The Idle American: Turkey Day Pranking

Photo: Dinner at the Zoo

 

Don’t ever prank a child about a Thanksgiving dinner when you know that someday she’s bound to get even.

“Doting” is an adjective often used to describe grandparents. In the case of Rick and Becky Cadden, however, “pranking” might be a better fit.

Theirs is a family whose members are on perpetual look-out for ways to get a leg up in the prankster department, and grandchildren are not off limits.

In fact, Rick and Becky “pulled a good ‘un” a few years back during preparation of a Thanksgiving dinner. Surely it would have qualified for America’s Funniest Home Videos. Their oldest granddaughter, Addyson, now 17, has a long memory. Although the Caddens are confident that she isn’t the most likely candidate to join the “I-don’t-get-mad, I-get-even club,” they still are aware that on some future festive family occasion, Addyson may retaliate, perhaps as early as Thanksgiving, now just three months away….

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   Here’s what happened: When Becky was preparing the Thanksgiving turkey, Addyson was alongside as a willing helper.

She explained that that the popular recipe had been passed down from her grandmother. The youngster was delighted to learn this family tradition.

Becky emphasized the importance of getting things “just right” in the preparation of stuffing, baking temperature and other details. Addyson was in-and-out of the kitchen throughout the process, and it was during one of her absences that Becky decided there was “fun to be had” in adding a small Cornish hen to the stuffing before filling the cavity of the big bird….

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Don Newbury

When the turkey had baked to a golden brown in the roaster oven and cooled a bit, Becky started removing the stuffing. She asked Addyson if she’d like to help.

She donned her gloves to begin the process. Things went as the little girl expected at first, then things went south. Her grandmother told her there was still stuffing to be removed, even if the remaining part of the stuffing seemed to be hard and difficult to extract.

“Pull harder,” Becky advised….

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  So, Addyson pulled harder, soon holding the baked Cornish hen in her hands. To say she was stunned would be an understatement.

Adding to the moment were yells from family members that the turkey was, uh, pregnant!

Addyson was distraught, fearing they had indeed baked a pregnant turkey! Minutes later, Becky and others in the family explained that Addyson was the victim of a harmless trick, and soon tears changed to laughter. It remains to be seen what the youngster might contrive one of these days – perhaps even at Thanksgiving–to get even. Surely there is another shoe yet to drop….

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   As projected earlier, wife Brenda and I – as well as friends John Duke Smith and Ray Hildebrand – have completed a 3,500-mile road trip to Charlotte, NC; Hunt Valley, MD; Washington, DC, and Williamstown, KY. Details will be recounted in upcoming columns about work of Lions Clubs in DC, Maryland and Delaware. I’ll write about the magnificent Bible Museum in DC, as well as the Creation Museum and The Ark Encounter in Kentucky.

At this writing, I’ll touch on a couple of trivial issues, neither of which marred the joy of our trip. One suggests that good help is hard to get, and the other that good policies may be hard to make!

At one Cracker Barrel restaurant along the way, I requested a toothpick at the check-out counter. “We don’t hand them out anymore,” the cashier said, “You can buy a box, though.” (I didn’t listen for the inevitable mention of “Covid, you know,” but could have suggested that perhaps Cracker Barrel might consider offering complimentary wrapped toothpicks.)

At a Wendy’s restaurant, two workers were having a hard time filling orders. “We don’t have any meat ready right now,” one said, so our order was delayed by fifteen minutes. I requested salt and pepper packets and was directed to the counter where four compartments contained only pepper. “We must be out,” the lady said, ‘But we don’t hand out salt from the kitchen.”…

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   Dr. Newbury was a longtime university president who continues to write weekly and speak from time to time. Contact: 817-447-3872. Email: newbury@speakerdoc.com. Facebook: Don Newbury.

Please click HERE to find Don Newbury’s inspirational memoir, Life by the Seat of the Pants, on Amazon.

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