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We don’t talk about Thanksgiving anymore. Not after Bloody Thursday.

It all started innocently enough. We invited most of the family to our house for dinner. There were the usual appetizers. Velveeta on a Ritz. Pigs in a blanket. And then we moved into the dining room.

 As we did, we remembered holiday dinners past. On Passover, my wife decided to make matzo ball soup. It was perfect. Except for one thing.

 You could see the steam coming from the soup bowls as the matzo balls floated on top. I take my first spoonful. Tastes a little different.

 “Are you using a different soup recipe?” I ask my wife.

 “No,” she says, “same as always.”

 Well, I thought, maybe it’s just me.

 “This soup has no taste to it,” one of our sons said.

 “I don’t know. It’s my usual recipe,” my wife said. And she went into the kitchen to check. And we all went on eating our soup.

 When she returned, she had a very sheepish look on her face. “Um, I’m going to take your bowls back to the kitchen now. It seems I forgot something.”

 “What?” someone asked.

 “Um,” she said, “I forgot to put in the soup.”

 The soup? Then what were we eating? It turns out that, in the interest of time, she had made her favorite instant soup recipe. Except she forgot to put the soup mix in the soup. So, the whole family, gathered for this fine holiday feast, had just eaten piping bowls of hot water.

 “Well,” her mother said. “I just thought it needed a little salt.”

Mothers do that. Especially when mothers-in-law are seated at the same table.

 But forgive and forget. On to Thanksgiving. The turkey came out of the oven golden and crisp. Just the way we liked it. Normally, it would be cut with a long carving knife. But my wife, wanting to show off more of her skills in the kitchen, broke out the electric knife that someone had given us as a wedding present. What a perfect day to try new technology.

 While everyone chatted, my wife asked me to come into the kitchen to help. “I just need you to hold up the drumstick so I can cut it off,” she said. Seemed like an easy enough job. So I grabbed the drumstick and held on tight. The next sound I heard was the rumbling of the knife. And then an “Oh no” from my wife. I had a strange sensation in my index finger, so I looked down. Everything was bright red. The electric knife had slipped off of the drumstick and right into my index finger. On this day of turkeys, I was bleeding like a pig.

 I grabbed my finger and ran into the bathroom, hoping it wouldn’t fall off on the way. I used a trick I had seen on “ER.” Lots of compression. And that brought out lots of blood.

 “What’s going on in there?” a voice boomed from the dining room. It was my mother. The soup thing was bad enough. But we just didn’t want her to find out that my wife had gored me.

 “Nothing,” I said, “Nothing wrong here. Just had to wash my hands.”

 “You were cutting a turkey with dirty hands?” she yelled.

 “No, no,” I said, “I just got a little something on it.” Yeah, like a pint of plasma.

 We quickly put a bandage on my hand, and I kept it in my pocket for the rest of the meal. And no one found out.

 When the turkey finally got to the table, my mother said, “It looks very tasty. And I like how you put some cranberry sauce right on the skin.”

 My wife and I just looked at each other. Yeah, that red stuff. Sure, that’s cranberry sauce. The O-positive brand.

November 2015
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