22 Nov



Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and for an Englishman like myself it’s rather like a second Christmas. Just like Christmas except no presents, no guy in a red suit in need of a twelve step weight loss program, and no reindeer;  but apart from that exactly like Christmas! I know the  story now by heart . My kids jolt my memory  every year when they come home from school with their pictures of Pocahontas, wearing their chicken feather headdresses and lipstick war paint. Pilgrims surviving in the wilderness for a year on nothing but Turkey, pumpkin pie and stuffing. God knows how they did it? One would think that after a year of high carbs they would be ready for a change in diet. Although given the amount of energy produced by those repetitive carbs it’s little  wonder they were so industrious.

Growing up in England we only saw Turkey once a year. Turkey was for Christmas with no exceptions, at least that was the case in our household. Very occasionally we would maybe have a Turkey breast for Easter but that was truly  an exception and worthy of an Easter miracle and a visit from the Pope. My father would reminisce over past Christmases when goose and rabbit were the normal fare, which quite frankly sounds pretty good. Natural, not stuffed to the gills with additives and growth hormone. I never heard of anybody falling immediately asleep after eating rabbit, quite the opposite actually. Nothing like a dose of mixamatosis to get one in the mood!

But thanksgiving is more than just a chance for me to gorge myself on Turkey and drink beer until it comes out of my ears. It’s a time for family amusement and in our house that means WAR! Not War exactly, but the table game RISK. This is when we all get the chance to become fireside generals, arm-chair strategist and do or utmost  to annihilate and humiliate our closest family members. There is nothing like defeating the red army and seeing the tears well up in your daughters eyes. After all war is hell! Carefully cradling the cards against ones chest only to reproduce them at the most opportune moment. A card from each suit which will maximize the number of replenishment armies and allow one to storm down through Thailand, down through Indonesia, and obliterate the black army attempting to defend Australia. Die you bastards die…… the roll of each successive die elevating the anguish and frustration in my son to the point where he grabs the world and throws the pieces around the room. Total and utter defeat. Plus and early bed for unsportsmanlike behavior………..got to have rules you know. Home life would be chaos without rules. How else could one maintain order and control without strict adherence to that which helps to make my life a little easier.

Family fun.

On a couple of occasions we have ventured into Monopoly however there is always a run on the bank, excessive amounts of underhanded dealing and unsolicited fondling of the community chest.  Has anybody noticed the banker always wins? Wait a minute that’s real life not monopoly!! Sophia my daughter is always the banker and has been for a number of years. Luckily education and lots of prompting has helped her numeracy. Now when we ask for change for a twenty we no longer receive two one hundred-dollar bills and a fifty. There is a lot to be said for keeping your kids dumb and I miss the old numerically ignorant days. Now she has a keen eye on the coin and is not blindsided by the extra cards secreted under the board. Lost innocence and a fondness for earlier days when hoodwinking your kids for fake cash and none existent property was so much easier.

Does anybody remember simpler  times when the only game in the house was the one on the back of the cornflake packet? Snakes and ladders or Ludo or some derivation there off. Taking the scissors and cutting carefully around the lines to insure that the game wasn’t hacked into a thousand pieces before it could even be played. And that stupid dice thing- the six-sided paper die which you stuck a match through the middle of and then span when it was your turn. The corn-flake game, apart from the key and fishbowl game your parents played with the neighbors, was the only distraction in the house. Why would your dad spend good money when there was free fun to be had on the back of the box. Who needs plastic when there was  paper?

God it was shit!!

But I digress…….

You can stick austerity where the sun doesn’t shine. As long as there is cash in the pocket there will be a Turkey on the table.

As future ruler of South America and Australasia I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.


One Response to “RISKY BUSINESS”

  1. Colin James I-10 Blog November 23, 2010 at 10:33 am #

    you forgot to add the bit about how bad of a sport you are when you lose…and that we have to play another game as soon as possible for you to get your revenge!

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