Good morning. I'm going to tell you the contents of your refrigerator.
One bony carcass covered with stringy meat and looking like the chest of a flayed Great Dane. One bowl of whipped sweet potatoes dotted with bite-size marshmallows that looks like a field of mushrooms growing in fertilizer. Great gritty wads of stuffing. Cold mashed potatoes caked and gray as refrozen slush. Three cloudy creamed onions looking like the eyes of a triclops. Limp celery filled with yellowish fudgy cream cheese . . .
Somehow, Thanksgiving is our longest holiday. Even New year's Eve vanishes by noon the next day, leaving you with nothing more serious than a hangover and eight hours of television football to nurse it with.
Thanksgiving leaves you with leftovers. And with guests - who sometimes seem to have nothing to do but sit around looking like leftovers themselves, and no way to pass the time except remembering what Uncle Dan should never have said to Aunt Sue.
All this can make life look as grim as your refrigerator does, this very minute. And the only cure is to get everybody out of the house. Except, of course, for Uncle Dan, who loves football. Channel 7 has solved all his problems by scheduling four games in two days (Friday 2 p.m., Nebraska vs. Oklahoma; 9 p.m. USC vs. UCLA; Saturday from noon to 6:30 straight through: Penn State vs. Pittsburgh and Army-Navy). Sunday he'll want to start out with Channel 4 at 1 o'clock (Pittsburgh Steelers vs. the New York Jets) and then switch to Channel 9 at 3, as the Redkins play dallas, to watch the fading of Washington's chances for a wild-card berth - or, maybe, to Channel 11 at 4 o'clock to see the Colts play Denver. Just sit him down in the softest chair, give him a bowl of those stony little leftover nuts, a couple of sixpacks and the butt ends of all those winebottles everybody brought for the big dinner, and he'll never bother Aunt Sue again.
If you don't have an Uncle Dan, and the weather makes the outside seem absolutely impossible, there are two television shows that might help. Friday at 2 Channel 26 is showing Shakespeare's "Richard III," with a silent, sexy Mistress Shore invented by Colly Cibber, with John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson and with Laurence Olivier as the meanest, cruellest, most attractive funniest Richard ever. Friday at 9 p.m. Channel 9 has a tenth anniversary celebration for Rolling Stone, the magazine that almost singlehandedly kept rock from becoming grown up and respectable. Guest stars Art Garfumkel, Gladys Knight, Steve Martin, Richie Havens, Bette Midler, Loggins and Messina, Donny Osmond - and apparently not Hunter Thompson, the legendary and infamous doctor of journalism who almost singlehandedly kept Rolling Stone from becoming grown up and respectable.
If your guests are new to Washington, pack them off to the Air and Space Museum. Even Uncle Dan will love the roomfuls of World War II planes he still remembers from his wartime adventures in the Junior Aircraft Spotter Corps. And there's nothing like standing in line to see the flight movie with thousands of other tourists to fill up time.
The zoo has nothing special planned for Thanksgiving weekend, but the zoo is also great fun. Sometimes children object to going to zoos - they know zoos are really only for adults who like to explain things to children. But love the Washington zoo - not because of those secretive pandas, but because of the white tigers. And the world's largest collection of hyenas.
But the best children's show in town is at the Corcoran Gallery, and it has the most forbidding title: Anamorphoses. That's the name goven to paintings and drawings that look like random splotches and squiggles - until you look at them from a certain angle, or through a lens, or in a cylindrical or even conical mirror. Then they suddenly look like Christ crucified, a knight in armor, a luscious nude, a glass of beer. A spectacular show that makes kids laugh and laugh - and look and look. (Adults $1.50; students 75 cents; under 12 free).
And least appreciated museum is the combined National Portrait Gallery and National Collection of Fine Arts. They share a big building like a square, orange doughnut. The National Portrait Gallery has portraits of famous Americans, painted from life, and lots of printed cards telling you who they are and why you should know about them. An owly H.L. Mecken along with the original of a letter saying his proudest achievement was inventing the term "Bible Belt." The original Cinque, an African who led a revolt on a slave ship and was returned to Africa after a trial in which he was defended by John Quincy Adams. John Brown. Edna Millay, looking like a '50s bohemian in a '30s apartment. Susan B. Anthony. Special exhibits include a fascinating story of Aaron Burr's trial for treason, a tiny but excellent and informative portrait of people in a New England town by Alice Stalknecht.
If you go to these museums, go when you're hungry. The cafeteria, Patent Pending, is extremely good, reasonably cheap, rarely crowded and staffed by pleasant people. All a rarity in Washington museums.
A few blocks away, at 1206 G. St NW, is the Museum of Temporary Art, a small storefront that's showing a collection of matchbook covers. The show combines nostalgia, weirdness, comedy and just a little bawdy (take the kids - there's hardly anything more serious than they can see on the supermarket racks full of pantyhose). Oldtime pinups, an American flag made of paper matches; political slogans, World Warr II propaganda. And it's all free. (11 to 6, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.)
If you'd rather get out of town, Gaithersburg Fairgrounds has an antique show. Dealers from 15 states exhibiting Americana, primitive furniture, china, silver, French porcelain, jewelry, oriental rugs, Victoriana, Art Nouveau and Art Deco collectables. All the stuff that Aunt Sue loves to buy and loves to look at even if she can't buy. (Noon to 10 Friday and Saturday; noon to 5 Sunday. $2 a person; $1.50 a person if you bring along an ad from this paper. Mrs. Chertock in Public Relations wasn't sure what section the ad would be running in, but look a little - 50 cents is 50 cents).
Do not forget "Two Nights of New Music," the festival of contemporary classical music and jazz that anyone interested in music will find fascinating. "Two Nights" runs from Friday night through Sunday night. Tickets at Ticketron or call 347-3483. Even if you don't care much about music, contemporary music, jazz or anything, consider going to see John Cage give a workshop/performance (Sunday noon, WPA Gallery, 1227 G St. NW). Tickets are $3.50 at the door and Cage, the good, gray, joking enfant terrible of the avant garde, is amazing on stage. Take the kids, take Uncle Dan and Aunt Sue, encourage everybody to ask the dumbest kind of questions - and what you'll get back are polite, kind and hilarious answers. Which may, depending on your life, change your life.
"PRESIDENT WILSON IS DECEIVING THE WORLD WHEN HE POSES AS THE PROPHET OF DEMOCRACY," said the sign that got the pickets from the National Woman's Party arrested in front of the White House. "THE WORLD WILL FIND HIM OUT." The world, as usual, did not find him out. But you can. At an exhibit called "War Against Freedom," open from 10 to 2 Friday; noon to 4 Saturday and Sunday (adults $1.50, students and senior citizens 50 cents) at . . . Woodrow Wilson House (2340 S St. NW). This is the house that Wilson lived in after he left office - the display includes memorabilia and photos of the women's movement, the movement for black equal rights, the Palmer raids against Socialists and pacifists (where J. Edgar Hoover got his start). Figure half an hour or so for the "War Against Freedom," another three-quaters of an hour to tour the home of the Great Deceiver.