My son and I lived in Aberdeen, Scotland for a year. Like the other Americans living there, we celebrated American holidays at the appropriate times. When Thanksgiving rolled around, I invited neighbors for a traditional holiday feast. I was quite busy during the week preceding Thanksgiving, so I neglected to buy the goodies until the last minute, paying no attention to my colleagues' talk about "ordering their turkeys." It seemed like a lot of bother to me: going to the store to order the turkey, and then going back to the store to pick it up.
The day before Thanksgiving, I set out for the grocery store. There were no turkeys to be seen.
"Where are the turkeys?" I asked.
"Did you order one?" was the reply.
"Why should I order one, don't you always have turkeys?"
No, they did not. I spent the day making the rounds of the grocery stores in Aberdeen, always getting the same thing: "Why did you not order your turkey?"
Finally, someone suggested I try the business that sold to restaurants. It was my last hope. I walked out with a forty-pound turkey, the smallest they had. That evening, after I had removed every item from the refrigerator to make room for the turkey, I calculated the time required to cook a forty-pound turkey.
I set the alarm for three, hopped out of bed, prepared my giant turkey, but alas. The thing wouldn't fit in the oven. By shoving and squeezing, I finally managed to force it in, but the oven door wouldn't shut. I pushed a chair against the door to hold it in place, but there was a gap of three of four inches through which the heat escaped.
Guests were invited for three. At seven we still waited for the turkey to finish cooking -- a thoroughly humiliating experience.
There remained about five months worth of turkey leftovers and it took me at least five months to finish scraping the turkey from the sides of the oven.
The next time I live in Scotland we're going out for Thanksgiving dinner and having haggis.