The Four Passover Questions – Thanksgiving 2020 Edition

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency requested submissions that reflected how surreal Thanksgiving will be this year. I submit, but sadly my piece was not accepted. I worked hard on it though, and it’s timely, so I figured I’d stick it up on Afthead for grins. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Hold on sweetie.  Let mommy light the candles.  Go wash your hands, then you can ask the questions. 

How is this Thanksgiving different from all other Thanksgivings?

I’m glad you asked, young child. This Thanksgiving is different from all other Thanksgivings in every way imaginable.  Our health is being threatened by a virus; our democracy is being endangered by the current fascist-curious administration; racists, bigots and misogynists are swarming out of their bunkers; murder hornets are apparently a thing; and Alex Trebek died (he’s Canadian, but we still were thankful for him and mourn his loss). 

Now, you may ask your four questions as this question was a meta-question and does not count against your quota. 

Mommy drinks a glass of wine.

On all other Thanksgivings we eat turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.  Why on this Thanksgiving do we eat only mashed potatoes?

I’m glad you asked, young child.  On all other Thanksgivings, the meal is a communal endeavor.  Family members brings their individual talents to each dish’s preparation.  Mommy is excellent at making mashed potatoes, so I make mashed potatoes every year.  Grandma makes the stuffing and Grandpa sticks that sausage-y goodness into the body cavity of a turkey and bakes it up golden using his magical paper bag trick. 

Did you notice Daddy wasn’t mentioned in the “meal preparation talent” list?  Yet he thought he could handle the Thanksgiving turkey.  But, since he neglected to take the plastic bag of giblets out of the turkey before putting it in the oven, now both the turkey and Mommy’s pathetic attempt at stuffing are ruined.  (No, we didn’t notice the bag when we were stuffing the turkey, because putting your hand in there is gross.  We didn’t dig around exploring.)  What are giblets you ask?   Turkey guts.  No, that question doesn’t count against your four-question limit.  

Mommy drinks a glass of wine

On all other Thanksgivings we eat sweet potatoes with marshmallows.  Why on this Thanksgiving are there only marshmallows? 

I’m glad you asked, young child.  This Thanksgiving, we do not eat sweet potatoes, because they remind us of the unnatural hue of our president.  We refuse to even hint at accepting his totalitarian regime by enjoying the sweetness of the orange potato. 

We eat marshmallows because of our recent realization that our family enjoys an unhealthy amount of white privilege.  The eating of the marshmallows symbolizes the destruction of all squishy white racists – McConnell, Pence, and Graham to name a few.  The sickness we feel after eating an entire bag of marshmallows reminds us that too much whiteness is largely responsible for the mess our country is in right now.    

Mommy drinks a glass of wine.

On all other Thanksgivings, we don’t have any dips.  Why do we have two dips this Thanksgiving?

Did you have to ask, young child?  Can you not smell the burnt plastic?  Mommy and daddy are not adult enough to pull off a real Thanksgiving.  While essential grocery store workers are at the store today, they are getting COVID at a frightening rate, so we don’t want to risk their lives by rushing out and buying another dinner that we would probably ruin anyway.  We made do.  We are like the fucking pilgrims, with no native Americans to bail us out. 

Yes, fucking is a bad word.  I’m sorry.  But you LOVE French onion and fake cheese dip.  Why are you complaining? 

Yes, firemen are also essential workers, which is why we didn’t let daddy fry the turkey.  No, hon, it wouldn’t have worked better that way, you just would have fried the damn bag of giblets. 

Mommy drinks a glass of wine

On all other Thanksgivings we sit upright at the dining room table, surrounded by friends and family.  Why on this night are we alone reclining in front of the television?

I’m SO glad you asked, young child.  This year it’s just our little family for Thanksgiving, because infecting grandma and grandpa and aunts and uncles and cousins and friends with COVID might ruin our chance to spend future holidays together.  Reclining alone in our living room shows our despondence at society’s collective failure to protect each other, and listening to our friends Troy Aikman and Joe Buck commentate the Cowboys game is the closest thing to adult conversation we….

What?  Ohmygosh, yes.  We want COVID to pass over our family, just like we learned at Zoom Passover this spring.  Wow, you were really paying attention.  No, sweetie, you don’t need to paint blood on our door.  This is a different kind of plague.  No, I don’t think there will be any frogs.  I’m sorry I know you love frogs.  Shhhh.  I’m sad and scared too.  Here, eat another marshmallow.  

Mommy pours a fifth glass of wine.

Is this cup of wine for Elijah?  I don’t think Elijah comes to Thanksgiving.  Well sure, you can open the door, just in case.  Guess what? Question quota is full.  Mommy is all done.  Let’s have some pie.  Yes, I’m sure Elijah likes pie. 

Photo by Rebecca Freeman on Unsplash

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