The Tator

The Thanksgiving potato massacre of 2018

More stories from Julia Van Allen

Seeking Solace
May 13, 2019
The Tator

This article is satirical and is not meant to be taken seriously. It does not reflect the opinions of The Spectator or UW-Eau Claire.

It all began as any Thanksgiving Day would. Sophia Philos, a second-year philosophy student, was visiting home this university break and was looking forward to Thanksgiving.

“It’s one of my favorite holidays, after Arbor Day of course.” Philos said.

Philos’ family traditions are typical to the Midwestern norms. The family started the day watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on television and arguing about the impact of neo-colonialism on current geopolitical issues. The discourse on oppressive social structures and problematic historical tendencies was all the rage as the family sipped scorching coffee. It’s safe to say this was a pretty average holiday.

The family gathered with friends and extended relatives for a meal that evening. As per Thanksgiving tradition, plates were piled high with goodies from every food group. Turkey — faux turkey for the vegetarians in attendance — mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cheesy potatoes, green beans and freshly baked rolls were arranged in a picturesque cornucopia of indulgence.

The entire party was about to dig in when good ol’ Great Uncle Steve piped up, mentioning that a prayer was needed to kick off the meal. The family agreed, spouting off a non-religious specific declaration of gratitude before tearing into the predominantly mushy masses gathered on Aunt Judy’s finest chinaware.

Everything seemed to be going great. Everyone was eating, drinking and chatting about non-problematic topics. It was an ideal holiday meal — until it suddenly wasn’t.

There’s always someone in the family who doesn’t hold similar views, it’s a fact of life. For the Philos family, that person was Great Uncle Steve. He was, for lack of a better term, a total anarchist. For example, he refused to say the pledge of allegiance, citing centuries of oppression and stupid phrasing on the part of the pledge’s writers for this disdain.

“I knew something bad was going to happen as soon as Great Uncle Steve pulled out his flask,” Sophia said. “Nothing good ever comes from experimenting with pumpkin spice-flavored moonshine.”

Great Uncle Steve wasn’t focusing his argumentative efforts on politics or religion — quite the opposite actually. It was the potatoes that bore the brunt of his anger.

Yes, the potatoes.

What kind of world would this be if there weren’t a plethora of options for potatoes to come in? The favored forms of this delightful starchy tuber at the Philos family gathering were in the

mashed and sweet variety. Great Uncle Steve wasn’t happy with the lack of representation for his favorite rendition of the potato, but then again how many people actually have waffle-cut fries at their family gatherings?

“It’s an abomination!” Steve said. “It’s discrimination!”

“It’s a tradition, Steve,” Sophia’s mother, Suzanne, said. Her attempts to calm her uncle were less than successful. Great Uncle Steve had hopped up on the kitchen table and slammed down the heel of his steel-toed boots into the nearest pile of mashed potatoes. Unfortunately for Sophia, that pile of mashed potatoes was on her plate.

This was the last proverbial straw. The entire Philos family began slinging potatoes left and right. No pile of potatoes was safe, and no family member survived the onslaught without being covered.

“I can’t believe he did that,” Sophia said. “I mean, it’s pretty on brand for Great Uncle Steve to make some big statement about the food at a family meal, but did he really have to step in my potatoes? That felt uncalled for.”

The moral of this story is this: Keep your mashed potatoes away from your relatives’ feet and try to avoid talking about waffle-cut fries whenever possible. The damage caused by an unhealthy obsession with potato products is enough to ruin any family dinner.

Happy Thanksgiving, folks.

Van Allen can be reached at [email protected].