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Thanksgiving turkey with a side of aspirin

Fried RiceHeidi Rice

“So, what do you want to do for Thanksgiving?” I asked husband-head as I sat at the kitchen table preparing my grocery shopping list for the holiday.”Watch football, of course,” husband-head replied, as if it was an incredibly stupid question. “It is a football holiday, you know.”Yes, dear, it has nothing to do with a peaceful meeting between the pilgrims and the Indians. Unbeknownst to many people the Thanksgiving tradition started back in 1621 when the Patriots and the Chiefs sat down together to give thanks for a brown pigskin ball …”Do you want to have anyone for dinner?” I continued.”No, turkey will be just fine,” husband-head informed me. “Besides, we don’t want to have a repeat of last year’s little Thanksgiving incident.”The previous year, we had invited several good friends over for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. The men watched football in the living room while the women worked in the kitchen.Just shortly before sitting down to dinner, however, one of the guys, Jack, complained that he had a headache and asked if I had any aspirin.Harried by all the activity and trying to get things together, I rushed into the bathroom and grabbed a bottle of extra-strength aspirin.”Here,” I said, giving him two caplets. “These should make you feel better.”Jack returned to watching football, but I noticed he was a little bleary-eyed when we called everyone to the table a little while later. About 15 minutes into the dinner, Jack became noticeably not right.”Hey man, you OK?” husband-head chided him. “You don’t look so good, buddy.”Jack’s face was pale and he had a weird expression on his face. As we chatted and ate, someone soon nudged me and pointed to the end of the table.Jack was face down in his mashed potatoes.”I think I’ll take him home,” his wife quickly decided, holding her husband by the hair to keep his head out of the plate.The couple left without finishing their meal.”Wow, I know there’s something in turkey that makes you sleepy after dinner, but I’ve never seen anyone go to sleep in their dinner,” husband-head said after they’d gone.”Yeah, that was strange,” I agreed.Then I had a startling thought and rushed into the bathroom. I looked at the bottle where I’d gotten the aspirin and my worst fears were confirmed.”Uh, I think I know what was wrong with Jack,” I confessed to husband-head, as I came out holding the bottle. “I think I gave him some strong painkillers instead of aspirin. … “In my haste, I’d grabbed a bottle of leftover pain pills from some dental surgery I’d had months before as the container looked very similar to the aspirin bottle.”Oh my God, no wonder he was so out of it,” husband-head said, horrified. “You gave me half of one of those pills for my back that one time and I was out for an entire day. And I’m a lot bigger than he is!”I called Jack’s house to let them know what I’d done and to see if he was alright.”Oh he’s fine,” his wife informed me. “He’s just sleeping.”More than 24 hours later, Jack called us back, having just woken up.”Do you people always drug your dinner guests?” he asked with a laugh. “Do me a favor – please don’t invite us over again.”I felt horrible.”Jack, I am so sorry,” I apologized. “Are you OK? I honestly try not to poison my dinner guests – at least not before dessert.””Yeah, I’m alright,” he assured me. “At least my headache is gone. But I’m kind of thinking of suing you …”So this year, husband-head and I have decided to have a quiet little Thanksgiving with just the two of us.”Why don’t I just get one of those little boneless turkey breasts,” I suggested, still trying to figure out how to make a Thanksgiving dinner for only two people.Just then the phone rang.”It’s Jack!” I hissed to husband-head, putting my hand over the mouthpiece. “He wants to know if we want to come over for Thanksgiving dinner!”Husband-head and I both exchanged looks of surprise.”Yeah sure,” husband-head finally relented. “Tell him we’ll bring the aspirin. … “Heidi Rice is the Rifle correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.Heidi Rice is the Rifle correspondent for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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