If you're looking for something to truly be thankful for this Thanksgiving, consider this: The first Thanksgiving feast lasted for three days. Now aside from the obvious question – how did they make it to the Black Friday after Thanksgiving Christmas sales? – consider having to spend three whole days with friends, family and two days' worth of leftovers.

While we all enjoy getting together with family and friends and stuffing our faces for a few hours, I don't think any of us would be up for a three-day marathon of togetherness, which is why we've narrowed it down to just a few hours once a year. Let's face it – we can get pretty much caught up on what's happening in everyone's lives in about the time it takes to devour a turkey and all of the trimmings.

In fact, the typical Thanksgiving dinner conversation usually goes something like this:

“Uncle Joe,” says Little Timmy, “are you really going to eat all that turkey you have on your plate? You know I read on the Internet that turkey contains something called L-Tryptophen which is a chemical that can make you sleepy and I bet if you eat all that you'll be in a coma.”

“Timmy,” Uncle Joe replies. “I read on the Internet that little boys who play in traffic grow up to be smarter, assuming they grow up at all. Why don't you go play in traffic?”

“Mom, where's Aunt Susie?”

“Aunt Susie is having Thanksgiving dinner with some new friends in Pittsburgh,” Mom replies. “About 150 of them, all dressed in orange jumpsuits.”


“Well, you see, dear, Aunt Susie was on her way to see us when she tried to board an airplane with a bowl of her famous congealed salad. Airport security tested the salad and determined that it had very similar properties to nitroglycerin so Aunt Susie will be joining us for Thanksgiving again in about 10 to 15 years.”

“Yuck! I just found somebody's teeth in my mashed potatoes.”

“Now, honey,” Mom says, “those are your Grandma's. She worked very hard for a 95-year-old woman to make those potatoes so you just eat around those, understand?”

“Michael! Lindsay! You two young people stop playing footsies under the table!”

“But Mama, I wasn't playing footsies. Honest,” says Lindsay.

“Then who …?” asks Michael as a look of horror crosses his face when he looks across the table and sees Grandma flashing a big, toothless grin.

“Now then,” asks the dinner's hostess. “Who's ready to help me clean up this mess?”


Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 201 Bishop Hall, University MS 38655 or by e-mail at

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