This song is the best contribution that Adam Sandler has ever given to the world… and it’s really, really, shitty, so now you know how I feel about Adam Sandler. Still it’s better than that awful “Alice’s Restaurant” song. And if you really feel like being depressed, scroll down and listen to the awesome William S. Burroughs reciting his poem about Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, mostly because it is totally centered around eating my favorite kind of food: anything covered in gravy. Gravy is one of the greatest food inventions ever, besides butter, and since gravy contains butter then I think it just might be the best food in the entire world. I bet we can blame the french for gravy, since I blame them for every other type of saucy goodness that I love that is horrible for me. (beurre blanc, hollandaise, and the always rich and fatty béchamel sauce… dear lord, how the french aren’t an obese culture is one of the worlds biggest mysteries.)
ANYWAY… Thanksgiving is more important to my oversized Norman Rockwell style New England family than Christmas.* This has partly to do with the fact that we are Mayflower descendants and as we all know from our years putting on Thanksgiving plays in public elementary school, Thanksgiving was started by those awesome folks who stepped off the Mayflower, most commonly referred to as the “Pilgrims.” Those are the dudes that wander around in shoes with buckles on them and hats, also with buckles on them and belts with buckles on them too. Yeah those Pilgrims were really into buckles for some reason. So the Pilgrims and the Ind… um I mean… Native Americans put aside their muskets and their bows and arrows, respectively, and got together and had a biiiiiiig feast that involved our lovely delicious feathered friend, the turkey. And they all sat around and ate turkey and pie and gave thanks that they didn’t die of small pox… yet.
Of course now, as we all know, none of that is really true. I mean, I’m sure the native people helped the pitiful Pilgrims out, after they stopped killing each other of course, but it certainly didn’t happen on the fourth Thursday of November every year. That was started by Abraham Lincoln, who was brutally harassed by a crazed letter writing hyper religious woman named Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor/writer, who wrote that irritatingly simple children’s song, “Mary Had a Little Lamb” which we all love. She decided the nation needed to have a national day of thanks and sent Lincoln letter after letter during the civil war, you know, cause Ol’ Abe had nothing better to do than read letters from an old lady during the MOTHER FUCKING CIVIL WAR. Thanks, Sarah, for letting Americans have yet another excuse for being giant glutenous pigs.
Speaking of piggin out, as it turns out the whole turkey and pie involvement may have been false as well, since the early settlers had no ovens to cook either of those things properly. Apparently they feasted on deer and corn, prepared in the traditional native way, which was probably waaaay more awesome than our modern canned gravy and jello cranberry sauce, but probably contained more parasites so it’s a trade off really. Finally it turns out that Pilgrims didn’t really wear clothes with buckles on them… No buckles at all actually. Those didn’t come into fashion until the late 1700’s. Like most historical “facts” taught to me in elementary school, Thanksgiving turned out to be lies… all lies…
But it didn’t ruin Thanksgiving for this Mayflower descendant. Nope. I’ll still shovel loads of gravy smothered mashed potatoes into my mouth until the only thing left to do is roll myself down the hall and into the guest bedroom for a nice nap. As I drift of to sleep I might think of a list of things I’m thankful for, like a full stomach, a warm place to live, a family who loves me, a computer where I can conveniently look up photos of Olivia Newton John’s bum… and maybe I’ll even thank Sarah Jo’ Hale, for convincing a great leader to give us a day where we can all sit around and eat pie and maybe, just maybe… I’ll forget that there’s a world out there where rich girls from Connecticut are being mean to waitresses, and college girls are walking around without pants on, and lambs are being slaughtered for to make ugly shoes for both of them.
Disclaimer #1: I’m part Native American too.
Disclaimer #2: Ever been to Plimouth Plantation? You gotta go… it’s hilarious. There are actual people dressed up like Pilgrims talking like they just came off the Mayflower. There’s also a Wampanoag camp where a bunch of dudes with face paint teach you the ways of their people and stuff. It’s weird though, they don’t really mention the whole “all these white people did was kill us and give us small pox” thing. When I was a kid I used to go all the time for school and damned if I didn’t see a bunch of hats and shoes with buckles on them. Not sure if they wear those now or not…
*The other part has to do with the fact that not everyone in my family is religious, and most of my family is very frugal. Christmas ends up being kind of a mediocre holiday where a few of us of get together and maybe eat a roast chicken or a ham or something and do some kind of grab bag gift giving thing where we pick names out of a hat (at Thanksgiving, because that’s the only time we are all in a room together) and each person buys one gift for one family member. These gifts usually turn out to be something like a big tin of cookies or popcorn, or a pair of Christmas theme socks. Whatevz. Being a waitress I usually end up working Christmas eve, because restaurant owners are evil.