Then it was time for my plan to kick into action. I am now 57 years old with an ailing shoulder. I can't be expected to carry 100% of the practical joke/pranking load every year. So, recently I have been training up my successor and eventual replacement in highjinkery, my great nephew Bennett. He is a natural and extremely quick study with great tomfoolery instincts. I had told him that this year for Thanksgiving I was going to bring my remote controlled rat to the festivities. Unfortunately I couldn't find it and when I told him he couldn't hide his bitter disappointment. However, I assured him that I had something even better. He wasn't convinced...
Me: Don't worry Bennett, I've got something better than a rat!
Bennett: BETTER THAN A RAT???
Bennett: No way.
Then I introduced him to the AIR HORN, a small aerosol can with a plastic horn on top that when pressed emits an ear-splitting noise more appropriate for football stadiums than for the solemn and quiet few seconds after a Thansgiving blessing. Bennett was thrilled with my plan and immediately declared, "It IS better than a rat!"
So there we were, side by side in the reverent circle of family around the table of plenty...waiting for Ezra to finish the most amazingly heartfelt prayer in history. For a brief moment I thought that perhaps now was not the time, after such a tender prayer offered by one so young to unleash a prank that had the very real potential to scare the bejesus out of some of our older members. But luckily, Bennett had no such qualms, and at the long-awaited "amen" he pressed down hard and fast on the plastic horn..."WWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKKKKKKZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!" It was a thing of beauty. Some were ready to yell at me for my juvenile behavior, but when they saw Bennett doubled over laughing hysterically, they were forced to hold their fire...brilliant!
After dessert, it was time for the bi-annual appearance of UNKADUGA CLAUS, who reached into his black bag-o-fun and handed out an assortment of nerfguns to all the good boys and girls. Everyone then went outside for a semi-violent game of "SHOOT YOUR EYES OUT" Somewhere inside Christina was in deep prayer-mode, which was a shame since she missed Ezra's turn with the 18 shot Gatling-gun, which two years ago he couldn't even lift, but this year he was firing off shots like a boss! How fast they grow up...