Since the Gallagher clan has more than (what seems like) 500 sons, daughters, grandkids, great grandkids and dogs ... there were only about 20 in attendance. Actually it was exactly 20 ... I know that for a fact based on Dennie's precise plate count (which I will tell you about later in this writing).
The morning started out with a trip to Menorah Manor to pick up Sam. He was dressed and ready ... although he somehow thought we were coming at 4 instead of 2:30 ... and he was wearing his favorite Haband slacks and purple shirt. His Habands were ordered from a catalogue that we know well, because we hear the story repeatedly about how he opened an account, got confused on the "discount", stopped his account, ordered more and opened another account, got upset and cancelled that one as well.
When you are 89, apparently food is the main thing you talk about when you're not talking about bruising and bathroom skills. For my Dad ... sports is the other thing on his mind. Thanksgiving Day football ... especially because the Saints were playing ... was his main focus when he hit the door and shuffled his walker to a big chair right in front of the TV.
The usual pre-turkey conversations took place ... Mark and I talked about gambling, Debbie and Lee talked about real estate (which prompted yet another diatribe about the banks and their sinister plot to punish people who want to close on their homes on time), the kids were all talking to themselves by cell phone, Larry talked about his gall bladder (so did all the sisters), Kevin talked about fishing and Kelli talked about her kitchen expansion and a hilarious discussion that her builder and the interior designer had about the size of the refrigerator handles (short and thick or long and thin).
Despite Larry blowing his nose, Sam coughing up pieces of turkey and Kelli gagging ... we made it through the meal.
During dinner, Lydia, a family friend came in late. It was then that I found out about the plate count. You see, when she tried to serve herself, she mentioned to Dennie that there were no plates.
"Of course there are plates. You are the 20th guest and I bought exactly 20 plates from Sam's Club."
Mark looked over at my plate and said ... "Joel's got two."
He was right. My expensive plastic plate had leaked so someone had double plated me.
"Use the second one that Joel has." Dennie said.
I lifted my other plate and cleaned it off for our other guest.
"See. I knew I had 20," Dennie said.
"Dennie. Why did you buy exactly 20?" I asked ... not even bothering to ask why we couldn't use one real plate or heaven forbid buy more.
"Well .... because that's how they come. In 20s."