It’s almost here…the annual O’Loughlin Thanksgiving feast. I’m one of nine children (most of which have children of their own) so the attendees for Thanksgiving dinner outnumber the population of some third world nations. With that number of people in the room there’s a virtual cornucopia of interests, dispositions and personalities. That’s why we will play one of my favorite games on the car-ride to Thanksgiving dinner…which one of the attendees will be the most offensive?
The rules of the game are simple. Everyone in the car (and Michelle and AJ by cell) weighs in on the key questions of the day:
- Who will be the most offensive? Some notable mentions from years past include when Jamie announced to one of my brothers that she was expecting a baby (Hanna). One of my brothers said, “Well obviously…gesturing to her abdomen!” She was two months pregnant and not yet showing at the time. To put this in perspective, he weighs 115. BTW, Jamie is hot.
- Who will be the target of the offensive comment? We’ve stopped asking this question because it’s almost always Jamie. When we were first married, I would cringe at the thought of bringing her to family functions because people would ask “How’s Barbara?” Barbara was my first wife. Now I actually look forward to it because she can take any of them in a battle of wits. Tiny bits of O’Loughlin intellectual shrapnel will litter the streets of Newport before the days end.
- Who will drink the most? I usually try to contend for this award to self-medicate my way through the afternoon. Not to be outdone, my brothers will undoubtedly make a good showing with Michelle taking great pride in announcing, “We have a winner!”
- Which piece of Catholic dogma will my brother use to offend the most people? No, no, I don’t mean my brother Frank, the priest. Frank rarely talks shop at family events. Nope I’m referring to another brother who is the Olympic champion of Catholicism. He’s expected to make a respectable showing in multiple categories.
- Over / Under: will an offensive comment be made in the first 15 minutes or later? Most don’t need complex mathematical models for this one. I’d recommend betting with the house …”under”.
The car ride home is recap time with everyone playing the surprisingly lighthearted game of, “I can’t believe________ said________!” Family dynamics over the holidays are a real treat.