- And speaking of Thanksgiving and rap music! I have an embarrassing story for you. You know how I feel about Dre? Well, that's how my sister feels about Ludacris. The very first time I ever heard the Ludacris song, "MoneyMaker," the line, "Just be thankful that Pharrell gave you something to bump to," got my gears a-turnin'. I decided that that year at Thanksgiving dinner, when my family was going around the table saying what we were all thankful for, I was going to say that I was "thankful that Pharrell gave me something to bump to!" and it would be the funniest thing anyone had ever heard in their entire lives and my sister would have a newfound respect for me and I'd be the hero of Thanksgiving from thereon after.
Now, I hatched this plan in July of 2006 which means that by the time Thanksgiving actually rolled around, I had been sitting on it for an embarrassing four months. But finally those excruciating four months passed, Thanksgiving was upon us, and I was anxiously seated at the dinner table ready to grace my family with the Greatest Joke Ever Told. Unfortunately, what I didn't factor in is that my family doesn't actually have a tradition where we go around the table and say what we're thankful for. But you bet your sweet ass that was about to change.
"Hey! I got an idea!" I said. "Let's go around the table and say what we're thankful for!!!!" I was met with a few raised eyebrows. My family isn't really the touchy-feely kind. We spend most of Thanksgiving drinking, watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and napping. (Christ I love Thanksgiving.) But that year, I insisted we go around the table, open our sardonic little hearts and say what we were thankful for. Eventually, my family agreed. I was so excited. My turn couldn't come fast enough.
Mom: "Well I'm thankful for having such a wonderful fam—" YEAH, YEAH, YEAH, NEXT!
Aunt: "I guess I'm thankful for having people in my life who—" OK GREAT, WONDERFUL, BECCA GO!
"Uhhh...I'm thankful for—" GREAT, TOUCHING, LOVED IT. MY TURN!!!!
My heart was racing and I could barely contain my own excitement. I took a breath and composed myself.
"Well everyone," I said, barely able to keep a straight face, "This year—I am thankful that Pharrell gave me something to bump to!"
Nothing. Nobody spoke.
"O...k...," my dad said, finally breaking the uncomfortable silence, "I guess it's my turn. I'm thankfu—"
"NO, NO, NO!" I interrupted, "Maybe you didn't hear me. I said, I'm thankful that Pharrell gave me something to bump to!" [Crickets and blank stares] "Like...like in the 'MoneyMaker' song? Ludacris, Becca? Ludacris?" I searched my sister's stony face for a sign that she not only knew what I was talking about, but thought it was the greatest thing since sliced Jesus.
"Yeah. I got it," she said instead, "It's just trying a little too hard. Gotta ask though, how long were you sitting on that one for, buddy?"
"Nice. Dad, you're next."
And now this is what I'm reminded of every Thanksgiving. Personal failure. Sounds about right.