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

about Thanksgiving:

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 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.