A NASCAR fable, brought to you by your pals at Yahoo! Sports. We begin at the home of Carl Edwards on Thanksgiving afternoon. Edwards opens the front door, a broad smile on his face. Several drivers are gathered there on his front porch, each bearing covered dishes.]
Carl Edwards: Welcome, everyone. Welcome. So glad you could make it. Come on in.
Jimmie Johnson: Happy to come, Carl. Nice of you to invite us over after, you know, losing the lead and missing out on the Sprint Cup. That must really hurt. I mean, I'd assume it would. Having no experience with that myself. 'Cause I won every time I —
Carl Edwards: I get it, Jimmie. Well, this seemed the best way to...what is that smell?
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Oh, that's me. Sorry. I burnt the cranberry sauce.
Kevin Harvick: Again? What's that, the tenth time?
Kyle Busch: How do you burn cranberry sauce?
Matt Kenseth: Why do you burn cranberry sauce? Don't you just use a can-opener, pop open that can and dump it on the plate?
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Can opener? [Holds up bandaged hands] Huh. Yeah, that probably would've been better than using a hacksaw.
Carl Edwards: All right, come on in, everybody. Have a seat. What do you have there, Matt?
[Kenseth flinches as Edwards turns to him.]
Matt Kenseth: Mashed potatoes, Carl. They're real —
[Brian Vickers comes bursting into the room, knocks into Kenseth once, twice, three times. The mashed potatoes hit the floor and the dish shatters.]
Matt Kenseth: Oh, come on, Brian! What was that for?
Brian Vickers: Retaliation for your payback for my revenge. Or something like that. I've kind of lost count. [He holds up two bowls] Yams with Red Bull infusion and Cream of Red Bull Soup. I've got a lot of Red Bull to get rid of.
Carl Edwards: Set it over there on the counter. Now, who's got the —
[From outside, there's a huge crash. Then another. Then another.]
Kyle Busch: What's that?
Kevin Harvick: Montoya. He's parallel parking again. Hope you guys weren't too attached to your bumpers.
[Chad Knaus enters, carrying a delicious coffee cake.]
Chad Knaus: Hey, everybody!
Everybody: Hey, Chad.
Chad Knaus: So happy that we're all gathered here. As requested, I brought some homemade coffee cake. Apple Crumb Streusel. Made it myself. With my own ingredients. In my own kitchen. Myself. Homemade.
Jimmie Johnson: Sounds great, Chad!
[Mike Helton enters the room.]
Mike Helton: Afternoon, everybody. Hey, who left this Sara Lee coffee cake box out in the trash? Apple Crumb Streusel.
Kevin Harvick: Homemade, eh, Chad?
Chad Knaus: Well … in somebody's home. Probably.
Mike Helton: We'll let it slide this time.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Say, that reminds me, Carl. Steve Letarte called. Said he was going to be bringing cheeseburgers.
Carl Edwards: Cheeseburgers? For Thanksgiving?
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Yeah. And he'll be here tomorrow.
Carl Edwards: Huh. Friday. Interesting. Well, let's not wait. Everybody have a seat. Got some appetizers here to get everyone warmed up. Some biscuits, and some orange marmalade straight from Miami.
[Denny Hamlin starts choking on the Miami marmalade. Jeff Gordon slaps him on the back.]
Joe Nemechek[standing up]: Well, that was outstanding, everyone, but I've got to go. Thanks for the lovely meal, Carl.
Carl Edwards: Lovely meal? The appetizers haven't even made it to the kids' table yet!
Joey Logano [from the kids' table]: Save some for us! Brad and I are hungry! Brad … ?
Brad Keselowski [waving from the grownups' table]: All good over here, Joey!
Danica Patrick: Everybody try some of my green bean casserole! It's delicious!
Matt Kenseth: Neon green beans? Sure, I'll … [tastes the casserole, gags] … wow! That is, uh, that's not very good, Danica. Sorry.
Danica Patrick: Oh no! I tried so hard! I won't come back next year …
Everyone: No, no, stay! You're welcome next year, and the year after that, and the year after that ….
[The biscuits work their way around the table.]
Kurt Busch: Please pass the biscuits.
David Reutimann: These look great, Carl. Thanks.
Michael Waltrip [grabbing the biscuit out of Reutimann's hand]: Sorry, David. Got to give these to Clint. Keep his strength up and all.
Clint Bowyer [catching the biscuit tossed by Mikey]: Thanks, David!
David Reutimann: But ... but I just had a few more bites to go ...
Michael Waltrip: Just business, David. You understand.
Jimmie Johnson [holding up biscuits]: Here you go, Kurt.
Kurt Busch: Get those [censored] biscuits out of my face.
Jimmie Johnson: You just asked for me to pass them to you.
Kurt Busch: I did not say that. Maybe you heard my voice because I'm in your head.
Jimmie Johnson: Sure. That's got to be it.
[Across the table, Kevin Harvick has been stealing food off Kyle Busch's plate.]
Kyle Busch: Cut it out.
Kevin Harvick: Cut what out? [He plucks a biscuit off Kyle's plate]
Kyle Busch: That! Cut that out!
Kevin Harvick: I have no idea what you're talking about. [He dips his biscuit in Kyle's milk.]
Kyle Busch: Oh, that's it! [He slams his chair into Harvick's chair, sending Harvick sprawling. Harvick pops up, but Edwards is already pointing at Kyle with a meat fork.]
Mike Helton: Kyle! Go sit on the bottom of the stairs! You're in time out!
Kyle Busch: Me? But I didn't do anything!
Kevin Harvick: Bye-bye! [He scrapes the rest of Kyle's plate onto his own.]
Carl Edwards: All right, everyone, enough. We're about ready to serve the dinner here. But before I go get the turkey, I want to take a moment to thank all of you. It was a rough season for me and the 99 team, but all of our sponsors, this year and next —
[David Ragan whimpers once; Matt Kenseth stares out into the distance]
--we're really happy with how the year turned out, and I hope each of you is happy too. This was a big year for NASCAR, and I really think we've turned a corner. I look forward to many more years of driving with you guys. And now, let me bring out the turkey.
[He goes into the kitchen and returns with a magnificent bird, cooked to a perfect golden brown and trimmed with vegetables and stuffing cooked to the absolute peak of perfection. It smells heavenly, and everyone in the room can only marvel at what Carl has done.]
Carl Edwards: Worked all day on this, my friends, but it was worth it. Here we —
[BOOM! The door right behind Carl slams open, knocking him to the floor and sending the beautiful turkey smashing to the floor.]
Tony Stewart: WHOOOOOOO!!!!! Who's ready for Thanksgiving?
[He busts open a Schlitz and downs it in a single gulp, then throws cans to the cheering drivers. Edwards sits on the floor next to the ruined remains of his turkey.]
Carl Edwards [caressing the carcass]: Next year, baby. You and me. Next year.
Tony Stewart: Happy Thanksgiving, ya deadweights!
On behalf of Jay Hart (who contributed many of the best jokes here), Nick Bromberg and Geoffrey Miller, we at Yahoo! Sports want to wish you and yours a happy and safe Thanksgiving! -JB