It’s two weeks after Thanksgiving and the holiday is still fresh in my mind. I wish it were the same in my refrigerator. An actual fortnight of leftovers has me digging deep into the icebox for something that hasn’t been there long enough to have it’s own birthday party.

Is this what they had in mind In the 1600s at Plymouth, when the first Thanksgivings were documented? Back then the celebration was part religious holiday, part harvest festival. A particular Thanksgiving in 1621 was described by an Edward Winslow, who talks of the harvest coming in well (except for the peas, which sucked that year), and invited a number of Indians, who had helped them through a particularly difficult winter, to share in the feast. No matter what color you are, religious affiliation you have or political party you belong to, you can certainly find something like that to be thankful for. I’m not religious, and I thank god that I live in a country where I don’t have to thank god if I don’t want to.

By the way, have you ever seen Plymouth Rock? My wife and I took a trip to Massachusetts one year so we could see Plymouth Rock, which I think I must have confused with the Rock of Gibraltar. This Plymouth Rock is a 2’ by 4’ boulder that if you ran over with your SUV you’d say, “Jeez, I think we ran over something,” and then keep on going so you can get to the hotel before they stop serving lunch. My neighbor Paul is always telling me how he had to blow up a bunch of rocks with sticks of dynamite behind his house so he could sink footings for his deck. I told him you’d better be careful when you make plans like that because they could blow up in your face. But the moral of the story is that if my neighbor Paul was one of the Pilgrims, and he wanted to build a deck, and Plymouth Rock was in his back yard, it would be washing up on shore all over the Atlantic Seaboard.

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The holiday itself is quite pleasant, as long as you can avoid talking about anything. A couple of my sisters come over, I have plenty of them to go around, and my wife cooks a great dinner. She told me she had to thaw out this turkey for four days before Thanksgiving, meaning that at this point the turkey almost qualifies as a pet. I once had a cat that just sat around all day and did nothing. In fact, I always had a cat who never always didn’t not do something. The turkey also sits around all day and does nothing, I don’t have to change the litter box, I bet I could train it to do more things than the cat does, and when I get hungry, I eat it. Now you tell me who is the better pet.

I try not to go into the kitchen while people are cooking because I don’t want to ever find out what giblets are, but I wandered in by mistake and I saw a package that said “Birds Eye” on it. “OH MY GOD! What are you feeding these people?” I don’t want those things peering up at me while I’m trying to eat dessert. I also think it’s weird that you scoop out parts of a turkey and stuff it with something called “stuffing.” It is literally a stuffed animal at this point. My wife told me to prepare the cranberry sauce, which is code for “get out.” I saw a photo online of somebody bragging about their cranberry sauce, and I was appalled at what I witnessed, a bunch of little cherry-looking things swimming around in a red liquid. You call that cranberry sauce? If you’re too lazy to go out and buy a real can of cranberry sauce, you just don’t understand Thanksgiving. I like to coax it gently out of the can in a perfect cylinder so that you can read “Ocean Spray” on it.

After dinner we call all the relatives that aren’t here, and we all talk into the speaker phone at the same time, then go, “What did you say?” Then we all go, “You go first,” but we don’t hear that because we all said it at the same time, and it’s easy to see why those relatives are not here. Sometimes the relatives, rightly, don’t pick up the phone at all, so we leave a message, all talking at the same time. Then I make a joke about how we should have pressed “one” for more options.

But time is now no longer on the side of the leftovers. I took some pieces of the turkey that I couldn’t readily identify and tried to give them to the dog, who literally sneezed at them. When a Eurasier sneezes at something, it’s a statement, and that statement is, “I wouldn’t feed that to my dog, and I AM a dog,” After making a little joke that this food is nothing to sneeze at, she sneezed at the joke. Why don’t they hold Thanksgiving the day after Lent, when after all that fasting you’d be happy to eat leftover carburetor parts for two weeks?

I found a plastic box with something in it that I couldn’t put my finger on, at least not without contracting a food-borne illness. I wanted to take it in for a DNA test to determine exactly what it was, but if it turned out that it murdered somebody in Cincinnati I didn’t want to get involved. My wife said, “Hmm.. I think that’s from two Thanksgivings ago.” If you dig back into your refrigerator it’s like a geological excavation, and you can figure out exactly what happened during the Pleistocene Era. “These green things, I assume they’re peas?” I asked. “That’s corn,” she said. “These brown things, I assume they’re sweet potatoes?” “Those are the peas.” I think I now understand that Thanksgiving may have killed off the dinosaurs. 

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