Thanksgiving Dinner

At first, Thanksgiving seemed completely normal. The women cooked bread, potatoes, and pies; the men watched football and joked about the women cooking. As usual, Aunt Dora arrived last, turkey in hand, whimsical grin on her face. The table was set by the three youngest children, a family tradition dating back many generations (originally a punishment, now a game). The adults sat tallest to shortest at the big table. The kids sat fattest to skinniest at the little table. Grandma prayed while grandpa stuck his fingers in his ears. It was all completely normal.

The first sign that things may not have been completely normal was the resounding clunk the carving knife made when it struck Aunt Dora's turkey. "It sounds metal!" screamed precocious little Josie, astutely observant at the age of 5. "Not metal, stupid, metallic," corrected her older, grumpier brother. The adults continued their conversations as if nothing was out of the ordinary, but they stole suspicious glances at the turkey as they talked. Grandpa, tried again to carve the turkey, but was met again with resistance and a thud. He pulled the knife up into the air and in unison everyone at the tables shouted, "By golly!"

The formerly sharp and shiny knife was now bent and mangled into a nearly unrecognizable heap. The eyes at the tables shifted back and forth between the knife and the turkey while Grandpa tried in vain to straighten out the knife. At last, it was aggressive cousin Connie who decided to be proactive. She stood up, grabbed the turkey off the plate and threw it at the wall. The instant it hit the wall, her mother began to admonish her for making a mess, the children began cheering to reward her heroism, and turkey began to walk away.

"I was robbed," squealed Aunt Dora, tears streaming down her face, "That turkey cost me $21.50 and it barely seems edible". As her sisters comforted her, the kids began chasing the turkey around the house. By now, the prim and proper neighbors who scoffed at the idea of canned cranberries and didn't let unruly relatives attend their solemn holiday gatherings had taken out their opera binoculars and begun watching the chaos unfold.

Not surprisingly, it was Connie who finally caught the turkey. Just to be on the safe side, the other kids piled on top of Connie to make sure the turkey didn't escape. Slowly, cautiously, but not fearfully, the kids stepped back and looked at what Connie held in her bruised hands. "A rowboat" said an excited Josie. "Moron, it's a robot" stated her increasingly annoying brother.

"A ROBOT!" everyone screamed and jumped up and down. Aunt Dora wondered if this was some kind of "prank". Grandpa went off in search of high-powered magnets. The neighbors rolled their eyes and went back to eating.

Then, Connie tore off a piece of the quieted robot and put it in her mouth. "Mmmmm!" she proclaimed. She stood up, placed the turkey in the middle of the table and sat back down in her spot. Following her example, all of the other people at the table also took their seats and systematically began passing the potatoes, the canned cranberries, the stuffing, and then the robot turkey. "You know what I'm thankful for?" asked Aunt Dora. "I'm thankful that robot turkeys taste so delicious". Everyone nodded in agreement.