Random Ephemera

The Great Escape: 8 Ways to Ditch Your Family This Thanksgiving

The holiday of plenty is finally here. The house smells of cranberries and fried delights. Your home is a bustle of relatives, cousins, aunts... neighbors? All of a sudden a severe panic envelops your body: it's only 8 a.m. You have an entire day to spend with these people - and they just keep coming!

If the thought of being stuck with family members for 24-plus hours straight sounds like pure torture, you are in luck. Because of our great nation's rampant consumerism and perpetual "ants in our pants" mentality, there are plenty of local establishments that will be welcoming patrons with doors wide open. But since you are going to need some solid excuses to jump ship; Art Attack has established 8 sure-fire ways to get out of Dodge.

Excuse: You desperately need some fishing line.

Why you may be in such a frenzied state over fishing equipment on turkey day is anybody's guess. Maybe you've just remembered that you have that big fishing trip with the buddies this weekend? Or you will be using the line to hang Christmas ornaments and want the whole family to be there whilst you trim the tree? Either way, Pro Bass Shop just happens to be open on Thanksgiving, giving you just the place to go. If you really just love fishing, then maybe you will hang around for their "Great Turkey Campout" where you can literally hang outside the Pro Bass Shop with other Thanksgiving escapees.

Excuse: The dog has been cooped up all day.

Dogs are great excuses on any day, but the holidays give them an extra bonus. Your family is sick of your dog jumping all over the nice linens trying to eat turkey. "Get it out of the house," they say! Perfect. The Boneyard Drinkery opens on Thanksgiving at 4 p.m. so you and Fido can get some much needed respite and better beer than the Michelob Ultra your father-in-law has been feeding you. Excuse: You feel like you are going to barf.

This is less of a fake excuse and more of a legitimate reason to go to a pharmacy. Walgreens has got you covered. The drugstore and more is the perfect getaway to pick up any number of remedies for your bloated belly. While you are there, you might as well waste an hour listening to every single Hoops and Yoyo talking greeting card because they always know the rights things to say to get you out of a funk. You can fritter away another 30 minutes in the magazine aisle comparing pictures of "who wore it best" in the various tabloids. Then grab a bag of 99-cent trail mix, because now you are hungry again.

Excuse: The kids have been cooped up all day.

Akin to the dog excuse, but a lot more risky, we advise you to highly debate this one. If you would rather take responsibility for your sister's five insane children, then spend five minutes with your insane mother, more power to you. Bundle the litter up and take them ice-skating. The rink at Discover Green opens up for the winter season on Thanksgiving Day. If you are lucky, they'll be selling hot apple cider over there that you can sneak some scotch into. Just watch that your sister's kids don't break their necks.

Excuse: You are homesick for your mom's green bean casserole; aka your mother-in-law's cooking is God awful.

There is no way you can tell your wife's mom that her cooking is terrible, but she must be able to see it on your face. You have one of those mother-in-laws that thinks she is a master baker, but then regales you with a list of holistic ingredients that she substituted for real ones. She's the type of person that not only knows what flax seeds are, but enjoys preparing foods with them. You need to flee before your tongue falls off, but a sit down dinner out just isn't in the cards for you. Give your best sob story about missing your favorite holiday dish and run out to pick it up. Fortunately, your local Boston Market is open on Thanksgiving to allow you the pleasure of all the lard-ladened mashed potatoes your arteries can handle for only $10.99.

Excuse: This holiday is totally over. On to the next!

You have no time to reminisce about turkey's past, nor do you care. To you, Thanksgiving is just a gateway to Christmas, so why is everyone sitting around playing Yahtzee? Get your family into the car and into the next holiday spirit at the Uptown Tree Lighting on Post Oak. There will be fireworks, music and the fat guy in the red suit.

Excuse: There's a midnight Black Friday steal on Sonic-Care toothbrushes and you've been looking for one forever.

You can see what's happening from a mile away. Your brother's wife's brother has been pounding Meister Bräu for 12 hours straight. It's 11p.m. and everyone else has conveniently turned in for the night. You have a terrifying vision of him persuading you to drunkenly streak the neighborhood. You need out, stat. Head over to Target at midnight and join the rest of the crazies who also crave a good deal. Keep telling yourself that you are not one of them and just needed to get out of the house. Buy everything in sight just because it's on sale.

Excuse: They are playing your favorite movie of all time.

If your family makes you miserable enough that you would prefer spending two hours watching an Ice Cube "comedy" involving poorly timed slapstick and bad acting, then we feel really bad for you. However, you can go to the lawn at Discovery Green to watch a free screening of Are We There Yet? at sundown.

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Abby Koenig
Contact: Abby Koenig