William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Aunt Sylvia’s Thanksgiving

My Uncle Chuck—one of my mother’s brothers—when he was a young man, married a woman named Sylvia. Got a tattoo to prove it, too.

Problem was, he and she divorced, and away she went. But the now-superfluous tattoo stayed, taking up valuable skin space. The obvious solution?

You guessed it. Find a new Sylvia.

He did and they wed.

It was Uncle Chuck’s and Aunt Sylvia’s turn to host Thanksgiving. We all sat watching the Lions maul themselves while carefully avoiding scratching the other team, but the horror passed.

It was about four when Aunt Sylvia went to the freezer and pulled the bird from the freezer and plopped it on the counter. She asked, genuinely, “How long do you think it will take to cook this?”

We had Chinese.

Another time, my Aunt Ona (mother’s sister) was visiting for a few days. She was in the process of her morning toilet, and as she sat there she realized, to her dismay, that there was no paper. She called out, “Sylvia! Can you get me some more toilet paper!”

Aunt Sylvia said, “Sure.”

Aunt Ona heard Sylvia’s hurried footsteps, the front door open and close, then the car start and pull out.

The moral of our story: When you constrict yourself with certain limitations, you have to be willing to enjoy the consequences.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

5 Comments

  1. We, each and all, have our own limitations. Reminds me of Ursula Buffay.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  2. Ah, Sylvia!

    I’m still searching for another one and I won’t be discouraged.

    Happy whatever-it-is-you-people-do.

  3. My Mum’s Mum is called Sylvia and has done many a funny thing. One of my favourite stories was when she put on her stockings in the car on the way to a wedding. She clipped them to her suspender belt in a hurry (not braces that men wear but the things that go round the waist). Anyhow, she got out of the car and couldn’t stand up.
    She’d bought kneehighs! She doesn’t laugh quietly.

  4. Fabulous. It sometimes seems that every family has an Aunt Sylvia or the equivalent. Well, they say it takes all kinds…though I’ve never heard “they” say exactly why.

  5. During a visit home, I had to go out in the middle of cooking hard boiled eggs. So I asked my sister-in-law to turn off the stove whenever she deemed appropriate… forgetting that she doesn’t cook.

    When I returned about fifteen minutes later, she said, “I haven’t turned off the stove because the eggs have not floated to the top yet.”

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