Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Then, Squanto and Samoset got smallpox...

In just a little over two weeks, most of the happy people in this country will be celebrating in one way or another a fine American tradition we call Thanksgiving.

The problem is two-fold.

One, most of the miserable, unhappy people in this country will be attending as well, and sitting right next to you.

Two, the 'one way or another' usually means one way... a typically overstuffed, unhealthy and often rather bland set of oddly matched dishes called The Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

These two elements become one so easily when the unhappy types seem to glue their blues to you, letting you know the green bean casserole seems underdone and the stuffing was cooked inside the bird so you might want to avoid it or risk salmonella, and in fact you should probably just dump out that egg nog now and anyway, aren't you already putting on a little weight?

I know, I sound like Anti-Thanksgiving Boy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I'm Anti-TURKEY DAY Boy.

Thanksgiving is something we all need desperately to remember far more often than the last Thursday in November. I LOVE the idea of pausing to recall and consider all of the elements of our lives for which we are so thankful. I also love the baking, the smells, the weather, sometimes I even like the ridiculous-but-have-to-have-it Parade. Friends gathering to share in a meal they all joined to create. Saying prayers, taking things easy.

But... I... HATE... Turkey Day; the wasteful, un-thankful, give-me-my-mashed-potatoes, I-wanna-sit-next-to, we-don't-discuss-that-at-the-table, gossiping, jostling, old wounds reopening, flu-passing, football shouting, food and fightin' Turkey Day.

The former is a tradition of kind, quiet conviction and reflection. The latter, what most of us mostly get every year. How perfect that we have turned a tradition of gratitude into an accepted wanton display of Greed and Gluttony (2 of the 7 Big Deadlies, kids).

Even if I was a big fan of the meal (and wow am I not), the whole feel of 'everyone's getting together at so-and-so's at noon to glut on things you generally wouldn't touch the rest of the year in order to say We Had Thanksgiving' is just... oh, I don't know.

Annoying. Disappointing.

A drag.

So this year, I'm going to do something I've never done before (because I've never had a Hallowe'en pub to do it in before).

Now, I'm not going to avoid my relatives' homes or hide in a coffin somewhere; I have a big wonderful family and this Anti-Turkey Day rant should not be seen as a poor reflection of them. I will be giving thanks with family and friends on the 28th. No 29th. Oh right the 26th... whenever the hell it is.

No, my deal is this. Starting this Thursday, at least once every day for the two weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Day, I'm going to post about something, anything, for which I am thankful and glad. I will post about things for which YOU should also be thankful and glad. Even if it's people you don't even know or care about, I'm going to convince you of your need to be thankful for them.

It will certainly be people. It may also be toys. Or food, sure. Wine (ooh, good post)... we'll see.

But fear not! The Skull & Pumpkin is in no danger of becoming a Thanksgiving pub. We love all the holidays here, there's just a cover charge of being Hallowe'en and horror related, and a two drink minimum and maximum if you can't find that relationship quickly enough.

Alas, Turkey Day may take me to some weird places geographically, emotionally and gastronomically... but at least here at the Skull & Pumpkin, on Thanksgiving Day and every day, we can always know where we really stand on the things that matter most, rather than where we sit. Or if there's enough elbow room, or butter, or lousy chocolate pie.

Well, wait a sec -- that does look good...

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