This Thursday…

“I want to welcome everyone back to Thanksgiving. It’s great to see you all —”

“Wait. Grandpa?”

“Yes?”

“Can you pull up your mask?”

“Uh … all right, it’s just a little hard to breathe …”

“Leave him be, Allison.”

“Germs are germs. And with the baby-”

“He’s 7, Allison.”

“Shut up, Ricky.”

“It’s all right, kids. I’ll pull the mask up. Now …mxphhtg grfft akkt yrttll.

“CAN’T UNDERSTAND YOU!”

“Whfft?”

“He can’t talk with that thing.”

“He looks like a bank robber.”

“Robby, why don’t you start? You’re the oldest son.”

“All right. Let’s begin with a prayer.”

“Wait. Who are we praying to?”

“Who do you think, Alexis?”

“Well, I don’t believe in God.”

“Since when?”

“Since there’s no justice in the world. Haven’t you been paying attention? George Floyd? Jacob Blake? Our carbon footprint?”

“Who left a footprint? I told you all — shoes off when you come in.”

“It’s OK, Grandma.”

“Mftyll gfrftil wrzzzp!”

“What did Grandpa say?”

Pass the potatoes and the vaccine, please

“Look, I’m just saying that there’s not a lot to be thankful for this year. We live in a racist society that’s unfair to immigrants and unsafe to sexual identities.”

“Great. MSNBC is here.”

“Shut up, Fox News!”

“Kyle Rittenhouse!”

“CRT!”

“White supremacy!”

“Antifa!”

“Kids, didn’t we say no politics at the table?”

“We said no Trump at the table.”

“I thought that was last year.”

“We didn’t have Thanksgiving last year.”

“Because of COVID.”

“We shouldn’t be having it this year. Not with the babies.”

“Your kids are teenagers, Vicki. And they’re vaccinated.”

“Speaking of that, is everyone here boostered?”

“Sure’…’yes’…’of course’…’No’… ‘Yes’…’Naturally’…”

“Wait. Who said no?”

“I did.”

“Cousin George?”

“Sorry. The CVS was closed.”

“You need to sit over there.”

“Here?”

“Keep going.”

“Here?”

“Keep going.”

“I can’t see him anymore.”

“YOU CAN STOP NOW, GEORGE!”

Don’t forget what the holiday’s about

“Look, let’s just eat, OK?”

“Food looks great.”

“Is anything here vegan?”

“Since when are you vegan, Shania?”

“Since animals shouldn’t die for us, that’s when.”

“Why don’t you just move into the chicken coop?”

“Shut up, Ricky.”

“I don’t think we should indulge in all this food. Not when people in the world are starving.”

“You want us to mail it to them?”

“Guys! Guys! Can we stop fighting?”

“Who you calling guy?”

“Ok, girls and guys!”

“I prefer another pronoun.”

“Can someone switch the subject?”

“How about those Lions?”

“Great. Now I’m really depressed.”

“FMTY!”

“What’d he say?”

“FMTY!”

“Just take off the mask, Grandpa.”

“FAMILY!”

“What?…Yeah, what?…Say it again?…”

“Family! You’re all family! Listen to yourselves! You haven’t once asked how the other is doing! You haven’t once asked if you can help one another. You haven’t even asked if you’re all healthy.”

“Oh…”

“Yeah…”

“Um…”

“You all OK?”

“I’m all right … I’m OK … I had a root canal …”

“Good. We’re talking normal. Now. Can we cut the turkey?”

“Go ahead, Grandpa.”

“First, a prayer.”

“Not again —”

“Dear Lord. Please let us get through this meal without attacking each other, demeaning each other, insulting each other, asking about politics, race, sexuality, immigration, money, taxes, celebrities or Facebook sites. Can I get an amen?”

“Amen…amen…amen…yeah, amen…”

…..

“So.”

“So….”

“How about those Lions?”

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE. REMEMBER THE “THANKS” PART.

Contact Mitch Albom: malbom@freepress.com. Check out the latest updates with his charities, books and events at MitchAlbom.com. Download “The Sports Reporters” podcast each Monday and Thursday on-demand through Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify and more. Follow him on Twitter @mitchalbom.

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