Pilgrims’ Regress

Thanksgiving Day. What’s not to like? Even turkey, which most days tastes like salted paper towel, is delectable. Normally bland turnips turn into tantalizing tidbits for the taste buds. There is no tree to purchase or trim, no frantic trips to town to buy Uncle Ralph a tie that we know he will never wear,…

Published November 18, 2011 9:02 PM
4 min read

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mcdthumbThanksgiving Day. What’s not to like? Even turkey, which most days tastes like salted paper towel, is delectable. Normally bland turnips turn into tantalizing tidbits for the taste buds. There is no tree to purchase or trim, no frantic trips to town to buy Uncle Ralph a tie that we know he will never wear, and no marathon wrapping sessions in the attic. It’s neither too cold nor too hot, and some orange, red, and yellow leaves remain on the trees.

By TW McDermott

Thanksgiving Day. What’s not to like? Even turkey, which most days tastes like salted paper towel, is delectable. Normally bland turnips turn into tantalizing tidbits for the taste buds. There is no tree to purchase or trim, no frantic trips to town to buy Uncle Ralph a tie that we know he will never wear, and no marathon wrapping sessions in the attic. It’s neither too cold nor too hot, and some orange, red, and yellow leaves remain on the trees.

 

Thanksgiving Day, brilliantly concocted to be on a Thursday, creating a four-day weekend of food, football, and fooling around. Even we could not mess up Thanksgiving, could we?

 

Thinketh again, Pilgrims. Welcome to Thanksgiving, Inc.

 

mcdWalmart has decided to open its doors at 10 Thanksgiving Night to accommodate “customers”, a.k.a. People Who Need to Get A Life. Amazingly, those customers took umbrage at last year’s experience of having to line up beginning around midnight in order to get prized shopper wristbands, which the stores didn’t distribute until 2 a.m., while otherwise reasonable folk were sound asleep.

 

The wristbands allowed the Chosen Frozen to enter the stores to begin shopping at 5 a.m. on something aptly called “Black Friday”. Apparently, Walmart is only responding to competitors like Kohl’s, Target, and Best Buy, which plan a pre-emptive strike by opening their doors for shopping at midnight Thanksgiving. The nerve.

 

And they say America can no longer innovate. Hah! Imagine what these sleep-deprived customers could accomplish if only they still had full-time jobs with benefits and access to credit?

 

Thanksgiving Inc. Weep-eth with me, Pilgrims.

 

One guesses that the original Pilgrims could never have thought of something so clever as a huge shopping opportunity like Black Friday or, Black Thursday Night. After all, they could not even think of a name for the place at which they landed other than “Plymouth”, the very name of the place from which they came. They landed at Plymouth on November 11, and, no doubt weary of the ship’s non-POSH food and the Pilgrim-in-Chief’s constant sermonizing. Native corn, oysters, cranberries, and wild turkeys, not to mention a little snootful of home brewed crabapple liqueur, must have seemed like a really good idea after a couple of weeks “on the Rock”.

 

Americans now imagine that all descendants of early Pilgrims have become wealthy beyond all get out over the generations. The truth is fewer of them than imagined would make Warren Buffet’s Millionaires’ Most Wanted List. Instead, it’s more credible and frightening to think that a good many Pilgrim descendants might be tempted to convene at Walmart store #2336 off Route 44 in contemporary Plymouth to assail themselves of values on Wrangler jeans, fake snow machines, Barbies, and much too much other stuff, just like the less pedigreed folks.

 

Bradfords, Brewsters, Standishes. Imagine the original Pilgrim set, hurled through the time machine, lined up in their PJ’s at midnight.

 

Pilgrim #1: “If only we had stow-ethed some of these container-size packeths of Depends for our ocean journey; we are indeed blessed in this new world.”

Pilgrim #2: “You said-eth it, and we could have used them along with these seven cases of bottled water for $1.29, with coupons! Have you knowledge of this blessing, the coupon, Pilgrim?

We live in an age in which we begin selling Halloween candy around Independence Day, schedule November World Series games, and begin seeing Christmas lights in the hardware store before the last homegrown tomatoes have fallen from the vine.

 

Occupy Wall Street? Maybe we should be occupying Main Street. Bankers? Enough already with that, how about the people who have gone totally Bonkers!

 

We may be able to do without the rotary dial; we can adapt to the new habit of treating a hurricane as Armageddon; we may survive allowing our boss, spouse, child to call/text us at 3 a.m.; we may accept that it takes us 20 years to replace a little bridge lost in a flood; and we now know what it’s like to have a blizzard before the leaves fall.

 

But, Pilgrims, let us unite against Thanksgiving Inc., an insidious intrusion on one of our last bastions of decency, sanity, and peace. Let us enjoy this national feast, Thanksgiving Day, on which we choose to be grateful.

 

Please-eth.

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