How Real Men Carve a Turkey
Thanksgiving’s coming up this month and a lot of guys are starting to stress out about their big moment in the spotlight.
Hah, only kidding. Guys don’t think about stuff in advance, unless it has brackets, a tee time, or a swimsuit issue. We like to think we thrive under pressure, so the last minute is plenty o' time. Most guys reading this will stop right here and make a mental note to revisit this post at 3:30 p.m. on the 22nd, except for Canadians, who are already too late. Moving on...
For manly men across America, the biggest moment to shine each year involves the super-macho expertise that everyone assumes we have and nobody ever teaches: carving the turkey. Yeah, I know, there are a million videos on YouTube, but real men don’t read instruction manuals and we certainly don’t need to watch some dude in a toque telling us how to use a knife. The last person to cut up our meat for us (Insert Lorena Bobbitt joke here.) was mommy, and we were two at the time.
Carving the turkey is a guy thing, as it has been since we were Neanderthals (Insert ‘You still are Neanderthals’ joke here.) living in caves. No matter how much time mom spends tying and basting and seasoning and schlepping the bird around the kitchen, dad gets the final shot at doing a Rambo on the finished product.
For some reason, people think it’s natural that men will carve the turkey. We’re the hunters in a world of hunters and gatherers. All the great knife people were men, like Jim Bowie and old MacHeath, babe, and Mr. Swiss Army…so women assume there must be something in our DNA that makes us great turkey carvers.
Except, of course, that we don’t really have a clue, and by “we,” I mean “I.” I never learned to whittle and I don’t even watch Top Chef for gawdsakes. If someone told me to go pack my knives, I’d need to stop at Williams Sonoma to buy some first.
Still, if you’re the oldest guy at Thanksgiving dinner and your parole allows you to handle sharp objects, someone is going to urge you to carve the turkey. When that happens, it’s important to approach the ritual with the aura of expertise and confidence that dads have been faking since the dawn of time.
So, guys, get yourselves some Botox injections to keep a straight face and follow these simple steps:
After everyone tells you that it’s certain to be fine and you really know how to carve a turkey, mumble some thanks and start passing the platter. And never, ever, ever bring up the subject again.
Having perfected the process of pretending to know what I’m doing—a true dadskill—I’ve succeeded in carving turkeys without any deaths* for over forty years. More recently, being a really generous guy, I’ve graciously allowed a son-in-law or nephew to do the honors. They’ve never really attained my level of expertise yet, but that’s probably because I haven’t sent them this post.
*By "deaths," I am referring to instances in which I was actually charged and convicted, so I am not counting the grease slide of 1997 or the 2003 wishbone impalement in my official record.
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11/11/2018 12:25:29 pm
I thought that it is worth noting that I always make sure that the turkey is dead before carving it.
11/13/2018 03:49:48 pm
Real men chase the turkey around the kitchen with a hatchet. MacGyver uses a toothpick and a cheese grater, but don't try that at home.
11/11/2018 04:07:42 pm
So that is why you throw us out of the kitchen! Secret is out now, my friend ;)
11/14/2018 02:06:23 pm
I only throw you out of the kitchen for your protection, what with all the flying gizzards and whatnot.
11/11/2018 09:03:14 pm
Turkey talk from my favorite chicken dancer!
11/13/2018 03:52:50 pm
I would say I am grateful that video is pre-internet, but then you would post it, so never mind.
11/12/2018 08:26:03 am
I gave` up and my wife does the carving! We are not sexist in our house.
11/12/2018 09:40:45 am
One of your wittiest blog posts. If you want to get a laugh relating to turkey carving watch the old movie "Home for the Holidays," where Robert Downey carves a turkey and winds up flipping it onto his sister's head. Hilarious.
11/12/2018 02:43:47 pm
Thanks for making me laugh out loud, Michael! I was heavy hearted, watching the news of fires, election debacles, and generally atrocious human behavior, and your hilarious post lifted my spirits. God bless those who bring comic relief to a dark world!
11/13/2018 09:56:58 am
Michael, I thought that was brother in laws were for!
11/20/2018 11:56:59 am
Was this supposed to be funny?
11/20/2018 04:32:07 pm
I cannot believe you thought this might be an attempt at humor. True manly men are deadly serious and, as far as the turkey is concerned, seriously deadly. We laugh at danger, but we don't even chortle or guffaw when it comes to our solemn duty in the kitchen.
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.