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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

‘Tis the Season to Survive

A good reason why cats should never be left unattended.

A good reason why cats should never be left unattended.




Cat paw in the peanut butter jar - Story from Suzanne Grudem, English major and copy editor

One Christmas, I roasted a goose. Despite the difficulty of cooking in an oven the size of a bread box in the Depression-era ‘kitchenette’ of my studio apartment, all was coming along surprisingly well. However, you quickly find out that goose is really, really greasy.

What to do with the molten grease? Not down the drain; no garbage pickup on that day; and the tiny ‘icebox’ was full. And I didn’t even have a counter top. So, I stored it in two peanut butter jars that I put in the bathtub.

My friends and I squeezed around two card tables and got down to business. Barney, my cat, also wanted to join in, but he had a bad habit of jumping on legs, claws out, to cadge a bite of roast-anything. As he was an indoor cat (due to his tendency to fight with neighbor cats), I locked him in the bathroom and we partook of the feast.

All pronounced the goose delicious; what else could they say after this virtuoso meal-preparation?

Suddenly I remembered “Poor Kitty.” He was not as frisky as when I imprisoned him. Mad, I thought, at being away from all the fun. But then I saw one of the empty jars. His glistening chin hairs were all the further proof needed.

After a few moments of levity at Barney’s expense, it occurred to me that there might be consequences. I lifted the outdoor restriction, and he shot out. What he did in the next couple hours, I don’t know; but when he came back, he didn’t beg for food for a while.

Auntie Can’t Hold Her Liquor - Story from Anonymous

One Thanksgiving my aunt decided to drink a lot more than needed. When we sat down to eat our Thanksgiving dinner, my aunt wouldn’t touch her food. When we asked her why she wasn’t eating, she said, “Oh, ‘cause I don’t want this stupid [expletive].”

Someone asked why she had to cuss in front of everyone, and she kept going, “I hate everyone! This is absurd. I just want to sit here and be by myself.”

She started to cry and decided to throw her food off the table. It got all over the carpet. She said she hated every single person, and went around the table and pointed out the reasons why she hated the family at the table.

She told my sister she’s a brat. She told my mother that she thinks she’s better than her. When it was my turn, she just said I’m evil. She did all of this while drunk and crying, of course.

My aunt ended up apologizing a lot the next day, although she didn’t remember most of it. I think she honestly regretted it but I don’t think she knows the full extent of the things she did.

Oil and Uncles Don’t Mix - Story from Amanda Huff, first-year graduate student, College of Education

One year when I was a kid, my uncle thought it would be a good idea to deep-fry a turkey. My grandmother thought it was stupid, so she had another turkey in the oven. My family is small but we eat a lot, so we thought whatever, two turkeys will be fine.

So my uncle set up the deep-fryer in my great-grandparents’ garage. We had the garage door open as a safety precaution, naturally.

The oil came to temperature but my uncle didn’t dry the turkey first and it was still cold. So he put the bird in the fryer; oil and water don’t mix and it was a cold bird in hot oil. It almost caught the garage on fire.

My great-grandparents were pissed because they own the house and cars were in the garage. It was kind of a disaster but we didn’t go turkey-less, because of the one in the oven.

The fried turkey was never seen or spoken of again. That was a ‘one and done’ opportunity: he tried it once and never again.

Turkey Disaster Avoided- Story from Jon Mael, history major and sports editor

Picture it, Thanksgiving Day 2009. I really put the effort into cooking a perfect, 18-pound bird for my family. The turkey itself came out beautifully after seven hours of cooking, but when I tried to lift it I noticed that my disposable roasting pan was buckling from the weight of the bird, and that if I tried to lift it out, the juices would spill all over my oven. I frantically searched around my kitchen for a baster, but of course I didn’t buy one. I did notice that I had a flavor injector (basically a syringe with a wider tube), and I began to slowly extract the juices out of the pan with it.

The first few times I did this it worked well enough, but on the fourth or fifth trip to the pan, I heard the sound of rushing liquid, and was greeted with a plume of black smoke. When I looked in, I noticed a narrow stream of juices flowing from a hole in the bottom of the pan directly onto the bottom of the oven. I then realized that in all my stupidity I forgot to turn the oven off, and all I could do was watch helplessly as the juices flowed towards the heating elements.

Luckily I did remember to shut the oven door before the fireball could spread to the rest of my house, and I did manage to slide a bowl under the pan to catch the remaining drippings. After everything had calmed down (I’d say about 15 minutes after I punctured the pan), I managed to pull the bird out, carve it, and serve it. It came out great, and Thanksgiving was saved.