Monday, November 21, 2011

Turkey Day with the Neighbor Man

So, I've finally cemented my Thanksgiving Day plans, minions.  And, wouldn't you know it, but I'm spending the afternoon dining with the Neighbor Man and his family.  Now, some of you fun folks may remember the Neighbor Man from Monday Funday posts of old, but if you don't, or for those of you that are new to this little corner of Hell, you can get the Neighbor Man details here, here, and here.

When the invite came to spend this joyous holiday with the Neighbor Man, I readily agreed.  It has been a few months since I've seen him, because even though I call him the Neighbor Man, he does not live next door but a good forty-minute drive away.  After hanging up with his wife, my mother called.  During the course of our conversation, she asked me what I was doing for T-day, and I filled her in on my invite to the Neighbor Man's house.

She grew very quiet for a second in which I feared that my phone had somehow dropped her call.  Then, she took a deep breath, and asked in a voice on the verge of riotous laughter, "Are you sure that's a good idea?  Don't you remember what he did to the turkey the last time he wanted to cook Thanksgiving dinner?"

And, it all came flooding back, peeps.  The thoughtfully prepared place settings.  The wonderful aromas of holiday food wafting through the house.  The cranberries.  The stuffing.  The potatoes.  The dinner rolls.  The green bean casserole.

And the turkey, that we were all too afraid to eat.

You see, minions.  Back then, Neighbor Man worked for Generous Motors, and in addition to the top dollar pay, excellent benefits package, and cushy hours, the company also gave its employees a free turkey the day before Thanksgiving every year.  Great idea, right?  Of course.  But, in Neighbor Man's hands, it was just another day of hijinks and shenanigans.

Because the turkey came to him completely frozen.  This is where things went from normal to slightly left of center.  Oh, who am I kidding? It was down-right weird, even by Neighbor Man standards.

Neighbor Man came straight to our house after work, walking through the door with a wide grin plastered across his face, and the turkey tucked under one arm like it was a fifteen pound football.  He sat down at the table and placed the turkey in front of him.

"What's the turkey for, Neighbor Man?"  Dad asked.

"Instructions say it has to be thawed a day to a day in a half in advance," he responded, seriously.  "I figure it'll thaw out better if it's with me."  He then proceeded to put the turkey inside his coat and zip it closed. 

No one ever argues with the Neighbor Man's logic.

Shortly there after, Mom, Dad and the Neighbor Man all decided to go out for a little night on the town.  It was the day before a holiday after all, which meant Dad had the next day off.  Why not have some fun?  So, off they went.  Mom.  Dad.  Neighbor Man...and the turkey.

What happened next I only ever heard about, since my brother and I were too young to be included in the barhopping.  Suffice it to say, I heard tell of many crimes against turkey happening that night.  Turkey beatings.  Turkey massages.  Wrapping the turkey up in Neighbor Man's coat, WITH Neighbor Man in it too.  More turkey beatings. 

At long last, someone mentioned to Neighbor Man that perhaps the best way to thaw said turkey was to take it home and put it in a pot of cold water overnight.  Neighbor Man, at his wits end with frozen turkey, took this advice, and yes the bird was thawed in time for cooking.  But, with all the trauma inflicted upon said turkey, no one could bring themselves to eat the bird.  And, we never let Neighbor Man host Thanksgiving dinner again.

Will I go over to Neighbor Man's house for dinner this year?  Of course!  ...er...but I might have a few questions for him as to how the bird was prepared before I dig into the feast.  I've got my fingers crossed that Neighbor Man's wife cooked the meal this year.