Thanksgiving and Covid

I’m using this app called DuoLingo that helps me study German. Today the sentence for translation was, “Meinem Hund gebe ich kein Bier,” which means, “For Thanksgiving, I’m cooking absolutely nothing.” Just kidding, that’s not what the sentence means, but what I said about Thanksgiving is true. It’s fine with me because I’m not crazy about cooking. The German actually means, “I don’t give my dog beer.” Not even at Thanksgiving. Poor doggie.

For the last 27 years, I’ve visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving. You can let me know if you think I should visit in this Covid Year. Rest assured, everyone in the family is getting a Q-tip up their nose or spitting in a test tube, or submitting toe nail clippings, or whatever it is the medical establishment has come up with this week to test for the virus. If anyone in my family tests positive, we will postpone the gathering. The only temperature we want to take on Thanksgiving Day is the turkey’s. Do they still have that little button that pops out of the turkey when it’s done?

As for the part where I’m not cooking anything for Thanksgiving: I’ve offered, and my in-laws always say, “Just bring yourselves. We know how hard it is to pack up the children and make the trip.”

This was true fifteen years ago when my children were little and we had to bring a portable crib, bottles, bibs, a baby monitor, and the Diaper Genie. That’s a dirty diaper disposal system. It has nothing to do with Barbara Eden, the actress from “I Dream of Jeannie,” who probably could have disposed of diapers and gotten rid of Covid with one bob of her ponytail.

Now that my kids are older, when it’s time to pack for a trip, it’s much easier. I yell down the hall, “Don’t forget to pack your bags and bring your chargers and, oh, throw a few masks in.” 

As for the actual Thanksgiving Day meal, I will strap on a mask and help in the kitchen, stirring the gravy or setting the table, or performing the combination “Blessing Over the Meal and Covid Exorcism” I learned in seminary. Ha! As if they teach anything as useful as a Covid Exorcism in seminary.

Since I mentioned German, let me give you the connection between it and Covid: Let’s imagine you’re on the Clemson football team. You get on a plane to Tallahassee because Florida State told you, “Come play football on our field.” But then they say, “No, we’re not playing because you might have the virus.” If this happens to you, I suggest you point the team plane toward Orlando and visit Disney World. At Epcot there’s a German area where you can practice saying, “I don’t give my dog beer.”

It’s best not to give Budweiser to your dog even if she took her Covid test like a good puppy. Oh wait, dogs don’t have to take Covid tests, do they? I hope not because if dogs caught the virus, they would not social distance. Dogs have this thing about closeness, and sometimes they sniff things in very personal ways. They don’t care if it’s Dr. Anthony Fauci stopping by to advise you about masks. He’d stand six feet away from your door, but the dogs would run to him and sniff him up and down and sideways. They’d bark, “Nice doctor!” wagging their tails all the way home.

I hope you and your dogs and cats and rabbits and ferrets – whatever kind of pet you have –will enjoy a lovely Thanksgiving. I give you permission to give your dog little bits from the Thanksgiving table as a treat. But no beer. Especially not Corona.

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