Everybody has loaded their plates with enough turkey, stuffing, gravy, potatoes, green bean casserole (truly, the staple and stalwart of any Thanksgiving feast), rolls, cranberry sauce and yams to feed a small village for a day. Placing them down before them, some beloved family member has forced a pause so everybody at the table(s) has to put their plate down and recite one thing they are thankful for this holiday season.
For me, this was an especially poignant moment last year because of the fact that for two years, I celebrated the holiday with nothing but my old buddy Him to provide solace for me amidst the coming winter, my birthday, my sister’s birthday, Christmas, New Year’s and on and on. A very dark time in my life. But a year ago yesterday, due to the grace of God and my loving family and their seemingly infinite capacity for forgiveness, I was able to gather with them around the table once more. It is, assuredly, a special moment for a family to be able to do this. Even more so for a prodigal son like me.
Yesterday was even more special because my parents hosted an immigrant family from Kenya that joined us. I even got to see my mother cradle their infant in her arms for a spell. I swear, I could make a million dollars by starting a company that just rented out babies for major holidays so genetically frustrated women whose grandmother instinct is going unfulfilled this holiday because her grandbabies are 2000 miles away get to hold a little one in their arms. My mom is still chomping at the bit for me to have children, but for now she’s at least sated for two more weeks until my brother’s kids are in town.
Anyway, so the Thanksgiving ritual has passed and everyone sits down to dig in to what? To a cold plate of food, that’s what. And it’s November, so depending on how high the heat is cranked, this can range from a lukewarm to damn near icy plate of food. What to do?
Enter another of my million dollar ideas. The Hot Seat! Okay, you know how most microwaves can be pretty bulky, even for modern standards? Hear me out. The Hot Seat would be a plate-sized microwave that would be passed around the table so each family member could place their plate in it, give it a zap, remove their plate and Presto! A plate full of hot food!
Now, the Hot Seat would have to be fairly small and ultra-light. So, I’m thinking some of that razor-thin titanium they use to make laptops and golf drivers. And because you’re dealing with electro-magnetic radiation, each Hot Seat would come equipped with one of those lead aprons they use when taking X-rays. But a cute lead apron, with a cartoon image of a turkey ripping off his own drumstick with a big game-show host toothy smile. The lead apron would be stowed at the base of the Hot Plate and rolled out so the person would just have to position the apron with the big toothy turkey, pop their plate in, zap it, take the plate out and pass it on. Simple and easy, right? Hang on.
Because this is, after all, Thanksgiving dinner, and you could potentially have 15-30 people that need to use the Hot Seat after Dad says Grace. So it would have to be pretty damn quick. I don’t know much about plutonium, but I think if the Hot Seat came equipped with a thumbnail-sized reservoir of weapons-grade plutonium fixed on the back, that should provide enough juice that you could get a 10,000 watt charge out of the Hot Plate and Boom! 5 seconds and you’re done and you pass the Hot Seat on to the next person.
Now, you would have to provide the Hot Seat with enough electricity to cover every plate and you obviously don’t want a power cord presenting a hindrance over the table, so I propose a series of 6 “D” cell batteries positioned discreetly at the base of the back of the unit with another charger pack Velcro-ed to the top of the unit for a reserve supply. Actually, with that many people in need of that much power, Mom or Dad might have to wear a utility belt full of charger packs bandalero-style at the beginning of the meal for easy access. And with a 10,000 watt charge every minute or so circulating around the table, it might get pretty noisy right? Easy fix. When the host is putting out the place settings with the silverware rings shaped like turkeys and Photoshopped name tags, he/she would also add a pair of earplugs to each seat. This carries an added bonus because not only are your ears shielded from the blast of the Hot Seat, but you don’t have to actually listen to Aunt Carol’s account of the secret recipe she used for the cranberry sauce which everyone knows is just the Kroger brand cranberry sauce with an extra scoop of sugar.
When the meal is finished and everyone is enjoying dessert, the host would simply carry the Hot Seat off to the safe in the basement with two keys positioned at opposite ends of the storage room and then he/she and their spouse/significant other would do the “Turn Your Key, Sir” routine like in War Games, mom tucks the Hot Seat safely in its place, closes the safe door, and the Hot Seat is ready to be trotted out again at Christmas.
Unlike my Leave It! Home Security System ( ) , I think the Hot Seat would be more practical, albeit with a much lower profit margin given the battery packs and plutonium sold with each unit. Plus there’s the supply problem on finding weapons-grade plutonium, but things are working out pretty well with Iran nowadays and they may have a lot they need to get rid of. I’m working on it, but I think this one is definitely doable.