Nick Varney

Nick Varney

Thanksgiving memories of the unhinged kind

Let’s take a first look at the oncoming day of feasting

We are now officially on a time-luge drop into the holiday season. If we can just get by the hairpin turn of the upcoming election without a serious wreck of attitudes, it should be smooth sailing except for a few sideswipes along the inflation walls.

So, let’s take a first look at the oncoming day of feasting.

As with any cross section of a family of friends, each eccentric in my aging and swiftly dwindling crew of bonded vets has their own way of celebrating Thanksgiving. Especially when it come to the food they serve.

First, there’s Ole Mort, who still lives with his cantankerous and moderately disturbed sister, Bertha-the-Bizarre. She has what some might classify as a turbo-snark personality and sports a countenance that has been known to induce heart attacks if spotted on any other day than Halloween. If her industrial size broom is parked in the carport, no one will go near the place unless it’s the holidays and they have been invited over for an exceptional repast.

She is famous for her scalloped potatoes swimming in a Havarti melt served as a side to a primo, honey baked, spiral sliced ham trailed by a finale featuring a plethora of desserts so sweet that banquet guests develop breaths that would attract local bears if they weren’t already in hibernation.

Mort loves the fact that there’s just something about the holiday season that morphs her grumpiness into a warm composite of sugar and spice and everything nice. As for the rest of year? Duck and cover.

Semi hermit, Dry Shack Willie, simply makes a stew out of whatever he’s able to nail in the feral pheasant and rabbit population wandering around his cabin and prefers to stay home to play T- Day phone tag with relatives and drifting buds from his uniform days.

My bride and I still enjoy the traditional, store-stalked toms with chests so colossal we could use them as end tables. Although, this year, their preferred weight may be tempered if the fowl costs more per pound than Kobe beef.

Then there’s Turk, the silver-haired retired ranger.

He loves the “enthusiastic devouring” part when it comes to turkey because they not only taste great but also offer him a relishing touch of revenge with each bite.

Why? Because T attempted to raise a psycho gobbler many years ago rather than lay out cash to purchase one for the holidays. Never again.

His woeful tale began when a neighbor gave him a free poult and went rapidly downhill from there.

Turk’s little tom had an IQ 20 points below a bear scat and grew into a wickedly mean lump of feathers that took immense pleasure in terrorizing the small homestead, including Turk if he had his back to him.

He ended up nicknaming the obnoxious fowl, Baster, to keep things in perspective and avoid any unseemly attachment prior to its scheduled browning.

As the bird’s girth expanded, it became borderline intolerable and took all of Turk’s will power not to wring the beast’s neck and serve it as a corpulent squab snack during a football game.

T finally blew a fuse when Baster nearly stomped his girlfriend’s toy poodle into something resembling 4.75 pounds of kitty litter.

His significant other was not amused and either the bird had to take a waddle or she would.

Baster was transferred to solitary confinement in Mort’s tool shed for additional plumping along with a new nickname of “Oven-Ready”.

It seemed like a great idea until Mort’s sis discovered the creature and became enamored with the quilled cretin. Not cool.

Bertha went wicked nuclear when it came time to schedule Oven Ready to get his giblets steamed.

The ensuing verbal ruckus between her and Turk, when he showed up to change the bird’s moniker to Entrée, was better theater than a chain of rabid debates between radical vegans and omnivores.

Fortunately, a non-contusion generating compromise was reached and the beast was adopted by Bertha and spent the rest of his years as Gooby (urp) until the guard gobbler turned into a maxi feather duster at a ripe old age of eight.

This year we are working on a plan to get together on News Year’s Day to start it off with a feast and football fest.

Willie says he’ll supply fresh pheasant and rabbit. Mort will dust off his home brew kit and Turk will kick in with his Hell-Fire deviled eggs and assorted chips accompanied by super dips that have been known to dissolve the tartar buildup from teeth.

Bertha is disgusted by football and will stay home to practice her 2023 scowl.

It should be a good day.

Nick can be reached at ncvarney@gmail.com if he isn’t busy scheming how to purloin a few of his wife’s pecan pie muffins before they head out the door to the neighbors.

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