Bah, humbug to this year’s turkey

Family Man



There will be no turkey this Christmas.

My side of the family usually serves manicotti for Christmas. And my wife knows it. But before we get to Christmas, let’s go back to Thanksgiving.

A couple days before, my wife brought up how she saw a tow truck towing . . . a tow truck. And she laughed hysterically. No one else found the irony of the incident as funny as she did. In fact, one friend was annoyed she found it funny at all.

“Did you laugh?” the friend asked me.

“Yeah,” I answered.

“You laughed out loud?” she pressed on.

“Well, I didn’t guffaw,” I said. “But I chuckled.”

“So it wasn’t a true LOL moment,” she made me confirm, shutting down my wife for good.



I felt bad, like I wasn’t supporting my wife.

And that’s how I ended up volunteering to cut up vegetables for a Thanksgiving feast to feed the homeless. My wife, a teacher, loves public service. I have nothing against it. I just usually don’t end up doing it.

So I’d not only join my wife and support her in her extracurricular activities as retribution for taking her friend’s side and not hers, but I’d also help the homeless.

I’d just gotten off work and considered going home to change my clothes, but I knew I’d only be cutting vegetables—how messy could that be?

Turkey. There were no vegetables to be cut. There was only turkey to tear apart. Over 100 turkeys!

I won’t go into the gory details because this is a family-friendly column, but the volume of turkey meat, the smell of the turkey meat and the ripping of the turkey meat . . . I’ve explained too much already.

Four hours later, and turkey juice and odor all over the clothes I should’ve changed before showing up, and I loved turkey no more. My wife and our 14-year-old son, who was also dragged into this thing, were equally as done with turkey as I was. Even with Thanksgiving a day away, the three of us considered becoming vegetarians.

On the big turkey day, I imagined the homeless appreciating all the meat we prepared for them. But we didn’t appreciate the bird at our feast. We moved it around our plates, tucked it under scraps of food, and in the end, we buried it with our fifth and sixth helpings of stuffing we didn’t need and couldn’t finish. Finally, we topped it with our napkins and told the hosts of the meal that everything was delicious.

And that brings us back to the present day in the home of my wife’s aunt and uncle.

Her uncle, a novice chef who’s preparing turkey for the family Christmas dinner this year, was more than thrilled to share with us his excitement for smoking a 25-pound bird this time around.

“What do you think of that?” he asked me.

Sounded terrible.

“Yum!” I said. “Sounds great!”

My wife shot me a look. She needed me to get us out of another outing with turkey.

“But we were planning to host Christmas this year for my side of the family,” I told him. “So we won’t be able to try it.”

Evidently, that wasn’t what she had in mind. Hosting Christmas dinner is expensive. She shot me another look.

“ Nothing’s set in stone, though,” I said. “We can cancel our plans. There’s nothing we’d want more than a big, juicy, smoked turkey, and tons of it.”

That tore it. My wife was seeing pictures of a giant, smelly bird, and she told her uncle that we were really going to my cousin’s house for Christmas. She’s not above inviting herself.

As soon as my cousin returns her call and officially invites us, my wife will no longer be a liar.

So there will be no turkey this Christmas. As I pointed out previously—my side of the family usually serves manicotti for Christmas.

And my wife knows it.

Email Michael Picarella at To read more of his stories, pick up his book, “Everything Ever After,” at

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