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When Murphy's Law Hosts Thanksgiving

The title says it all. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Anne and Tom had a disastrous Thanksgiving, the worst one ever. Or did they? Their retelling of the events of that day is one we can all relate to, or at least--laugh at.

There was no other way to put it; the kitchen, no let’s be honest, the entire house was a sea of destruction that rivaled only Sodom and Gomorrah. Anne wondered if turning into a pillar of salt wouldn’t in fact be so bad after all. It would certainly save her from dealing with her house on the day after the Thanksgiving of all Thanksgivings.

Murphy’s law was the guest of honor at this year’s celebration, and it did not disappoint. Anne looked at her poor oven, martyred on the day of what was to be its crowning glory. The oven door was open and based on the looks of the inside, it had utterly and completely given up on life.

Anne grabbed a towel and some cleaning products, looked at the oven again and that’s when her laughing started. And once she got started, she couldn’t stop. She giggled, cackled, guffawed, snickered, and repeated the whole series all over again. She was laughing so hard the tears were streaming down her face. She was so far gone that she didn’t hear her husband Tom walk into the kitchen with his cup of coffee in hand, who was wondering if she had, in fact, lost her ever-loving mind.

“Umm, honey, is everything alright? Are you okay?” Tom asked.

Anne stopped and looked at him and his face, and only managed to nod her head before another round of hysterical laughter erupted from her core. She took a deep breath and wiped her eyes.

“Take a look at this place, and everything we went through yesterday. Could anyone, in the farthest reaches of their imagination, have possibly conjured up the comedy of errors we endured yesterday?” Anne said.

Tom took a long sip from his cup and placed it down. He took in the state of their abode, and said unequivocally, “No, I guess not.” The corner of his mouth started to twitch and lift upward. Unable to contain it any longer, he let out a hearty laugh.

“First the turkey you had said was thawed, was frozen all the way through. One solid poultry rock,” Anne began.

“Yep, and well, at least I had enough sense to not fry a frozen bird.”

“Then the two cherry pies exploded in the oven, caking the whole thing, in an eerie resemblance to a gory horror film.”

“At the looks of things this morning, our efforts to triage that massacre did not turn out so well,” Tom said.

“But then we had to focus on the sides. Telling ourselves that Thanksgiving is really only about the sides anyway.”

“Until Mark showed up with his new vegan girlfriend. And didn’t bother to tell us about her dietary preferences in advance.”

“Poor thing. The only thing she could’ve eaten was the cranberry sauce. Everything else was meat, marinated in meat, baked with eggs, or coated in butter,” Anne said.

“Well, it turned out that didn’t really matter either. The stove stopped working not long after the oven exploded, leaving only the microwave and slow cooker as viable options.”

“No one was going to wait six to eight hours for a slow cooked alternative,” Anne said, shaking her head.

“We left the kitchen in this state of post-apocalyptic disaster to lead our people to the promised land of the local Chinese restaurant.”

“But hey, they did have vegan options.”

“And a delightful choice of entrees,” Tom added.

“Though when your mother went to park, backed up into the curb, went up onto the grass median, and back down to the parking spot on the other side—I thought nothing else is going to top this day.”

“Until she got out and said ‘Well I’ll be. If that ain’t the largest speed bump I ever saw.’ And casually walked into the restaurant without a care in the world.”

“I admit that I let out a prayer of thanks that the median was the only collateral damage,” Anne said.

“I know you did. I heard you say under your beath, ‘Dear Lord! Jesus take the wheel, the car, the parking lot, and anyplace else that woman thinks about getting to using two or more wheels.’” Tom replied.

“Oh you heard that, did you?” Anne asked, biting her lip and smiling mischievously.

“Sure did, I think I said something similar. Internally of course,” Tom said.

“Well, I suppose it turned out better in the end that how it started. Unless you’re the oven or within twenty feet of the kitchen.”

“It may not have went as planned, but we were all able to come together, sit at one long row of conjoined tables, and eat…poultry. Maybe not the species of poultry we had intended, but chicken and turkey are somewhat…close,” Tom said.

“And Mark’s girlfriend was able to have more than what would have been available at our house. I swear he could have at least given me a heads up. I felt awful! But you’re right. We were able to gather together. And in the end it doesn’t matter if it’s in a different place, or with non-traditional food, or if the unexpected, in all its different forms—is the true guest of honor.”

“I have a feeling we’ll never forget this Thanksgiving. It definitely won’t fade into all the other years of holiday dinners.”

“Amen to that!” Anne exclaimed.

“How about we go grab some breakfast, just you and me. And then we can come back and work together on cleaning up this..this…” Tom stammered, motioning to the kitchen and surrounding area.

“This carnage?” Anne said, completing his sentence for him.

“I was trying not to be so brutal, but yes.”

“Breakfast sounds lovely, though maybe we could avoid any red jams and jellies? I don’t want to be reminded of anything remotely resembling cherry pie filling.”

Anne and Tom went out to breakfast that morning and asked only for grape jam, not strawberry or raspberry. That Thanksgiving was the one they would always treasure, and it turned out their guests did too. For years and years, they would reminisce on the holiday sponsored by Murphy’s law. And without fail, whenever they did, the room would fill with laughter and a toast to the twists, turns, and speed bumps of life.

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