As Thanksgiving traditions go the telling of the worst Thanksgiving in history--the day my father drop kicked the turkey through the living room window has become a fan favorite. I suppose now, so many years later it does have a certain comedic appeal. Ok, yes, it's funny! Not so much then.
I was eleven years old, my sister was 14. The table was set and judging from the luscious aromas permeating the house that day, Thanksgiving dinner was just about to be served. Ma called us all to the table. My dad, sat at the head of the well-spread table--all ready to do the one thing father's at that time did on Thanksgiving--carve the bird. He looked so proud. Ha! Ma carried the sumptuous, golden brown turkey to the table and set it in front of my father. Elaine and I looked at each other because, if history is our guide, we knew something was about to happen. We just didn't know what. Dad stood, asked a blessing. He picked up his his big fork and knife. He took a deep breath and I saw him pause for a moment. He glanced at us and then at Ma. He took another big breath, because like Elaine and I, he knew something was about to happen. My poor father never did anything right in my mother's eyes--anything! Dad stabbed the turkey. He began cutting into the bird. And then. "Art! Art," Ma cried, "you're not doing that right. That's not how you carve a turkey." I grabbed Elaine's hand. There was something in my father's eyes that year that spelled danger. Every other year he just took it and kept carving. But no, this year, a strange grin crossed his face. He set down his big fork and knife. Then, in an act so surprising and issuing words that can still be heard on Pluto, my father picked up our Thanksgiving Day turkey and drop kicked it through the the living room window. It was an incredible site--I believe time slowed down for a few seconds as grease and stuffing scattered everywhere. My mother went running toward the front door, quickly followed by the dogs and me and Elaine. The dogs were trying their best to eat the turkey but it was hot and steaming but still they tried, Oh they tried. They pulled it apart. My father walked slowly to the poor bird, stared at it for a moment and said, "I'll be right back." Seconds later he approached the turkey as Elaine and Me and Ma stood by--dumbstruck and also in awe. He them proceeded to pour all the turkey gravy onto the bird. He looked at Ma. "It looked a little dry, Flossie." Later that night after we had settled down and yes, we did eat Thanksgiving dinner sans turkey. It was as I remember a very silent meal, my father decided he should hammer a piece of plywood over the window. He stood on a step ladder and was hammering away when Ma walked past. She stood a moment and said, "Art! Art! That's no way to hammer a nail!." My father never got the last word .Never!