The Trials and Tribulations of Thanksgiving
It's tough to be a cynic in a Hallmark world. No one wants to admit
it. It's a dirty job, and I was elected to do it. Yes, I'm going to
tell the truth about Thanksgiving. Norman Rockwell may have painted a
lovely picture, but what it didn't show you was that Norman was
wearing a leather bustier while painting. In the real world, nothing
ever looks like a Saturday Evening Post Covers. Oh I could go on for
days about the terrors of Thanksgiving, but I have a word limit so,
with that in mind, I present the Top 10 Terrible Things
Number Ten: Cornbread Dressing
Now I know I'm going to take some guff over this, but I wasn't reared
in Oklahoma. I'm a transplant who really likes the place, except when
it comes to cornbread dressing. Somehow, the light, flaky-sweet
texture and taste of cornbread is transformed inside the bowels of a
turkey into a gelatinous mass with a density greater than
that of a neutron star. A good sized tablespoon of the stuff will soak
up almost two gallons of gravy. It could be used to anchor bass boats.
Number Nine: Who thought up the timing of this thing?
Thanksgiving has the dumbest timing...the fourth Thursday of the
month. Holidays should be on a specific date or they should be so
esoterically dated (like Easter) that only a scholar with a Cray
computer and the Principia Discordia should be able to figure them
Number Eight: Jello Salad
This terror is somewhat akin to number ten. Unless you only dine with
your immediate family on Thanksgiving, it's a sure bet that
someone...somewhere...at some time, has brought the dreaded gelatin
salad (in one of its infinitely nasty variations). Has anyone aside
from me ever noticed that these things only come in colors not found
anywhere in nature? I'm sorry, but I thought our ancestors survived by
avoiding eating things that glowed in the dark. Dayglo purple is
simply not an acceptable coloring for foodstuffs. Although there is
some interest to be derived from playing "guess what's in it?", just
as you've finally decided that it really is a grape and bite into the
slithering semi-live mass, you discover that you were incorrect and
now have a mouthful of green olive and lime gelatin to either forcibly
swallow, or gracefully hide in your napkin.
Number Seven: Clean up
Even with a dishwasher, this is no fun. You know how it goes; you
start cooking the day before, baking pies and the stuff you can get
out of the way early, like say... jello salad. The next day, you're up
at the crack of dawn with your hand inside a turkey's more intimate
spots, or chopping, dicing, and baking something. In your wake you've
probably left the entire contents of your kitchen shelves and actually
been able to somehow or another pull in dirty pans from a parallel
dimension (I believe they get my socks in exchange).
Number Six: Parades
They're all the same, big hair, big floating cartoon characters, big
brass bands, big bore.
Number Five: Most Boring Holiday
There are no costumes, no presents, not even fireworks, and if you
don't like floats, or football; you're in big trouble on Thanksgiving.
Not only does T.V. somehow get even more stupid than usual, but the
movie theaters are in that lull just before the BIG Christmas release
period. Anyone seen in a bar or nightclub on Thanksgiving is
considered either pathetic or incredibly desperate or both. The liquor
stores are usually closed. I suppose we could always make our own fun
like the Settlers and Native Americans, but the last thing I want
after eating my weight in pumpkin pie, is to play a quick game of La
Crosse. It would be more like a quick game of LaToss.
Number Four: In-laws
One of great things about growing up is that we don't have to live
with our family any more. We get to make our own rules. You get used
to living on your own and dealing with your family only when you visit
them. Then we get married, and we have in-laws. Now we have strangers
as members of our family. In the early years of marriage, you may have
to struggle over whose family to visit during the holidays. In later
years of marriage you give up the struggle and just dread the annual
: a) bickering b) boring stories c) absolute silence d) jello
salad e) all of the above.
Number Three: The Opening of "Holiday Season"
From Thanksgiving until January 3rd we will be inundated with: holiday
album collections, specials of the has-beens and nearly-was',
claymation specials, heart-wrenching pleas for one cause or another,
tacky store displays, and gaudy sequined sweatshirts. Shopping will
make Dante's Inferno look like a day at Disneyland (actually, the two
aren't that far apart in my mind).
Number Two: Football
Thanksgiving kicks off the central orgy period of the religion of
Football. This is the first Full Weekend Of Football. You can run but
you can't hide. Even if you put a bullet in your own T.V. set, they're
in restaurants, shopping malls, and from what I read, even in cars.
Everywhere you turn there are team logos and cheerleaders
flashing impossibly white smiles even whilst being twisted into
pretzels and tossed skyward like so much pizza dough. Studies have
shown that in offices around the country the intensity with which the
weekly football board is monitored will increase by150%. For those of
us who hate football, this is akin to being flayed with a rusty bread
knife while Sally Struthers recites "Trees."
And as if that weren't enough reason to tremble in fear, the Number
One Terror of Thanksgiving is...
Turkey-induced Trytophane Coma!
Reverend Mutha Tarla Star of the Little Sisters of the Perpetually
Juicy; a Proud jism schism of the Church of the SubGenius.
Worshipping Juicy Retardo and "Connie" Dobbs since 1986.