It may seem odd to link Thanksgiving, arguably a beer occasion, with Mr. Harvey Wallbanger, the screwdriver’s slightly classier older brother, but the two are inexorably linked in my family thanks to the great Thanksgiving Saturday fiasco of 2007. Quite possibly the most ridiculous holiday gathering of my life.
Strap yourself in for a tale of senile neighbors, Nads, napkinface and unreasonable afternoon drunkenness courtesy of Wallbangers.
First and foremost, the Harvey Wallbanger belongs to a class of beverage that I like to call Mom-tails, as they are things the my mother adores. They are usually accompanied by some ridiculous story and they lead to laughter, spilling and my father calling us all lushes.
In short, fun times.
In truth, the Harvey Wallbanger is just a screwdriver classed up with a float of Galliano, a liquor that no one in the world keeps in their cabinets except my mother who currently has two bottles of the stuff.
I have found for you a suitably retro recipe-
Now, the Wallbanger is dangerous because it is so unassuming. It’s juice! That’s fine for breakfast!
I am certain that our undoing was based on three errors
1) The juice is good for breakfast deception.
2) The pre-Thanksgiving dinner starvation.
3) My mother’s and my hilariously low alcohol tolerances.
My family is all of the solid belief that you don’t eat breakfast on Thanksgiving (or Thanksgiving Saturday) so that you can cram as much stuffing as humanly possible into your pie hole while still leaving room for pie. This makes cooking an adventure because holidays are stressful and you need a drink to make that gravy.
Like all mixed drinks, the first Wallbanger is reasonable but all subsequent drinks (and there will be many, because duh it’s juice and juice is good for breakfast) get stronger and stronger until you’re drinking slightly jaundiced looking vodka and you don’t care because you stopped being able to taste the booze two hours ago.
But by that point you’re eating, yay turkey! and it is the most goddamned delicious animal you have ever eaten in your life and your then boyfriend, a very nice guy who has made the poor choice to attend this shitshow as his first exposure to holidays with your family, is suitably horrified as you stuff your maw and your mother repeatedly calls him by the wrong name. But that is still mostly ok.
Then crazy Helen, your parents’ neighbor who is slowly losing her mind, shows up with cookies. Yay cookies! but she arrives just as your adopted baby sister is retelling everyone’s favorite story of the toga party where your rather hirsute brother made a bet that Nads hair removal gel wouldn’t work on his back hair on account of his “deep follicles” which resulted in him being bent over a stove and having two girls gleefully rip hair out of his back. It worked but he bled and lost the bet and had to eat a spoonful of Nads to recover the lost $100 that he didn’t have in the first place.
And crazy Helen says loudly, “What are you talking about? Nads? I know what Nads are. N-A-D-S.”
And you lose your shit because there is an 85 year old yelling Nads in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. And your brother holds his napkin over his face bandito-style to hide his jackal cackle and your adopted baby sister crawls down the hallway because she’s certain she’s going to pee her pants.
And that is Thanksgiving.
The next day you have a wicked hangover and learn that your brother had been exposed to bacterial meningitis at work before he came to dinner which just adds another twist to what had already been an absurd comedy of feasting.
The event is now forever known as that Thanksgiving. And it was all thanks to the Harvey Wallbangers that you haven’t touched since.