Tuesday, November 25, 2008

10 Unknown Facts About Thanksgiving

Ladies and Gentlemen, we're going to do things a little differently this week. Instead of sharing ten facts about a celebrity, I thought I'd share ten facts about the upcoming holiday. We have some international readers here, and Thanksgiving (at least as we celebrate it in the U.S.) may not be something they know much about. With that in mind, I thought I'd enlighten everyone about a holiday instead of a person.

First, what is commonly known about Thanksgiving. A long time ago, some settlers from England came to America and got slapped around a bit by nature and their own hubris. They had no food that first winter, no way to stave of the bitter cold they hadn't anticipated. So the local Indians (I know, I know. The P.C. term is "Native American" but at the time they were called either Indians or savages, and Indians sounds nicer.) came and gave them food and blankets. Those who survived the winter cultivated the land, again with some help from the locals. At the first harvest, they threw a big feast celebrating. They drank beer and ate venison and gourds and stuff. And then we stopped celebrating it regularly for a few hundred years until, I believe, the mid(?) twentieth century when the fourth Thursday in November became a federal holiday called "Thanksgiving" where we eat way too much food and (in theory) celebrate things we're thankful for. We also gloss over the dead Indians who were later robbed and killed. We're not so thankful these days for that ordeal.

And now we get to the purpose of the post.

10 Unknown Facts About Thanksgiving:
  1. Prior to eating, the Pilgrims and Indians laid out some cardboard, plugged an iPod into some speakers, and had a b-boy dance off to see who got to sit at the head of the table.
  2. They not only feasted on those foods mentioned above, but they did also feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orangutans and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and other items as well.
  3. The image of the cornocopia, or horn of plenty, is actually a misinterpretation of the facts. There was no woven horn filled with foods to feast upon. Rather, Old Man Smythe had a hearing problem, and many people at the table thought it would be fun to try to see what they could throw into his antiquated hearing aid from twenty paces.
  4. After eating, the Indian warriors and the strongest of the Pilgrims (mostly the sailors who brought them there) played a game with an inflated pig bladder in which they each tried to get the ball to the other side of a clearing while the opposing team beat them up. Thus was there an Army-Navy game at the first Thanksgiving (a couple of weeks early, sure, seriously. They had work to do. They couldn't have fun every day.)
  5. One young Pilgrim girl performed magic tricks for the kids and was used to roast marshmellows that night when it got a little colder.
  6. The first Thanksgiving took place at Plymouth, Massachusetts, though after a few too many drinks, Myles Standish declared the village be forever known as "Party Town!" He then fell off the table and vomitted into Old Man Smythe's hearing aid.
  7. The Society section of the newspapers called it "the party of the century" and that "everyone was there." This is an accurate statement, as only fifty-three of one hundred twenty Pilgrims survived the first year and if they didn't show up, they didn't eat that day. Also, they didn't exactly party often, so the bar was set pretty low.
  8. John Smith cooked the deer with his eye lasers. He cooked the vegetables with a cast iron pot.
  9. The Indians were not entirely peaceful. They conducted take semi-military action against the colonists after the Pilgrims went to bed. The pantaloon raid lasted seventeen minutes and resulted in 23 bloomer and petticoat casualties and, according to one Indian in his journal, "showed those Alpha Betas that the tri-Lambs rule the school."
  10. The days after were generally referred to as "No-thanksgiving" as the overstuffed colonists both turned down leftovers and dealt with e. coli from improperly cooked food. As it turns out, eye lasers are not a Safeserv approved means of cooking.
Enjoy Thursday with your family and friends, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.

You have been informed.

2 comments:

Anna said...

Always good to know what you crazy Americans get up to... it so happens that I am back with my family for this week, so maybe I'll organise a feast, or a b-boying battle. Thanks Truthyman!

Mr. Truth said...

No problems. I really like the idea of the holiday, even if the Super P.C. Police kick down my door in the middle of the night for endorsing it in any way tell me I shouldn't because of the actual events of the holiday.