Every year when families get together sooner or later the conversation always comes around to funny Thanksgiving memories. You’re sitting around the table, stuffed to the gills, and somebody starts, “Remember the time….” Pretty soon you’re laughing out loud and jumping all over each other, telling your favorite stories — stories that may not have been funny when they were happening but are hysterical in the retelling.

Remember the time…?

What are your favorite funny Thanksgiving memories? Was it the year cousin Jack decided to deep fry the turkey? The cooker turned over, and the oil caught fire and burned a path that almost reached the porch. “Yep. That’s the last time we had Thanksgiving dinner at Jack’s house. He burned up the bird and we had take-out fried chicken for dinner.”

“I was there. It’s lucky he didn’t burn down the house. That patch of grass never did grow back.”

The time you heard the last you ever expected to hear?

“Well, Eula finally shot Bert,” said Aunt Bett in the middle of dinner. And eating came to a stop. Forks hung midway between plates and mouths. “Well, you all know how she’s put up with his meanness all these years. But she caught him carrying on with that waitress it was too much. She shot him. He needed shootin’.”

“Where is she now?”

“She’s home. The police knew he needed shootin’. Everybody knew it. Anyway, Eula didn’t set out to kill him — just to wing him to get his attention. It straightened him right out.”

The uncle who had a way of saying things that made them funny?

Daddy jumped in. “I have to tell you what Harley’s done now. He caught some skunks and he’s decided to keep them as pets — built cages for them right outside the kitchen window. I suppose the smell won’t bother them. Harley’s just nasty. Just think of those poor little skunks.

“If Berthel ever wants to kill him, all she’ll have to do is wash him. Dirt, sweat, and tobacco spit are all that’s holding the man together. Wash him and he’d go right down the drain – dirt, grease, spit, and all!

The feisty and outspoken aunt you loved to egg on?

Did you have an aunt who was feisty and outspoken and you loved to push the buttons that would get her going on a rant? We had Aunt Gloria and her sister-in-law was the button. You’d only have to say something like, “By the way, I was in New York and saw Rita. She said you should call her.”

“Rita! Why should she call me? I never liked her. She was sour. I was popular. I had boyfriends. I went out. She couldn’t get a date. She couldn’t even get a date for her prom. Her brother had to pay my brother to take her. Everett wouldn’t do it unless he got a new suit. And there’s always something wrong with her. To hear her tell it she’s been at death’s door for the past fifty years…. And, honestly, I never liked her. She never smiled. That’s why she couldn’t get a date. Don’t give her my phone number. Tell her I’m dead.”

Ninety-something and still a pistol?

Aunt Gloria didn’t stop wearing her six-inch heels until she was ninety-something. And she wasn’t happy about it even then. That Thanksgiving her daughter was the target. “Linda thinks I’m old. She made me give away my high heels.”

She held her hands to bring attention to her dress. “Linda picked out this dress. She thinks I’m old. I don’t like it. It’s drab. I don’t know why she picks out dull colors for me. I like bright colors. She buys dull colors — like she’s getting ready to bury me. I put a scarf with it so people don’t think I’m dead and bury me.”

And still dancing…

The last time we had Thanksgiving at Aunt Gloria’s house. Somebody brought her a Frank Sinatra record. “I have that one already,” was the first thing she said. “But it’s okay. Mine is scratched. Come in here. I’ll play it. She put it on the record player, cranked up the volume as high as it would go, and said, ‘Well, come on! Get up and dance with me.’ I did. She led. When it was over, I said, ‘Aunt Gloria, you’ve still got it!’

She winked. “You bet I do!”

What are your favorite funny Thanksgiving memories?

I hope my stories remind you of stories your family tells when you’re sitting around the table, stuffed to the gills. What are your stories that start with, “Remember the time….”? and end up with everybody laughing out loud?

I wish you a happy and peaceful day, more funny Thanksgiving memories,  and lots of laughing. 


November 24, 2022