Hello, hello. The Consort here gliding effortlessly mikeside to dazzle and baffle you whilst The (lovely and talented) Princess ponders the Thanksgiving menu. I thought it might be instructive to review the rules for that great family tradition: The Thanksgiving Day Backyard Touch Football Game. While I put my coaches whistle on please focus your attention on the chalkboard here at the front of the room. Ready? Let’s go!
1. The playing field is whatever size and shape you decide. Convenient end zone markers could be a flower pot, tricycle, deflated basketball and your drunken Uncle Fred. It’s likely the flower pot will move before Uncle Fred.
2. Mom gets to be quarterback. Remember this rule: Those who cook get to call the shots. Don’t dispute it or you will be relegated to the kiddie table with a bowl of Fruit Loops for your meal.
3. No chop blocks to the knees. Come on, folks. This isn’t the NFL or even a Division III game. No matter how tempting it might be to take out your obnoxious brother-in-law with a brutal low block you must resist the temptation.
4. Anybody with any organized football experience must be a blocker. We don’t care about that one high school game in which you ran 35 yards for the only touchdown you ever scored in your life. You’re 57 years old – move on.
5. Catching a pass with one hand and not spilling the beer in your other hand is worth six bonus points.
6. Pass rushers must first count out loud “One Mississippi – Two Mississippi – Three Mississippi” and then do the Hokey-Pokey before taking off after the quarterback. Failing to do so will result in seating at the kiddie table sharing a bowl of Fruit Loops with the knucklehead who questioned Mom’s authority.
7. If you wear a tie you are fair game for whatever punishment might occur.
8. Post-touchdown endzone celebrations are encouraged. The more choreographed the better. But if someone breaks into the finale of “Riverdance” there will be an automatic penalty of having to spend two minutes in the “Box of Shame”. This box is the front porch where Grandma will regale the guilty with her stories of great family Thanksgiving games from the past.
9. Children are encouraged to play. Whenever a child begins to cry all the adults in the game must either drink a beer or glass of wine, whichever is at hand. Unless the child is injured, in which case the game will be adjourned to cluster around the child and encourage the poor thing to “rub some dirt on it”, “play through the pain”, “suck it up” or any one of those inane statements football coaches are known for saying.
10. Take a moment during the game to stop and look around. This is your family. They might be crazy sometimes but they are yours. Be thankful for them every single day of your life.
And we are thankful for all of you. The Princess and I wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll visit us on Monday for our fabled “Pink & Green Monday“. We’ll have great savings and you won’t be exposed to some maniac who has spent the last six days sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk so they can be first in line for the bargains.
Thanks for sharing your time with me. The Princess will return tomorrow. Remember to take care of your waitperson because they’re working hard for you today. Good night, everybody!