For what will you be giving thanks on Thursday? Your health? Your happiness? The pilgrim who brought green beans topped with French-fried onions to the first Thanksgiving?
In the event that you need a little inspiration on the thankfulness front, be grateful that the following fictional folks won’t be joining you for your Thanksgiving feast:
The Stantons (Primary Colors)
There are two things you should never discuss at the holiday dinner table:
1. The fact that your aunt is obviously under the impression that Jello is a mandatory dessert ingredient.
Good luck avoiding the latter if you’re dining with the Clintons. Er, I mean, the Stantons.
The Joads (The Grapes of Wrath)
Picture this: Per tradition, you ask all of your guests to share what it is for which they are most thankful. It’s such a heartwarming exercise. Your sister says, “I’m thankful for my new job.” Your best friend says, “I’m grateful for the home my wife and I have just purchased.” And then you get to Ma Joad. Oh, no. This was a terrible idea. Please, someone say something to fill the silence before she’s forced to utter, “Well, I guess I’m grateful that my daughter’s no-good husband left her so he didn’t see her nursing a dying man with the breast milk she should have been giving to her stillborn baby. Hooray.”
The Gladneys (White Noise)
OK, maybe it’s unfair to peg the Gladneys as unpleasant holiday guests. Professor Gladney is, after all, a learned scholar, and Babette is quite the conversationalist. Really, other than the fact that he studies Hitler for a living, they both speak obsessively of death, she’s a drug addict, and he attempted to kill the man with whom she was having an affair, they’re really quite lovely company.
Ignatius J. Reilly (A Confederacy of Dunces)
You may be able to forgive Ignatius for his bloviating, his condescension, even his gluttony. But his stance on canned food—that it is a perversion, damaging to the soul—is unforgivable. Thanksgiving isn’t Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce that retains the shape of the can from whence it came.
Dr. Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs)
And you thought it was going to be difficult to accommodate the dietary needs of your vegan cousin…
Which fictional character would you least want at your Thanksgiving table?