Fellow Tappers, how time flies!
Turkeys do not fly. Like chickens and ostriches they are flightless birds. And they will be slaughtered, engorged with bread and spices, overcooked, and consumed en masse this Thursday, as Americans celebrate “Thanksgiving,” which when you think about it doesn’t make sense as a word.
Before we continue, I feel compelled to announce that Steerpike – whoever that guy is – might take advantage of the slow week to make a fairly significant technical change that will almost certainly break the site and bring the whole place crashing to its knees for several days, if not weeks, and result in long-term problems that can only be corrected by sacrificing massive amounts of archived data. The key term here is might. It depends how much free time he winds up having. So fair warning, if everything stops working, that’s why.
Another interesting phenomenon regarding turkeys and the consumption thereof is tryptophan, an essential amino acid found in turkeys and drugstores.
There is a persistent (but apparently incorrect) rumor about tryptophan, that eating enough of it makes you sleepy. Since time immemorial Americans have used tryptophan as a sort of scapegoat to explain why we, as a country, will all fall asleep around 6:00 pm on Thursday. Seriously, if anyone wants to invade America, the time to do it is early Thanksgiving evening. You’ll be entrenched before we even stir.
The sleepiness is actually caused by the fact that we all become shockingly gluttonous on Thanksgiving. While tryptophan may make you sleepy, another thing that will make you sleepy is eating seven pounds of turkey and drinking your weight in wine and beer. Ironically, many of us will wake up bright and early on Friday to carry out the second major Thanksgiving tradition: engaging in riots outside Wal-Marts and Targets so we can get a toaster for like six bucks less. This is called “Black Friday,” and is considered the start of the holiday gift-buying season. Stores all across the country open at like three in the morning and offer not-really-that-much-better prices on their wares, and housefraus get into fistfights over who can be first through the door.
It’s all sort of a ritual.
Each year when the Happy Thanksgiving post goes up, a surprising number of our readers weigh in on the fact that they do not indeed eat turkey on the hallowed day. But don’t let that stop you if you’re from another place!
If you live in a country other than the United States, I propose that you undertake to cook and eat a turkey on Thursday anyway, to sort of experience what it’s like. Bring in a bunch of relatives you don’t particularly care for, prepare an immense meal, eat it, get into arguments about grandchildren, then stagger into the other room to put (American) football on TV while you sleep off your meal. Wake up before dawn and race to the nearest superstore. Punch anyone you see outside. Then buy a bunch of crap and go home to eat sandwiches prepared from the leftovers.
Oh, and spend some time ruminating on stuff you’re thankful for. That’s also part of the holiday. I, for example, am thankful that I have arms rather than flippers. I’m thankful that there was no horrible circumcision accident when I was an infant. I’m thankful for pie and Maximum PC magazine. Stuff like that.
Whoever and wherever you are, enjoy your week and weekend, and may we all enjoy many years to come as a fine group of somewhat odd people.