November 27, 2013
from November 6, 2010
Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is almost here, although you may be more familiar with it by its more common name- Christmas.
Thanksgiving is a forgotten holiday. Oh, it isn’t forgotten in the sense that you wake up on Friday morning, wonder why you have the day off, and hey, shouldn’t there be leftover turkey in the fridge? Trust me- if you get two days off out of your work week you don’t forget Thanksgiving. The thing is that it has been forgotten by the stores. They skipped Thanksgiving, blew past Halloween like poor Charlie Brown and his holey ghost costume weren’t even there, and started Christmas sales right after Jerry Lewis heaved himself home to a big dinner of gravy and pork fat right after his Labor Day begathon. It was quite a sight on September 2nd, seeing a whole host of fat, sweaty guys in red fur suits dying in the late summer heat. Macy’s had to call in the paramedics the first time a kid sat on Santa’s lap and slipped off due to all the sweat.
Thanksgiving is the forgotten holiday, but what is being forgotten? Bear with me, I am a product of the New York City educational system.
Four score and seven years ago (the score was 3-2 Red Sox) the Pilgrims arrived in America after being booted out of England. They were an odd group of people. They wore black clothes with buckles on their shoes and pointy hats. Sorry, I think those are the Puritans. Those are the guys on the butter tubs, right? Oh, those are the Quakers. So who is on the oatmeal can? Amish? They don’t believe in mirrors, so how did Robert Alden shave?
Anyway, the Pilgrims had some problems with King George. All the Pilgrims wanted to do was worship as they saw fit. King George said “We’ll have no goat marriage in my country!” and threw their goat-loving asses out of his kingdom. You see, America was founded by people who only wanted to worship as they saw fit, and they saw goat marriage as fit. Way to start, USA.
For his part, King George was the Ike Turner of his time. Aside from being a side man in a blues quartet, He smacked around the Pilgrims like Ike smacked Tina and did it all out of love. “Take that Pilgrims!” SMACK! Tea Tax. “Take that Pilgrims!” SMACK! Stamp Act. “I’m only doing it because I love you, colonial baby!” It wasn’t until Tina, I mean the Pilgrims, stood up to him did he turn into a quivering mass of abusive jelly. All the time the Pilgrims were sailing to America he kept sending them love letters and promising to change.
Anyway, the Pilgrims came to America, accompanied by a kick-ass theme song by Neil Diamond, (“They’re coooooming to America, today!”) on three Cunard Line cruise ships- The Nina, The Pinta, and The Titanic. All but The Titanic made it to America. The Pilgrims were believed to have landed on Plymouth Rock, but new scientific evidence suggests that they actually ran aground on a rusted out ‘58 Chevy.
They were appalled by the lack of working toilets. The local Indians had put “out of order” signs on all the restrooms just out of spite. To get revenge on them, a young George Steinbrenner traded Ron Hassey to the Indians for a player to be named later.
And thus was the first Thanksgiving set up. The Pilgrims first played four college football games against the Indians, and the Pilgrims won all but one, the Detroit game.
To celebrate their victory, they invited the Indians over for a big dinner. This meal included “maize,” which the Indians claim means corn but is actually Ute Indian for “look at how stupid white man eats this horse dung.” They also had roast beef, carrots, imported caviar, something the nearby Dutch settlers called “blunts” and lots and lots of sirloin steak. The myth that they ate turkey was invented by the Turkey Industry Ad Council in 1958, when a young ad executive needed a way to boost slumping turkey sales.
Today Thanksgiving is little more than a bump in the road to Christmas, which, according to my calendar, starts on February 21st next year.
Disgruntled turkeys have tough meat. Use extra gravy.