In addition to his couch-coaching commitments, he will also attempt to help me prepare the holiday feast. If all goes according to his plan, he will be able to help with the cooking, eat The Big Meal and take The Big Nap without missing even a second of the Thanksgiving Day Foootball-a-thon.
At 9 am, 37 takes his position in front of the television set where he begins gently stretching his thumbstrings in preparation for some serious football spectator skills, such as olive-to-mouth tossing, pull-tab popping and rapid-fire remote controlling.
I’m in the kitchen preparing the dressing and making the usual holiday decisions about whether to stuff the turkey in the fridge or the one on the couch.
By 10 am, after I have everything chopped, cleaned, peeled, and stuffed, Father Football dashes into the kitchen (during one of the longer commercials) and, assuming an air of authority, lifts lids and asks pertinent questions such as:
“Are these nuts or what?” and “How much Longer?”
He then grabs a cold refreshment with one hand and nimbly plugs in the electric knife with the other and toddles back to the couch, secure in the knowledge that he has been a valuable team player in the outcome of the big game hen.
Of course, after expending all this energy, it is not surprising that 37 is a no-show when it comes to getting out the good china and setting the table.
After all, too much activity at this critical point in the day could cause 37′s blood sugar level to plummet — zapping him of his much needed cork-popping strength at The Big Meal.
At 1 pm, I summon You Know Who to the kitchen so that he can perform “The Dad Thing” –which is to get the turkey from the oven to the counter without 1) dropping the patient on the floor and 2) getting third-degree burns on his free hand — the one not holding the refreshment.
Then with the precision of a tree surgeon, 37 carefully carves the turkey while I get the rest of the food ready and call everyone to the table.
About the time the potatoes are cold and the Jello is warm, 37 emerges from the kitchen proudly displaying a delectable platter of turkey parts arranged in the famous football wing formation.
This duly impresses the relatives and they applaud while the children at the card table perform the wave.
For the first time all day, the television set is turned off, Thanksgiving dinner is served and the family shares the warmth o fellowship in collective turkey gobbling.
The culmination of hours of planning, shopping and cooking is consumed in a matter of minutes and as 37 returns to his post (with dessert), he assures me he will be assisting in the clean up of The Big Mess . . . just as soon as he awakens from The Big Nap, that is.
Until next time . . . I love you