Fun questions for the 2021 Thanksgiving table

Jeffrey Denny

Now that we can (somewhat) safely gather together again for Thanksgiving, and before everyone falls into food and booze comas after one-upping horrific travel stories, let’s have fun with a few Turkey Day brain-teaser conversation-starter questions.

(And phones down, people, no Googling at the table.)

Why don’t we eat turkey eggs?

Answer: Yeah! Why don’t we?

I heard people were saying it’s because deviled turkey eggs would be too big to eat in one bite. Miss Manners says this is the proper way to eat deviled eggs to avoid getting whipped yolk in your nostrils. Do your research!

Which came first — Turkey the country or turkey the bird?

Answer: You do the math. Turkey was founded in 1923. Turkeys were “discovered” in “America” by White Pilgrim occupiers in the 1600s, even though the game birds date back 20 million years.

Best to ignore this question. Especially if someone brought their Turkish partner Zeynep or Mustafa to Thanksgiving dinner and they would love to avoid the topic, or worse, get into it.

Which came first — the cranberry or the bog?

I mean, sometimes I get really bogged down at work. Does that make me a cranberry?

Answer: Have another Sea Breeze, Cousin Sally. As always, there’s an air mattress in the basement with your name on it, and while it’s only 7 pm, no shame.

Who was the first person to eat a cranberry fresh off the vine?

And why?

Fresh cranberries are tooth-cracking hard and face-squinching bitter. That is, without processing and jellying with high fructose corn syrup plus regular fructose corn syrup, like Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce®.

Answer: America’s cranberry pioneer was the early Nantucket settler, William Coffin Cranston Berry III, for whom the berries were named

“Cranberry,” as his frat brothers dubbed him, was a flinty Puritan who believed eating was a mortal sin so food should taste like hell.

Mrs. William Coffin Cranston Berry III, America’s First Feminist, secretly defied her husband’s commands and boiled the berries in sugar so the children wouldn’t retch and constipate while developing childhood diabetes.

How many Thanksgiving delights other than Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce® retain the shape of their containers when dumped out?

And also deliver that distinctive slorp®?

Answer: Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup®. Until it’s cooked into mom’s famous original Betty Crocker® green bean casserole that eventually killed dad with clogged arteries, according to plan.

What’s the deal with Brussels sprouts?

Answer (channel your best “Seinfeld,” now on Netflix):

Belgians are famous for their fine chocolates and giant waffles — what Bruxellois child-hater came up with tiny rock-hard bitter cabbages that when boiled smell like a sewage treatment pond and taste and chew worse than garden mulch?

Is this the thanks America gets for saving Belgium after they waffled at the start of WWII, and also letting Brussels host the NATO Alliance we pay for?

This Thanksgiving, let us bow our heads and bless the culinary genius who saved the nation’s sprouts by ideating, “This sounds crazy, but what if we roasted them with bacon so they taste like bacon?”

True or false: Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce® is safe for vegans.

Answer: True.

This is unlike Brussels sprouts roasted with bacon to be edible, but which makes them animal-cruel, planet-cruel, and traumatizing. Especially to woke college kids coming home for Thanksgiving to teach their un-woke family paying their $100,000/year elite private college tuition and costs how to be or not to be.

The collegiate will glare at you for eating bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts in part because deep down, in spite of all available evidence, most vegans are human. And most humans love bacon. Ergo, this is why vegan bacon was invented, even though it makes as much sense as a Toyota Prius with mag wheels, hot pipes and racing stripes.

So please have some empathy. Vegans are merely acting out their envy.

Can you tell a lot about family members if they don’t replace the Charmin after exhausting the roll in the powder room down to its last gossamer shred clinging to the cardboard tube?

Answer: To misappropriate and desecrate James Joyce, Yes I say yes.

Decent people also don’t use the finely embroidered guest towels. Those towels are there to impress guests, not to be disgraced by guests with their hand wetness.

Should people be judged by how they install a fresh Charmin roll, over or under?

Answer: Yes again, unwashed heathen. You have to ask?

If you encounter the under-roll, when returning to the Thanksgiving table, mention that it’s idiotic from a physics and engineering standpoint, and not what the bathroom tissue inventor intended, Cousin Dwayne.

Worse, the under-roll redoubles the risk that food-poisoning bacteria will spread from the powder room next to the kitchen and infect the entire house and everyone in it.

Will citing science out you as a lib?

Answer: No.

Everyone already knows you’re a sheep of the Socialist government, corrupt scientists, and their pandering lamestream media.

You know, instead of a real American patriotic free-thinker who cherishes individual liberty and to prove it, refuses to mask or vaccinate against spreading or dying from Covid.

Warning: The Trumpy uncle who started on his bourbon at breakfast will hoot, “So I guess we’re serving mutton this year! You know, because you’re a sheep! More like a lamb led to slaughter! Har har har!”

Thoughtful political discussion, trenchant insights, informed opinion, and respectful exchange of ideas to understand different views and find where they overlap will ensue, and blow up another Thanksgiving family gathering.

Upside: You can leave early in a fake huff and go home to watch the latest “Succession” to make your family seem like the Waltons.

Speaking of vaccinations…

Should you humble brag through your double mask and face shield that you shot up with three Pfizers and took two home Covid tests before showing up for Thanksgiving? Because unlike Covid deniers you don’t want to kill anyone, especially the most-beloved grandparents Mawmaw and Pawpaw?

Answer: No. Nobody likes a bragger. Besides, your caring, concerned and socially responsible approach to Covid is obvious from the Prius you drove up in.

Happy safe Thanksgiving, all!

Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer.




A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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Jeffrey Denny

Jeffrey Denny

A Pullet Surprise-winning writer who always appreciates free chicken.

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