Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Will you make it through Thanksgiving dinner without throttling Uncle Mort?

As everybody knows, the holidays are a time when families gather in the spirit of goodwill and togetherness to reaffirm connections that lapse in the course of a long year apart. Families leave the holidays re-energized and firm in their resolve to, this year, stay in touch. Somewhere along the line, we learn something ineffable about the spirit of family and the basic idea of love.

At least that's the moral of every Charlie Brown special I've ever seen.

In fact, Thanksgiving dinner brings with it a long history of rancor, deceit and petty jealousies, dating back to 1621 and the very first Thanksgiving at which Cooks-Like-Martha, wife of the Wampanoag Chief, one-upped the Pilgrim hostess with presentation of thrice-baked sweet potatoes, thus initiating many years of bloody conflict.

In more recent times, you know there's someone at Thanksgiving dinner you're dreading—be it an in-law, successful sibling, surly aunt, or little-too-cuddly relative of whom nobody really seems to remember the lineage. I wrote an actually-useful version of this post's equation that will likely see the light of print somewhere this week (if not, I'll post it), but thought I would blog this version—the slightly fiestier, more personally vindictive one. While this is firmly tongue-in-cheek, it also spits out a quite logical answer.

Will you make it through Thanksgiving dinner without throttling Uncle Mort?

P= How mad will your significant other be if a fight breaks out? (1-10 with 10 being “make you sleep on couch ‘till next Turkey Day”)
$= In dollars, how much is this person likely to spend on your holiday present?
T= Hours you need to spend in close contact with this person
D= His or her disapproval of you (0-10 with 0 being “quarterback/doctor/CEO” and 10 being “ski-bum/vegetarian/hippie”)
V= How vocal is he/she likely to be in this disapproval? (0-10 with 10 being “will refer to you only as him, her, or so-in-so’s husband, as in ‘can you please tell so-and-so’s husband to pass me the yams.’”)
S= How sensitive are you (0-10 with 10 being “seismograph”)

GobbleGobble is the percentage chance you WILL make it through Thanksgiving without exploring alternate placements for the meat thermometer.

Notes: Generally, this equation measures how grating this person is and decreases your chances of remaining civil over time. These chances are adjusted upward (but not heavily) by how much your significant other can keep you in check and by the desirability of the holiday gift you would lose by getting in a brawl.

1 comment:

Shiva said...

your posts are really enjoyable... wanted to place my admiration for your GeekLogic on record/