The televisions are on, and the Lions are winning.

Illustration by Rose Jaffe.

We need a lot of TVs, because everyone’s here. Even Uncle Ernie. I’ve never had an Uncle Ernie, the kind of relative who’s loud, farts a lot and gets so drunk that he chucks drumsticks at you, or your dog. I’d like to have an Uncle Ernie.

The TVs are everywhere, like at Buffalo Wild Wings. There’s even one in the bathroom. Whenever the Lions intercept the ball you get excited and pee all over yourself. It’s great.

I know what you’re thinking: There’s a miniature TV in the turkey, too. Nope. There’s no turkey. Turkeys are always dry, by which I mean they taste like sand.

“Put some gravy on it,” you say, but I don’t like wet sand. It’s time we admit that turkey is blander than Ohio, where, incidentally, it was invented. No, we’re only serving the good stuff tonight: pumpkin pies, mashed potatoes and Jell-O with gummy worms inside. That’s all. Uncle Ernie has already pied the dog in the face.

Hand turkeys are still allowed, though. I haven’t made a hand turkey in at least a couple months, so we’ve got a bunch of supplies at the dinner table — construction paper, glue sticks, feathers, pens to trace your hand with, those little eyeballs that roll around. Do turkeys have eyes? They always run out in front of your car like they don’t. But everyone in Ohio does that.

We’ve got pilgrims here, too. They’re real ones, with hats and diseases and everything. They add a little authenticity to the room, even though they’re in the back scarfing down the Jell-O. So far they won’t let me try on their headgear, the ones with the big gold buckles in the middle. It makes me feel a little like the Native Americans must have felt. We give these guys Jell-O and they won’t give us some hat time? What is this?

Everyone is at the same table. I’ve been at the kid’s table for 18 years, but not tonight. The entire congregation is seated at one long medieval affair that spans the entire house. We can seat about 40 at a time, which is also the number of minutes it takes to pass the gravy. Boring talk is not allowed. This includes politics and Ohio. Everyone is talking about exciting, hip topics like hand turkeys. Also, everyone is in sweatpants and T-shirts. This is what people normally wear when they sit at home and eat, right? There’s no point in coming tactfully dressed — Uncle Ernie doesn’t even have pants on.

Grace is different, too. Giving thanks is always so humdrum, with a bunch of muttered words and bowed heads. Tonight, Uncle Ernie launches into a treatise on Scientology, and where turkeys are really from, and Grandma gets so flustered that everyone yells at Ernie to keep quiet, except Grandpa, who wants to hear more from Ernie so he can steer the conversation toward tax reform. This is when my imaginary seven year-old niece Grace stands up and says, “I can say Grace,” with a big smile, and everyone snaps at her to shut up. She cries and asks why there’s no turkey. We’re about to apologize and act like adults when the Lions lose.

OK, my Thanksgiving probably won’t turn out as interesting as that. For one thing, pilgrims are very hard to come by these days. But maybe, just maybe, could the Lions win this year?

Will Grundler is an LSA freshman.

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