For as many years as I can remember, my sister and then brother-in-law loaded up the kids and came to our parents’ for the holidays. Way back in the mid-1980’s, my sister decided that she wanted to make Thanksgiving dinner at home, and that they wouldn’t be coming to the folks’ house that year. No big deal. Except, back then, Sister couldn’t cook very well.
I gave her a “How to Cook Thanksgiving” cooking tape for her birthday that year. The tape came with a small cookbook, and was about an hour long. Sister watched that video from June to November, and a few days before Thanksgiving, she did the shopping for all of the items needed to make dinner. Turkey, oysters for the stuffing (yuck), creamed carrots, yeast rolls, etc. She called me in a panic when she couldn’t find any “unbleached muslin fabric” that the turkey just had to be covered in. Apparently, after stuffing the turkey with oysters and cornbread, you trussed it, and slathered about two pounds of butter all over the skin, and then wrapped it tightly in muslin. I told her that I didn’t think it made that much difference since mom never used muslin to cover the turkey, but she was adamant that she wasn’t going to deviate from the program. Not one little bit. It was all, or nothing!
So, Thanksgiving day arrives. Sister has all of the ingredients lined up on the counter, and is ready to get started on cooking dinner. She moved the TV into the dining room so she could see it from the kitchen, hooked up the VCR, popped in the video tape, and hit play. Nothing. Dead as a doornail. Not working. Pffft.
Sister calls my parents, and I answered the phone to hear “OH MY GOD. THE VCR IS BROKEN AND I CAN’T COOK THANKSGIVING DINNER.” OK. Seriously, take a deep breath, and start all over again. “OH MY GOD. THE VCR IS BROKEN AND I CAN’T COOK DINNER.” I tried to make a joke and remind her that you don’t roast the turkey in the VCR but in the oven. All she could yell was, “SMART ASS! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT! If you hadn’t given me that DAMNED video, we would be at mom and dad’s having a great dinner!
I am pretty sure they ate at KFC that night.