Another Thanksgiving is here and once again my mom has put the kibosh on my gravy trough proposal. Six years have passed since I incepted this bolt of brilliance, and for six straight years my mom has refused to become a part of history. It’s all “Oh, it’s not tradition,” and “No, that would be disgusting, Justin, stop asking for that.” She’s become a broken record when it comes to adapting progressive holiday measures. Mom, take this seriously, please—this isn’t just another request like Pranksgiving-Danksgiving from sixteen-year-old me who didn’t want to do anything except pull practical jokes and get high.
Come on, we’ve never been sticklers for tradition; you don’t see us inviting Native Americans to our table anymore, do you? We both know we haven’t eaten with our neighbors of Cherokee descent for years now. Looking back, I don’t think they were as mad about the property dispute with the fence or even us constantly snickering at their fitting choice in Jeep vehicle. Frankly, it was probably Uncle Kenny’s “trail of tears” quip at Mrs. Decoteau excusing herself after becoming overly emotional during Gremlins that one year that abruptly ended the custom of the Decoteaus attending our Thanksgiving dinner or speaking to us at all. Face it, Mom; all traditions eventually end, some over time and some fizzle out all at once in a storm of lost tempers, broken traditions, and inappropriate taunts over tragedies.
I apologize; I’m digressing away from my trough-centric argument. What it all boils down to is that the trough just makes the most sense. With it there will be no fancy china for clumsy children with shitty motor skills to break. There’s not going to be any fretting over place settings, futilely trying to inhibit the, yet inevitable, ongoing existence-of-global-warming debate between the college graduate with an environmental policy degree and an uncle with an Internet connection. There’s not even going to be any waiting for food to be passed around the table before you can take any, because once I stir up the tasty goodness with my sterilized canoe paddle we can all just start gorging hard and gorging fast. Simple is good and Thanksgiving doesn’t get any simpler than a turkey, a trough, and a good tarp.
No need to worry about logistics; I’ve got a trough guy and I’ll take care of everything. I’ll break out the banana bread pan to serve as a vegetarian, side trough for Cousin Marian and I’ll have the dinosaur cake pan ready as an emergency, backup trough in case Uncle Kenny shows up again with a weird cold sore—I’d imagine no one would want to eat down-trough from that.
Aside from Marian and Kenny, we’ll all be brought together through the power of the trough. The trough will abolish those grandparents who insist we indulge more and who don’t ask for consent to pile seconds onto our plate. Yet, the trough will also eradicate any potential shame-inducing “whoa, Justin” comments typically heard while I’m mixing my dinner into a tasty, gravy-based soup that I lap up to keep my throat optimally lubed for maximum consumption. It’s the togetherness of a family-trough experience plus the sophisticated wholesomeness of a trough-based conversation that equals one perfect Thanksgiving, a Thanksgiving that can be easily cleaned up in a few minutes by washing any mess into the street sewer with the garden hose.
Okay, fine, full disclosure, Mom; this isn’t about troughs. This was never about the cool comfort of chowing uninhibited by chairs, serving bowls, or portion sizes. This is about me never washing everyone’s dishes ever again. No more washing used silverware, plates, cups, or the invariably nasty casserole dish from Aunt Debbie’s abhorrently sticky disaster of marshmallow and squash goo that no one ever touches. No longer will Justin be singled out and coerced into scraping that culinary catastrophe into the garbage when all I want to do post-dinner is to retreat to the bathroom for a cathartic excavation.
I’m begging for troughs, Mom; mostly because I don’t want a repeat of last year when I was alone washing dishes on a poop-tornado watch, hoping the storm wouldn’t touch down in a spot where maximum damage would be induced. Spare me from that discomfort and let this be the year I’m finally thankful for a trough Thanksgiving.