Turkey Frying Mishaps & Other Thanksgiving Cautionary Tales 

'Sup turkey.

'Sup turkey.

It’s safe to admit that we’ve all experienced a few uncomfortable discussions, awkward encounters, and soap opera-worthy meltdowns at holiday gatherings over the years. As you gear up for your family’s annual misadventures, make yourself feel better about whatever memories have lodged themselves into the recesses of your brain with the following Turkey Day trials.

Don’t Invite Mr. Yuk.

A poison information employee reported that one woman actually straight up varnished her turkey. She wasn’t trying to kill her family; it was an accident, and not entirely her fault. Her husband had stored varnish in a Tupperware container in the fridge for some reason. The discovery wasn’t made until after the meal was consumed.

Always Make an Entrance.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s daughter had a Thanksgiving to remember when she was invited to a famous mansion to celebrate the holiday. She decided to bring along her chihuahua, who didn’t exactly follow standard rules of etiquette when he decided to spread his explosive diarrhea all over the mansion’s front hall.

Practice Southern Hospitality.

Okay, here’s one that ends well. A carjacker in North Carolina attacked a woman while attempting to steal her keys. He didn’t account for the witnesses nearby, who banded together to beat him over the head with a frozen turkey so that he would relent.

Keep an Eye on the Table.

One woman recounted a Texas Thanksgiving that was celebrated beach side. Once everything was perfectly laid out on the table, the tide decided to take more than its share of helpings, washing all of the food, and even the table, into the Gulf.  

Incidentally, Texas leads the nation in cooking and grease-related insurance claims, and has for the last several years. More cooking fires start on Thanksgiving than any other day of the year, with over $15 mil in property damage annually.

We can all probably tell a turkey frying tale or two, or at least steal one from a friend and claim it as ours. The dedicated YouTuber can find hours of hilarious and terrifying culinary explosions all centered around this day of giving thanks. Be thankful for your eyebrows this year because they could have been torched like countless others.

If you want to burn off your hair, possibly several limbs and maybe even your entire yard, then by all means, fire up that completely frozen bird.

But if you’d rather play it safe, follow these simple tips:

  • The point can’t be stressed enough: Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before you start cooking it.

  • Much like that stray cat, turkey fryers are for outside use only.

  • Raise and lower the bird at a snail’s pace in order to avoid splatters and burns.

  • Keep at least two feet between the propane tank and the burner (as well as Grandpa and that one cousin) at all times.

  • You already practice this with your Yankee Candle, so it should be easy. Remember that you don’t leave the fryer unattended while it’s running.

Let’s be real, maybe that sampling of Tofurkey isn’t the worst thing that could happen to you this November. Hopefully, the only thing that will be on fire this year will be your snarky comebacks. You can always leave the cooking to the professionals and order in for the holidays if you have to.

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