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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Thanksgiving Story


Most stories of Thanksgiving stories start with a boring introduction. Not this one. Lets just get right to it:

The Pilgrims, who sailed to this country that we founded because it’s ours and no-one legitimately was here before us, that counted, were originally members of the English Separatist Church (a PURE-TAN chuch) They had earlier fled their home in England and sailed to Holland, which is in The Netherlands. (for most of us that didn’t get Geography in our American education system.) Anyways, they fled to escape religious persecution. I’d like to know what kinds of persecutions, but they never say. There, the Pilgrims enjoyed more religious tolerancere. Hmmm…I tolerate taking the bus to work, but I wouldn’t say it’s enjoyable.

…but them Pilgrims eventually became disenchanted with the Dutch way of life, thinking it ungodly, much like Las Vegas. The heathens! Hello? Have you been to Amsterdam? Seeking a better life, the Separatists negotiated with a London stock company to finance a pilgrimage to America. That’s how they roll.

So The Pilgrims, a bunch of religious congregationalists, set ground at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620. Their first winter was devastating, much like my birthday this year due to the lack of decent presents. The had lost 46 of the original 102 who sailed on the Mayflower, a large boat. Considering many of the dead were from the London Stock company, sent to see how the dough was being spent, no one much cared.

But the harvest of 1621 was a bountiful one. And the remaining colonists decided to celebrate with a feast -- including 91 Indians who had helped the Pilgrims survive their first year. The Pilgrims would not have made it through the year without the help of the natives, whom they later killed, by poisioning the wine at a “Peace conference” with Powhatan leaders. The feast was more of a traditional English harvest festival than a true “thanksgiving” observation. It lasted three days, unlike my holiday from work, which is only ONE day. Also no one made people go around the table at dinner and say what they are thankful for. GAG. They knew that inner peace was something boiled pumkin don't really represent.

How did they get the turkey? Governor William Bradford, a forefather of William Shatner &, sent "four men fowling" after wild ducks and geese. It is not certain that wild turkey
was part of their feast, since WILD TURKEY is a brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey distilled and bottled, but it is certain that they had venison. The term "turkey" was used by the Pilgrims to mean any sort of wild fowl. But what do they know, their Pilgrims. Turkey was also used during the 70’s as “jive talk”. Jive is a bad thing you fool. If you're talking some jive, it means you're talking bullsh*t. If somebody calls you a "jive turkey" you just got insulted. Jive can also mean any specific sort of jargon or language. “that cat was talking all smart, i didn't understand his scholarly jive.” It is not clear whether the pilgrims spoke jive.

Almost all my relatives gorge on pumpkin pie at thanksgiving, but it is unlikely that the first feast included that special treat you fat f*ck, so put your fork down. The supply of flour had been long diminished, so there was no bread or pastries, especially not twinkies, however, they did eat boiled pumpkin, yummy.

In addition, the pilgrims produced a type of fried bread from their corn crop. We call it “Elephant Ears” and eat it at the carnival y’all. This is an essential carnival food, as many carnies have “summer teeth.” Some are here, some are there. It makes it difficult to digest regular food, like corn dogs. In Plymouth, unlike the carnival, there was no milk, cider, potatoes, or butter cause there were no domestic cattle for dairy products. But lets be thankful for what they did have: fish, berries, watercress, lobster, dried fruit, clams, venison, and plums. LOBSTER!! WTF!!! I knew my family cheaped out on the $0.88 lb turkey!

This " Thanksgiving" feast was not repeated the following year. Very much like at our house, except we call it the “thanksgiving day debacle” with reference to whatever loser my sibling was dating at that time.

It wasn't until June of 1676 that another Day of
Thanksgiving was proclaimed. George Washington proclaimed a National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, although some were opposed to it. Blah blah blah… they got shot. Later, President Thomas Jefferson opposed the idea of having a day of Thanksgiving . But many people wanted an excuse to get drunk and pass out.

It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a female species magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as
Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many boring editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies' Magazine. I like how it was her cause. If you have a cause, please write it in here: ____________________________________________________________________. I have a cause for my sister, It’s called “FIND A JOB” & stop mooching off my parents. Then we can all truly be thankful.

Finally, after a 40-year campaign of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents and other people who didn’t care, Hale's obsession became a reality when, in 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. Damn,
I thought Oprah was obsessed.

Thanksgiving was proclaimed by every president after Lincoln. The date was changed a couple of times, most recently by Franklin Roosevelt, who moved it to create a longer Christmas shopping season. The nerve! Anyone know what time the stores open on Friday? JCPenny’s is probably having a Presidential Thanksgiving Spectacular Sale!!

Public uproar against this decision caused the president to move Thanksgiving back. In 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday, finally. The end. All the Indians died or opened gambling facilities and Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November. Lets take a moment and be thankful for our cornucopia of pumpkin pie!!
God bless America!

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