Thursday, November 22, 2007


In a recent article, Wired magazine columnist Lore Sjoberg noted that Thanksgiving catering is a growth business in the United States, as people outsource all the tedium of cooking and preparation to professionals. He suggested that Thanksgiving catering could be taken further, including more lavish food, speciality pies, and Thanksgiving arbitration:

Rather than just helping out people with Thanksgiving dinner, this business will aid them with the single most unpleasant aspect of the Thanksgiving experience: their relatives. Instead of engaging in backhanded compliments, passive-aggressive stuffing passing and silent, resentful chewing, why not resolve your differences once and for all? Trained chef/negotiators will help you and Aunt Irva find common ground while dishing out the candied yams. And if they can't, they can give you a card for a Thanksgiving Dinner and Steel Cage Match service for next year.

This got me thinking: why stop at arbitration? Why not outsource that most tedious and exasperating part of any family holiday - the family itself?

As a result, we here at Blandwagon Enterprises have come up with a series of family substitution packages suitable for Thanksgivings, Christmases, Wedding Receptions and any other occasion where the greatest threat to your relationships with the people you love is the people themselves.

Bronze (budget) Service:

You're still stuck with your own relatives, but we spruce them up with some new clothes, a little mouthwash and a decent haircut. They are then given cue cards with three (3) interesting factoids gleaned from the internet to kickstart conversation during those awkward silences. To further ensure your peace of mind, we also provide you with an electric cattle prod.

Silver (standard) Service:

We provide stand-ins for your relatives (mostly out of work actors), guaranteed to be better looking, better behaved, more interesting and less likely to cause a scene because of something someone said to someone else in 1974 that everyone had forgotten about. For a small additional fee we can provide a pinata shaped like your least-favourite cousin, filled with the candy of your choice.

Gold (deluxe) Service:

While similar to the Silver service, the Gold service provides better-looking actors (including at least one (1) C-list soapie starlet) who have been trained with a higher level of engaging conversation and good-natured banter. Included in the price is an older uncle figure guaranteed to get drunk, put a lampshade (provided) on his head and sing 'Livin' La Vida Loca' before falling into the pool (or into a flowerbed if no pool is available), which will be a) funnier and b) less damaging to your property than the real thing.

Platinum (Donald Trump) Service:

We send Clive James (father-in-law), Christopher Hitchens (sardonic uncle), Sarah Silverman (amusingly bitchy aunt), David Sedaris (flamboyant cousin), Bill Bailey (kooky brother-in-law), Kristen Bell (some relative distant enough to hit on) and the ghost of Dorothy Parker (deceased great grandmother) around to entertain you with polished anecdotes, dazzling repartee, amusing tricks with the silverware and snappy quips about the politicians and celebrities you love to hate. The package includes a 12 month guarantee that they will fondly recall their dinner with you the next time they're on Letterman, describing you as "a very close friend and a helluva good egg" or similar as appropriate.

Blandwagon Enterprises takes cash, credit cards, PayPal and anything else that isn't nailed down. Book now!


Anonymous Matthew Jarvis said...

Is it possible to hire just the "relative distant enough to hit on" (Kristen Bell) in the role of "family member visiting from overseas who needs a place to stay for a while"?

8:14 AM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Not from Blandwagon Enterprises' Family Substitution Services, no. I think you want Blandwagon Enterprises' "In Your Dreams" Celebrity Escort Services. Down the hall, last door on the left.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Iris Flavia said...

Am I glad we don´t celebrate Thanksgiving over here, I´d be too late to book! But I´m in for the Golden (deluxe) Service for Christmas, please. And I´d like the electric cattle prod from the Bronze (budget) Service as add-on, too!

3:35 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home