|By Nick Woodside||Wednesday, 21 Nov 2007|
“Where does Thanksgiving come from?” This is the third most popular question* asked of me by children across the land. Honestly, I never know what to tell them. Usually I just make something up but this year I decided to do a little research. Using the popular website “Google”, I’ve deduced that the Thanksgiving holiday dates back to the 1600′s when white people sailed across the Atlantic in boats to the New World so they could escape oppression and persecution. When they reached this New World, originally dubbed “PuritanicalkillallfunnoboozesalesonSundaylandia”, they found that it was already populated by many different tribes of indigenous people that called themselves “Native Americans”. They liked this name so much they decided to change the name of this new land to America. This shorter name was good because a lot of these settlers were either severely handicapped or female so the less letters they have to deal with, the better. After unloading all their boats, the H.C.I.C. (“Head Caucasian In Charge”) John Woodlief asked the Indians “What’s good?” Since they had stuck on boats for countless weeks, the settlers were starving for something other than salted fish and their own urine. The indigenous people provided them with, among other things, maize, lobster, venison, and swans. Seriously, they ate swans! That’s wild, man. How could you look at a graceful swan and say “I’m going to eat that whole fucking thing!” At least turkeys are gross looking with that red ball sack under their beaks. If I had my way it would be a law of nature that only the ugly animals get eaten. Anyway, the pilgrims and the Indians sat down to this feast to celebrate the end of the white settler’s oppression and the beginning of the Native American’s. Nice how that worked out, right? Model of efficiency right there.
So the big question we have today is “Why are we still celebrating a feast that’s probably tied to the beginning of a dark time in our nation’s past? Also, why so much food when so many are so hungry?” 13 red and white stripes and 50 stars on a field of blue, that’s why. Maybe the better question to ask is why are you such a buzzkill? It’s one day out of the year that I eat too much, drink too much and watch tremendously shitty football games. Can I just have this one goddamned day without you up my ass? Fine, you want to spend all day preaching that’s your right. Honestly, that’s what makes this day so great. You can celebrate it however you want to. You want to bust balls and be a dick, go for it. Hell one year I celebrated with a tofurkey! Sure, it was the worst Thanksgiving of my life but that’s beside the point. What I’m saying here is that Thanksgiving is what you want it to be. For me it’s about getting together with family and friends, putting up with their bullshit and eating good food. For others it may be the exact opposite of that. Look you most likely get the day off so just shut up and enjoy it, alright?
This year is going to be a low key affair at my house. Nothing much more than my immediately family and hours of passive aggression and thinly veiled criticism. Pffft. Nothing a little booze and pork can’t fix. In the past couple years, my wife and I have slowly started making more and more food for the meal. Sometimes I think if my parents had their way, it’d be some Stove Top and canned cranberry sauce all around. I imagine we’d probably eat in the basement under a lone bare bulb too just to really nail the mood. Look, I’m not asking for swans or ostrich or anything like those damn Native Americans show-offs prepared, but this is a once a year meal. Let’s stretch our legs a bit. I’m making a brined turkey, cornbread, sausage and cranberry stuffing, mixed greens braised with bacon and onions, and some honey and clove cranberry sauce. My wife is making glazed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie cake and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon which she grills. Good god. Just thinking about tomorrow’s meal has me feeling like a nap and a dump. It’s a good thing Thanksgiving is only once a year or America would probably be the fattest nation in the world. What’s that? Really? We are? Well I’ll be damned.
The truth is that Thanksgiving is a pretty straightforward holiday. It says right in the name that it is for the “giving of thanks” which is a much better thing to give than herpes. If nothing else (unless your religion forbids it) take a minute tomorrow to count your blessings. I know that when I’m sitting down to dinner, buzzed and content, I’ll say a little thanks for everything that matters in my life. Lolcats, roflcopters, and amirite. Happy Thanksgiving internets.
* First most popular: Where do babies come from? Second most popular: Why does my mommy have so many one dollar bills?