The Lee Side: Castor oil taint my friend

Happy early Thanksgiving. If you will be out and about on Thursday, keep your eyes to the sky.

Posted on 11/23/13

By Lee Coleman

We have it on good authority stomach ailment products will be dropped from helicopters at sunrise.

Ah yes. Thanksgiving. The one time of the year when we can legally make gluttons out of ourselves without the fear of spousal rebuttal or reprise.

Thanksgiving is the day when the once-a-year uncle shows up to borrow money from everyone after his ant farm venture didn’t work out and his unemployment benefits have expired.

This is the day when the notoriously single aunt shows up with boyfriend No. 20 on the year.

Aunt Mae, tell your new friend to take off his sideways ball cap in the house, pull up his pants and don’t smoke in the house. Especially in the kitchen.

But most importantly, Thanksgiving is the day for families to be together and give thanks for those things that are most dear to their hearts.

When miles upon miles separate my family this year, I won’t be able to share the day with them but what I can share are the memories of my family on this day.

Every year, we would gather at my grandmother’s house. That dear soul could flat cook up some food.

In my eyes, she was the absolute master at making fresh lemon pies from scratch using condensed milk and plenty of them.

Us kids had but one rule on Thanksgiving. As soon as all the men were propped up in their chairs pretending to watch football with their proverbial belt buckles loosened and acting like they weren’t snoring, we would go outside and all the kids in the neighborhood would gather in my grandmother’s huge front yard for our annual Turkey Bowl football game.

This one year, I had a heaping helping of my grandmother’s hospitality at least twice.

With the men settled in their chairs and the women scurrying about cleaning up the carnage, I quietly slipped under the table with fork in hand and one last lemon pie left on the dessert table.

Without anyone watching, I proceeded to attempt a devouring maneuver on that pie.

Chomp, chomp, chomp. I was just wearing it out as quickly as I could. That was until my dear grandmother jerked up the tablecloth and screamed to high heaven. I was so busted.

Grabbing me by the ear, she marched my behind down the hallway and into the bathroom. Never speaking a word, she grabbed a bottle of castor oil, dumped it into a giant spoon and told me to swallow it.

Oh good, I have an option. Boy was I wrong. Down it went. Agonizing profusely, she gave me a second spoon. Enough already. I get it. Don’t sneak-eat grandma’s pies.

Much to my chagrin, the football game was starting outside. I moved around quite gingerly without any harm for a few minutes.

Little did I know, my beloved brother, God rest his soul, told all the guys about my embarrassing castor oil moment.

Without fanfare, a gang tackle ensued. I was raised to be polite so I shared my lunch and the lemon pie aftermath with them all.

Didn’t live that one down for a long time.

To you and yours, happy Thanksgiving.

For me, no threat of disgusting home remedies for a full belly this year.

Castor oil taint my friend. Not then, not today.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at