By Inez Castor

Newspaper columnists often try to appear objective and impersonal, addressing situations rather than personalities. But I've never been very good at objectivity. Like a child, I see everything in the light of my own desires. And so do youit's part of being human.

These days my greatest desire is for a little fun, some laughter, and a break from the seriousness of life in this first decade of the 21st century.

I'm tired of new voting machinery and old politicians. I'm tired of pinching every penny until Lincoln yelps. Like everybody else, I'm just plain tired of worrying. Could we please just have a little levity?

In the interest of saving my own sanity I've taken the liberty of playing with a humorous article that's been floating around the Internet for several years. The original was written by Barbara A. Tyler and appeared in andquot;Today's Womanandquot; magazine. Modifications can be blamed on me.

No Martha this year

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. I'm telling you in advance, so you won't be surprised and disappointed. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes.

Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade paper bag luminaries. After a trial run during which playful 40 mile per hour breezes deposited flaming lunch bags on the neighbor's roof, we decided instead to station small, sticky, affectionate children at the gate as a welcoming committee.

The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china or crystal goblets. If possible, everyone will get a fork and we'll skip the jack-o-lantern paper plates.

We will be dining fashionably late, since at 5 a.m. the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. If you hear thumping that sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, please pretend not to notice.

I toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast, but then chose to keep our traditional method. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around and sit on anything that looks like it will hold you, except the piano.

I know you have all seen pictures of someone carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers, with soft music and the delicate chime of crystal in the background. This will not be happening at our dinner.

For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony.

I stress andquot;privateandquot; meaning: Do not enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have a large, sharp carving knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will serve the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and fingerprints. You will still have a choicetake it or leave it.

Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this Thanksgiving. She probably won't come next year either.

I am thankful.

Reach Inez Castor, a long-time Triplicate columnist, at