalds that year.

Age 8: The dog runs by everyone at the table with the fully cooked turkey in his mouth hanging from one side. My dad chases the dog with the carving knife yelling, "I'll kill you, you son of a bitch." (This happened long before that "Christmas Story" movie with the lamp-leg.)

Age 9: Someone had told mom that the turkey cooked better in a paper bag. So everyone's at the table...and something smells weird. The turkey is ON FIRE in the oven. They somehow get it out and VACUUM the turkey. We all eat it anyway.

Age 10: Two uncles, half drunk, have a mock duel with drumsticks and get pissed off. They start smashing each other over the heads with the drumsticks and one gets a torn cornea. As warned about in "A Christmas Story," it's all fun and games until someone puts an eye out!

Fast Forward to Age 35: By now I, myself, have been sober for ten years. My dad bumps into a wall, the John Wayne portrait (I'm not kidding) falls off the wall and somehow slices THROUGH his shoe and THROUGH his foot. It requires 27 stiches. The Duke Rules.

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