Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tis the Season To Be...Wait, No It's Not

That's not til NEXT month...

For Now...

Be Thankful You're Not Having Eel Pies 

(Take Four)

"WHAT!?  Where's the deviled eggs, you savage?"
NOTE:  This is a repost.  Basically, it's a warmed over Thanksgiving feast.  If you haven't read it already, though, it's new to you.  If you have read it, this makes me sad.  Not really.  If you have read it already, but can't remember that you did, congratulations.  The Republican Party has a spot for you.

NOTE FOLLOWING THE NOTE:  This is kind of a long post.  But, you can come back to it during the week.  It's a lot like coming back to graze on Thanksgiving leftovers.  Except this won't get all gamey after a few days.  It already stinks.

       Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

NOTE:  This is true.  Although Presidents Day lets me wear a powdered wig.  And make fun of the British.

    It’s the first of the year-end celebrations, the others being Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. And, by New Years, I mean New Years Eve.  January 1st is really only meant for watching college football and making resolutions to not act like a jackass at the next New Years Eve party.

Go ahead.
Party like it's 25 Kislev.
NOTE:  Occurring as it does on the Jewish date 25 Kislev (yeah, I know.  
Their whacky calendar doesn't even list Easter), Hanukkah (or Chanukah.  Whatever.  However you say it, it sounds like hawking phlegm) 2014 begins on December 17th and ends on December 24th (those are some eight crazy nights).  From a Jewish person's perspective, this is swell timing because they can swing right into Christmas and keep on drinking.  As long as the Naked Dreidel Marathon is done.

    All that said, it’s really the 4th Thursday of November which gets the festivities rolling (hey, it’s easier than trying to figure out when the frik Easter is.  Something to do with the moon.  Or devout rabbits.  Something).

    After all, what evokes the holiday spirit more than getting trampled at Wal-Mart by frenzied harpies in bathrobes and curlers on Black Friday?

NOTE:  Or, now, on Thanksgiving Night, with drunken harpies in curlers.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed a federal holiday
in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.
Not surprisingly, the Confederacy said,
"Ya'll can take your Yankee Holiday and shove it."
Which sucked. Because they
were supposed to bring the sweet potato souffle.
    As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate how special Thanksgiving is.  A more sober occasion than the frenetic zaniness of the Yuletide season, at Thanksgiving we gather just to be together, not because we hope to score the latest electronic gizmo.

    Oh, sure, even though there are parades, football games, and enough food to sink the Mayflower, Thanksgiving is thankfully (pardon the pun) devoid of the commercialism of Christmas and the bacchanalian excess of New Year’s Eve.  Or, if you were paying attention, whatever it is they do on Hanukkah.

On December 26, 1941, signed a resolution
switching Thanksgiving
from the last Thursday in November to the fourth.
"Hey, get off my ass, it's all I had time to do.
There's a frikkin' war going on, you know."
    Gratefully, we aren’t bombarded by wall-to-wall advertisements to get our loved ones (or our families) the very latest in techno wizardry (“Because, if you REALLY loved Mom, you’d buy her a Kindle Fire!”) in the run-up to Thanksgiving. Plus, there’s no such thing as a “24-Hour Thanksgiving Music Station” or a “Randolph the Hair-Lipped Turkey” special on the Hallmark channel.
Oh, forgot about this one.
No wonder.
It sucked.

    No, it’s a calming prelude to the mania which paralyzes every December.  It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve been given.

    As the day draws nearer, I think back to that very first day of thanks held almost four hundred years ago...

    The brightly colored leaves swirling madly amongst the trees, a chill autumn wind blowing briskly over freshly-harvested fields, and the forest animals bustling crazily about in preparation for winter.

"Hey, does anyone else
have to pee after that long ass boat ride?"
    And nobody fighting over the remote.

    So it was in 1621 that Governor Bradford of Plymouth Colony thought it was high time to celebrate a day of thanksgiving.

"I know.  Whaddya say we have a harvest feast right here?"
"Outside!?   You do know this is Massachusetts, don't you?"
"Hey, we can stay warm by burning a witch or two."
    Frantically scurrying to find a suitable venue at which to hold their celebration, the Pilgrim Fathers were disappointed to learn they were too late; all the good days in October and early November had been reserved months ago for the Pequot/Schwartz wedding reception, the Jamestown “Up Yours, We Were First” Commemoration, and the last of the Mohican family reunions.

    Luckily, a spot opened up the last Thursday of November when “Mohawks On Ice!” was forced to close after some Hurons stole their loincloths.  So, the Native Europeans invited their friends, the Native Americans, to a grand feast at the local Elks Lodge picnic pavilion (with real elk). 

    A deeply devout people, the Pilgrims wished to thank the “Godless heathen savages” for all their help getting the colony on its feet.  After all, the tribe was essential to gaining a foothold in the New World, long before the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, and all-you-can-eat casino buffets. 

