The Eighth Page

Introducing Alec Weiss in Thansgiving Traditions

My family is anything but normal, which often leads to a pretty outrageous Thanksgiving here at the Weiss household. Some families get together and eat turkey, others watch football and enjoy each others’ company. The Weiss family does things a little bit differently. If you’re a fan of good food, good laughs, and a hearty helping of, “Why the hell did you put that in the stuffing?” then join my family and me in our uncommon Thanksgiving Day traditions. == Turducken == The most important tradition of my family’s Thanksgiving revolves around food. Everyone brings a side dish and my grandmother makes her famous “Turducken.” Her chicken is moist, the duck is seasoned to perfection and her turkey is bronzer than David Hasselhoff. All of that poultry comes together in one fantastic seasonal dish. Unfortunately, my uncle and aunt have been busy over the past seven years and have made more babies than you can count on one hand. I am not upset about the children; I love cousins as much as the next guy, but the more mouths to there are to feed, the less turducken I get. Thankfully, some good came from the baby making: it spurred the ritual of enhancing such a great dish. We add a layer to the turducken every year in order to feed everyone. We started small and stuffed a squab in the chicken, but when the next year Auntie Ruth had twins we needed more than just a squab. So we stuffed the turkey and all of its layers inside of a swan, then into a flamingo and from there into an emu. This tradition lead to our present day main course of a hummingbird inside a blue jay, inside a squab, inside a chicken, inside a duck, inside a turkey, inside a swan, inside a flamingo, inside an emu, inside an ostrich. Next year we are calling up Sesame Street to see if we can borrow Big Bird for a day. == Pumpkin Pie == There is nothing I hate more than the sagging jack-o-lanterns sitting on stoops a month after Halloween. Every year I watch as teeth rot out and eyes clasp shut, and I think it’s a shame to waste all of those pumpkins. To solve this wasteful problem, all of the children of my family go out and steal all of the pumpkins off of peoples’ front steps and bring them home to make our very own Jack-O-Lantern pie. == Waking Gramps == After he finishes eating, my grandfather likes nothing more than to undo his belt and settle down with a glass of vodka for an afternoon nap. When I was little I never wanted my Papa to miss a second of the football game so I would come up with ways to wake him up. I did silly things like dropping an ice cube down his shirt or putting my headphones on him and blasting “Chumbawamba, Tubthumping” at its highest volume. As I grew up I began to care less about him watching the game and just wanted to wake him up for the fun of it. It has turned into my own Thanksgiving sport. == Artistic Differences == What is better than a father and a son joining together in paternal unity to play a rousing rendition of “Over the River and Through the Woods,” on a brisk Thanksgiving afternoon? If only our family could have such a wholesome tradition! Instead, my brother and father spend hours arguing over how to play the song on their guitars. My brother says my father is doing it wrong and can’t even play an F chord correctly. When the time comes for the family to gather and listen, they each play it their own way, which, as you can imagine, never sounds too good. To give you an idea, imagine Zox and Fidelio performing in Tang simultaneously. When they finish, they each spend the next fifteen minutes trying to persuade the family members that their own version was better. In the end we all agree that they should shut their pumpkin pie holes. This is our annual grace before our family meal. == New Dining Facility == Every year I ride over the river and through the woods to my grandmother’s cozy dining room. Its dim lights, floral designs and plastic upholstered chairs are the only place I have ever eaten my Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately, her contractors haven’t held up their end of the bargain and are still remodeling her dining room and kitchen six months after the promised completion date. This year my grandparents’ neighbor, Sumner Smith, offered us his outdoor hockey rink as a dining facility. It is going to be an awfully cold Thanksgiving dinner. Also, my uncle Ryley offered to drive there in his RV and whip up some desert in his van. I can only hope that the contractors finish by next year so this doesn’t turn into another uncommon family tradition.