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Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 2011

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Thanksgiving dinner with Beth's parents was always the root canal of family holidays, but Frank really dreaded it this year. He knew there would be trouble.

Their 7-year-old son Billy was such a good-hearted, loving kid he didn't understand the tea party had turned his grandfather into a mindless mass of political anger. Billy assumed everyone had the same sunny, positive outlook on life he did.

It didn't help that Beth's sister Clare and her husband, Bob, would be there. Bob was so boring he was nearly invisible. Frank still didn't know exactly what Bob did in financial services. All he knew was that a lot of the mortgages Bob handled were now in foreclosure and Bob got a big bonus.

"Grandpa!" Billy shouted enthusiastically as soon as they were in the door. "Did you see the parade? It was great!"

"Why, Billy," Harold said, beaming, "I'm glad your parents finally broke down and started getting you excited about the true meaning of Christmas. How did you like Mickey Mouse?"

"That mouse with the big head who talks like a girl? I didn't see him there. There were lots of other people, though. They had really funny signs. And we all got to do these great chants: 'Re-Call Walk-Errr! Re-Call Walk-Errr! This is what democracy looks like!'"

"Good Lord, Billy. Don't tell me your parents had you disrupting the downtown Christmas parade?"

"This wasn't downtown, Grandpa," Billy said. "We marched into Wauwatosa. We went right by the governor's house. Some of his neighbors even came out to welcome us. One of them had a table with recall petitions set up in his driveway. I'm learning about democracy, Grandpa."

"This isn't a democracy, Billy. It's a republic. That's why we should all be Republicans. Democrats shouldn't even be allowed to vote. I'll explain it to you sometime, Billy."

Bob said something.

"Mother, what a beautiful table!" Beth exclaimed. "I can hardly wait to dig in. Daddy, let's eat!"

Frank managed to restrain himself as his father-in-law not only thanked God for the food, but also for the moral leadership of Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and the National Rifle Association.

Time to Camp Out

Passing heaping plates of food calmed everything down for a while, until Billy began talking about wanting to camp out.

"Why, Billy," Harold said. "I think it's great you want to get into some wholesome outdoor activity. When you're 10, I'll take you up north with me and let you shoot a buck."

"Mom and Dad would never allow me to play with guns, Grandpa. Besides, there are people camping out now right in the city. They call it 'Occupying.' They are the 99%, just like we are. They're protesting all the fat-cat parasites getting big tax breaks who are against doing anything to create jobs for people who are out of work."

Bob said something.

"Billy, this is the greatest country on Earth," Harold said. "Let me explain some basic economics to you. Government shouldn't create jobs for people. Those are bad jobs that cost taxpayers money."

"You mean my teachers are bad, Grandpa?"

"It's their unions that were really bad, Billy. That's why Scott Walker destroyed public employee unions. Now government can lay off public employees all over the state, cut their wages and charge them lots more for health care to save taxpayers money."

"But, Grandpa, if Scott Walker keeps destroying jobs and cutting wages and benefits, how are all the people who are out of work going to live?"

"Easy, Billy. Gov. Walker is giving hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to the owners of big corporations. That's the real job of government. It makes the millionaires and billionaires who own companies really happy and they start hiring people."

"But how does Gov. Walker stop them from just keeping all the money themselves and moving more jobs overseas to be done by kids my age?" Billy asked.

Harold was waving his arms around as he got more and more worked up trying to explain capitalism to his 7-year-old grandson.

Suddenly, his loaded handgun fell out of his cardigan. As it landed in the mashed potatoes, it went off, blowing shards of turkey all over the family.

"Good God, Harold!" Frank erupted. "You actually brought a deadly weapon to Thanksgiving dinner!"

"
It's my Second Amendment constitutional right, you miserable Communist!" Harold sputtered. "My home is my castle! State Republicans just passed a law saying I can shoot anyone in my home I want! What if rabid hordes of your degenerate, left-wing friends broke into this house and carried away all this great food and our flat-screen high-definition TV?"

"That does it!" Frank said. "Come on, Beth and Billy. We're getting out of here!"

As Frank and his family went out the door, Bob said something.