"Behold, for I bring you the gift of maize.
As long as you don't mind the smell of dead fish."
    Imagine what would have happened had Squanto not taught the Pilgrims to plant fish with their corn.  

    Prior to that, they just stuck them in their trousers.

"Seriously, Sleeps With Chickens?  Eels??
Couldn't bring a French Bean casserole
like a normal person, could ya?"
    Plus, the tribe brought the eel pies. Hmmmmmm....eel.

    Many customs today hearken back to this coming together: the feast, the fellowship, the two-hand touch lacrosse game after supper, and the men falling asleep in front of the fire with their hands down their pants while the women cleaned up all laid the foundation of our nation.

    Happily, it was the giving of thanks which has endured through peace, war, and disco.  No doubt Governor Bradford himself began a tradition which survives to this day: putting relatives on the spot to state that for which they were thankful.

    In homes across the nation, this scene will be played out anew during halftime.  In the true spirit of the holiday, millions of family members will likewise be grilled.

    This year, though, in addition to joyful thanks for family, friends, and the feelings of warmth which come from both, one will resonate above all:

    That Great-Aunt Mildred was able to buy the last case of Twinkies from that guy in the back of his van at the Stop N Shop.

    Because the alternative was Eel Pies.

    And I don’t care how much Cool Whip you put on them, they’re still eels.


And...Robyn and Julie (and whomever I missed)...HAPPY HANUKKAH!

"I see that you mentioned 'Eight Crazy Nights.'
So, we should be expecting a check to cover the royalties?"


  1. It's new to me. I didn't follow you last year. I'm glad I follow you now.


    1. I'm glad we follow each other (this sounds like a schizophrenic stalker movie).
      Secret (well, not really)? All the Christmas posts are repeats, too.

    2. Good. Then I don't have to go back to last year to read them. I have a Christmas post I use almost every year. Most people don't understand it, but I publish it anyway because it has meaning for me.

  2. Pass on the eels. Probably pass on the Twinkies as well.
    They should bring back Mohawks on Ice.
    Have a great Thanksgiving and prepare to be bombarded...

    1. And ESPECIALLY the eel-filled Twinkies. I don't care what Hostess says, they're gross.

  3. You needn't be sad that I remember this post; I still enjoyed it the second time round.

    1. I added a couple new things and had to update the Hannukah blurb a bit.
      Kinda like shining a turd.

  4. I think that I may have actually rad this twice... and didn't remember... but I still don't want to sit with the Republicans at the lunch table, mkay?

    I keep trying to get my family on board with NOT having turkey (there's evidence they did not eat turkey at the first Thanksgiving) but rather, lobster.

    So far, they are not buying it.

    1. Lobsters are easier to catch, after all.

  5. One to remember indeed. Eels are still as nasty as ever to think of eating. Twinkies may be worse for you though.

    1. But, eels would survive a nuclear blast.
      Or, is that cockroaches?
      Or Twinkies?
      I hope the world will never know.

  6. Lesson of Thanksgiving; never trust a Puritan

    1. In retrospect, Squanto and his peeps really got screwed, huh?

  7. You are a mensch for mentioning me and Julie and our peeps, Al. Just for you, I'll fry up a batch of eel latkes.
    Love ya, silly man. Happy Turkey time.

    1. And have a happy, blessed holiday season, as well.

  8. I do remember this post. An oldie but a goodie :) happy Thanksgiving week my friend.

    1. Food, football, two of my brothers with their families, and beer.
      Followed by a big head Friday morning.
      Still? I'm looking forward to it.

  9. You just reminded me I need to get eggs for deviled eggs. They are a fairly vital ingredient. Have a wonderful feast!

    1. My brother is bringing deviled eggs from Connecticut. I really hope the snow doesn't stop him from coming.
      My son is bringing himself from Norfolk. I really, really hope the snow doesn't stop HIM from coming.

  10. I've always wondered why the casino buffet didn't get attached to their own holiday. I'd love to serve dinner on a steam table. Family could just come and go as they please.

    1. And then, if they ate too much, visit the craps table.

    2. And a splendid time would be had by all...and they'd borrow money for a cab ride home...

  11. I don't remember FDR having his finger in the eel pie.Well maybe because if I grew up with something, that's the way I think it should be. For a better part of my life there were 48 states too. Oh well. It was also .... I pledge etc. etc one nation indivisible with .... (No god back then) .I think they later put God in and then didn't they also take it out again? Who knows? I don't even think kids say it anymore, do they?
    Happy Thanksgiving

  12. I like the idea of Thanksgiving Day football. Do you think we have to actually have Thanksgiving to have some of that?

  13. I agree with Robyn that you're a "mensch" for wishing us a Happy Hanukkah! Fortunately, we're not having another Thanksgivingkah!

    Your jokes never get stale, and the holidays just wouldn't be the same without them. Thanksgiving is a "calming prelude to the mania which paralyzes every December." Hope you and your family enjoy your favorite holiday together!