Thursday, November 26, 2009

How Thanksgiving Got Its Start

I am very excited about the holiday that celebrates what America is really about: drinking beer and watching football.
I'm only kidding.
Everyone knows that great country is about more than adult beverages and football -- there is also the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
In honor of the holiday I thought it would be a great opportunity to take a look at how this Thanksgiving holiday got its start. What better way to do that than to eavesdrop on a conversation at the very first Thanksgiving celebration in 1649 near the small village near the modern day town of Tupelo, Okla.
Let's listen in.
Bill: This is a great party isn't it, Stanley.
Stan: Please call me Stan. Oh yeah, it's a great party. I'm glad we waited until the fourth Thursday in November to all get together. This is nice. Really nice.
Bill: How bout that spread the ladies put out there.
Stan: I know. Did you try some of that turkey loaf and cranberry jelly?
Bill: Did I?
Stan: And the potatoes. And the carrots.
Bill: Don't do carrots.
Stan: LOL.
Bill: What's that mean?
Stan: Laugh out loud? Never mind. How about those pies? That Dreampie is to die for.
Bill: No doubt. As a matter of fact, I think Mike did die from it.
Stan: Haha. Actually, I think he had tuberculosis.
Bill: So, Stan, I've been meaning to ask you. You were here when we arrived. We've been calling you an Indian, but what do you call yourselves?
Stan: Well, Bill, my wife calls me Sugar Bottom, but I call myself "I" or sometimes, "me."
Bill: No, I mean ...
Stan: I know what you mean, Bill. Actually Indian is fine or maybe Native American.
Bill: So Indian is derogatory?
Stan: Nope. Don't mind at all. There's a lot worse things to worry about, including the word we all call you.
(Both share a laugh, but Bill's is a very uncomfortable laugh).
Stan (continues): So are you watching the Cowboys game today?
Bill: Yeah, the Cowboys are really good. Are they still playing the Redskins ... er ... I mean Native Americans this year?
Stan: Oh yeah. Should be a great game. Last year, we beat them pretty bad.
Bill: Do you guys always play on fourth Thursday in November?
Stan: We have for the last 30 years or so. It's become quite a tradition.
Bill: Oh boy here comes Ned. That guy is such a downer.
Ned (approaches): Hey, guys.
Bill and Stan: Hey, Ned.
Stan: Are you enjoying the festivities, Ned?
Ned: They're fine. The turkey was a little dry. The cranberry jelly was a tad too tart for my taste. And the lemonade wasn't really sweet enough.
Bill: Yeah, so how about those pies though, huh?
Ned: They were fine, I guess. We used to have really good pies in England. Remember how good the pies were over there?
Stan: No, not really. I've never been to England. I've haven't been east of Long Island.
Ned: Oh, that's right. You guys were here when we got here. Wow. That must be really tough not ever visiting the world like we have. I've been to England. And Scotland. And Ireland. And for my honeymoon, my wife and I went to Bora Bora.
Bill: Oh, now that sounds really nice.
Ned: It wasn't. It was hot. And it rained two days. And the food there was atrocious. It was all-inclusive, but my travel agent booked us in a room with two queen size beds instead of a the full king size room like I asked.
Stan: You just can't get good service anymore huh? Anyway, I guess you're enjoying your time here in the new country? I mean you get to worship like you want. And you've got a lot more freedom here without being under that King James watching your every move. That's a good thing, huh?
Ned: It's fine I guess. It's a little too warm here in the summer. And there's not as much stuff to do. I miss the landscape of the old country. The grocery store is a little too far away. And I haven't had a good scone in months.
Bill: Oh wow. Look at the time. I'll see you guys at the poker game later.
Stan: Man, Ned. Things don't seem to be going really good for you here.
Ned: Meh. I guess it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.
Stan: Do you think things might seem better if you were thankful for the small things in life? Maybe if you focus on some of the great things this new land has to offer, you would see more and more things to be thankful for.
Ned: Maybe. I guess. I doubt it actually.
Stan: Well, I've decided you guys are pretty much here to stay, so I might as well enjoy what I do have and be thankful for it. As a matter of fact, from now on, I'm going to refer to the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. A day where we can all be thankful for our lives, our homes, our families and our country.
Ned: Sounds okay. But I doubt if it will catch on.

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