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Cracking the Thanksgiving code

By Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis
Tracy Lee Curtis is a humorist, writer and speaker. She writes family humor for the Charlotte Observer. Her column appears each Sunday.

Looking for some helpful Thanksgiving tips, I come across Emily Post’s “Tips for a Happy Thanksgiving.” And one of the tips is:

“FHB – an acronym to be whispered to immediate family only. FHB means “Family Hold Back.” If there’s a critical shortage of a food item, discreetly whisper to family members ‘FHB the dark meat,’ the secret signal that guests get first dibs.”

GREAT tip. Secret codes to better communicate privately with your family members. I’ve given this a lot of thought, and here are my codes for this Thanksgiving:

First one’s easy: WTF – “Where’s the Turkey Fryer?” I don’t know why every year we can’t find that thing; it’s usually somewhere down in the basement or out in the garage, I don’t know, let’s just find it.

MPNO – “Macy’s Parade Not Optional.” It’s the cheapest way to see New York and five scenes from a Broadway musical. It will also be the first time in the history of the parade that Hannukah falls on Thanksgiving, calling for the first ever dreidel balloon. A must-see.

PASKEC – “Potatoes And Stuffing Keep ’Em Coming.” This is the only day of the year I eat carbs, and I don’t want to have to keep asking for them to be passed to me. Do not serve yourself first.

DSABGPMITCIOTSP – “Don’t Say Anything, But Grandma Put Marshmallows In The Corn Instead Of The Sweet Potatoes.”

YYHTETC – “Yes, You Have To Eat The Corn.”

SWAK – “Sent With A Kick.” That’s ME kicking YOU under the table. Stop talking! Whatever you’re saying, it’s about to cause a family war. Don’t ask who he’s dating, steer clear of health care, don’t guess when the baby’s due, don’t mention you lost your job, just shut it down NOW.

CSOOTCLLAJS – “Cranberry Sauce Out Of The Can Looks Like A Jelly Slinky,” Sooo cool, I love that.

ICUTUTT – “I See You Texting Under The Table.” I’ll need this one, because at home our dining table is made out of wood. But Grandma’s table is glass and the kids won’t see this coming.

SOL – “Seemingly Out of Liquor.”

GOPIUTSR – “Go On, Pick It Up, Three Second Rule.” But only for solid foods. Custard, squash, creamed spinach – it’s not worth it.

FHBOCAW – “Family Hold Back On Complaining And Whining.” This goes for not being able to text or get any stuffing because Mommy ate it all, being kicked for the Obama impersonation, running out of bourbon, having to watch a giant dreidel balloonicle spin down Sixth Avenue, and having to eat corn like it’s a s’more.

That’s a good start, but we’ll probably need more acronyms. Better get some study guides together. The family’s going to have to work really hard learning and memorizing all these codes by Thanksgiving.

Yeah right, LOL!

tcurtis@charlotteobserver.com
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