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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 10.12.09
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Revenge of the Thanksgiving turkey

Everyone? Everyone? Can I have your attention please? Uncle Charlie, stop palpating the pumpkins for just a minute. Kenny, if you could refrain from gnawing the charred carpet... Thank you. Can you all see me through the smoke? I'd like to say a few words before we get to my traditional Thanksgiving grace.

I know this is not our usual Thanksgiving setting, out here on the sidewalk behind the police tape. I swear I had no idea the oven would burst into flames like that. Bart, you're my brother, and I don't blame you for selling me what turned out to be a fire hazard. Caveat emptor, right? That's Latin, Bart.

I do admit I had been worrying about the stove, what with the fuses blowing every time we made tea. Why, just the other day I said to the wife, "My grandfather turned his back on a toaster once and it cost him his lower extremities." But did she listen? Yes, she did. And I'm not just saying that because she's standing beside me holding some kind of leg iron.

Obviously we won't be having turkey. It was one of the first things to go. Explode, really. That's not something you see every day. I'd especially like to wish a quick recovery to the firefighter who was rushed to the hospital with stuffing-related injuries. I'm not sure what his name is but the wife described him as "not the hot one but the one who was hot enough." Best of luck to you, sort-of-hot guy!

Next, I want to thank all of you for sticking it out, despite the inconveniences you've suffered. Jenny, I'm confidant those burns are superficial and in no way require medical assistance or a call to your family lawyer. Just keep icing it. I know the house is out of bounds but luckily you can apply the frozen giblets Aunt Sherry grabbed as she fled the house. Way to go, Aunt Sherry. Don't quite understand your priorities but well played nonetheless.

Of course, not everyone is still here. I don't think any of us knew there was an arrest warrant out for cousin Andy until the police showed up. Who knew Andy could run so fast, eh?

The important thing is that we're all together. Boy, there's nothing like a three-alarm fire to make you think. No, Grandma, I said "think," not "drink."

That's what Thanksgiving is all about, right? Being grateful for what you have, not the things you've lost, like the turkey, the house, the wife's collection of porcelain chinchillas. When you've been in a turkey-related fire, you come to appreciate what's really important. I mean, at least we have our health, right? Oh, sorry, Uncle Pete. I forgot about your skin condition. But for the rest of us, it's important to remember your health. And to not get too close to Uncle Pete.

Now, I see the investigators are waiting to take statements -- and please, don't mention the time Andy set fire to the mime; that really has nothing to do with today's unfortunate incident -- so I think we should proceed with grace. We've managed to salvage four sweet potatoes, a jar of hot dog relish, a kielbasa that was curing in the basement and several tins of cling peaches. I know it's a tad distracting with the news helicopters circling overhead but if you would just bow your heads...

    Lord, it's us out on the street
    Our feast we will not get to eat
    Fled the kitchen - couldn't stand the heat
    Scorched the turkey, smoke was murky
    Burned my loafers (size: petite)
    And still to You we are most gracious
    For mountains, streams and meadows spacious
    For people shy and those loquacious
    (Feeling pious, showing my bias
    Feel just like Saint Ignatius)

    Grimy with soot and turkey parts
    We're thanking you with all our hearts
    And when we order out à la carte
    (Maybe Thai, don't know why)
    Please pass the bill to my brother Bart

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