The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 22, 2012

Mike Pound: Traditions abound at Thanksgiving

By Mike Pound

— A quick pillow update.

I’m writing this from my chair in our living room while watching the Houston Texans play the Detroit Lions. I like the Lions, but I picked Texas to win, and right now the Lions are winning.

The reason the chair in which I’m sitting is “my chair” is because I like to sit in it to read, and also because no one else in our house likes the chair. I’m sure there are a lot of veteran husbands out there with chairs like mine.

When I tried to sit in my chair, I discovered that my path was blocked by two pillows. One pillow was about the size of Dallas, and the other pillow was about the size of Fort Worth.

They were big pillows is what I’m saying.

Because I am a sensitive veteran husband, I grabbed both pillows and threw them on the floor.

A few minutes later, Shilo, our German shepherd, walked in the room, saw me sitting in my chair and walked over looking for a place to lie down. When she saw that the path to her lying-down spot was blocked by the Texas-sized pillows, she did what any dog would do: She walked on the pillows to get over them.

I thought that was poetic justice.

As I type this, I am trying to keep one eye on a turkey in our oven and one eye on a turkey breast smoking in our outdoor grill. I am also trying to keep one eye on the football game and one eye on this column.

Clearly, I don’t have enough eyes.

In an hour or so, we’ll probably sit down to our Thanksgiving dinner. Then, after taking 20 minutes to eat a meal that we spent 36 hours preparing, we will clean up. Then my wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law will chat, and I will find my way back to my chair to watch more football while our 14-year-old daughter, Emma, does something with her phone.

It’s a Norman Rockwell painting is what it is.

Later, we will all take a break from our personal Thanksgiving traditions and have some dessert. Then my wife, mother-in-law and sister-in-law will go back to chatting, and I will find my way back to my chair to watch more football, and Emma will go back to her phone.

Later still, we will take another break, and I will collect the now-smoked turkey breast off the outdoor grill and we will fix smoked turkey sandwiches. By then it will be dark, so we will get into the car and drive a block to the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix and go through their large Christmas light display. As always, I will drive too fast and everyone in the car will tell me to slow down, and I will even though I want to get back and watch more football.

When we get back to our house, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law will go home, and my wife, Emma and I will begin the most cherished of our cherished Thanksgiving traditions: We will pop in our DVD of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

As I type this, a number of classic “Christmas Vacation” lines are already coming to me.

Lines like “It’s not going in our yard, Russ, it’s going in our house,” or “That’s the gift that keeps on giving, Clark,” or “Merry Christmas! The (bad word) is full.”

But of all the classic “Christmas Vacation” lines, nothing compares with that timeless holiday message delivered in Clark’s heartfelt speech toward the end of the movie. And as my annual holiday gift to you., I am proud to present that speech:

“Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I’d like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people, and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye, and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, (bad word) hopeless, heartless, fat-(bad word), bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey (bad word) he is! Hallelujah! Holy (bad word)! Where’s the Tylenol?”

Happy holidays, and watch out for the pillows.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.