Today America commemorates Pilgrims’ gratitude to the local Indians lessons in food-gathering, especially those tribesmen of Squanto. who helped the religious refugees survive that first year in Plymouth. In response to this unexpected aid the settlers held a 3-day feast for their neighbors. The holiday was made official in 1789 by George Washington, although Squanto’s tribe had nearly vanished from Massachusetts and Indians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving.
Neither do I.
Even though I am a Mayflower descendant.
There was a Thanksgiving parade in New York this morning. I saw none of it. High school footballs between bitter rivals are played in the afternoon. I haven't seen the results between my high school and their North Shore rival. I've yet to leave my house, but I do have things to be thankful for this year.
I am alive.
I am making money.
My children are healthy.
Mam loves me sometimes.
A bottle of wine awaits in the refrigerator.
Every 4th Thursday of November Americans travel by train, plane, and car to feast with friends and family on turkey and all the fixings. Once their bellies expand to a girth of near-explosion, the men watch a meaningless football game in a stupor mimicking a boa who has swallowed a goat, while women repair to the kitchen.
Being male I have no idea what they do other than clean dishes and pots. Younger children are happy to gorge themselves on pies, while their older siblings sullenly vow to not end up like their parents.
Like all holiday the situation is prime for a good argument.
Eight years ago my father cautioned my plump 20 year-old niece that she wouldn’t lose weight if she ate any more pie. Sensitive about her size she broke into tears. My older brother demanded an apology. My father adamantly said he was only telling the truth.
My brother ordered him to leave the house.
My father grabbed a turkey leg and exited from the house, plowing his car across the lawn rather than wait for anyone to move their vehicles out of the driveway.
I would have really like to have seen his tires plowing furrows in the grass, except I was in New York. No turkey that year either.
I celebrated the holiday alone.
Google Goggle Hey Goggle Hey to paraphrase the Ramones.
Max’s Kansas City had turkey dinner for the punk orphans during the late-70s.
Praise be the Turkey.
And those sexy Pilgrims.
ps Squanto was the only surviving member of his village.