Thanksgiving is a Make Believe Holiday

Brendan Ulmer, Writer

I’ve never believed in Thanksgiving. What kind of holiday is literally just a large meal? Meals are not holidays. They’re a requirement to maintain custody of your children. I’d get it if we all still harvested our own crops, and we’d been surviving on fistfuls of flour since July, but nowadays Thanksgiving doesn’t even make my top 20 biggest meals of the year.

Don’t tell me that it’s to celebrate the feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans–as if we didn’t take all their land and send them to Oklahoma in the most rigged game of geographic musical chairs this country has ever seen. Even if we didn’t do that, what act of racial unity is so harmonious that we celebrate it for 400 years. Especially if that gesture of coexistence is just grabbing a bite, unless it’s the first time a black man and a white man shared an ice cream cone together. That’s a super courageous, intimate moment, why hasn’t that become a holiday?

So why do we still have Thanksgiving? Primarily, it’s so that the women of our families can finally verbalize everything they’ve posted on Facebook for the last two months while the men search for answers to that age-old question; are the Cowboys good enough to clinch the division this year?

Most importantly, however, we have Thanksgiving for turkey control. Today, people overlook the threat that these gobbling varmints present to humanity’s existence. Believe me when I tell you, I understand that it’s important we assert our power over them, but why do we have to eat them? Can’t we just send them to Guantanamo Bay or Alcatraz or something? If I have to put another soggy, tasteless turkey breast in my mouth I’m going to break Plymouth Rock over my head.

Why are we wasting time cooking these feathered faunae when we could teach them how to jetski? We’re letting a huge opportunity slip through our fingers. If SeaWorld teaches turkeys how to jetski, I will lift the ban for my followers to visit their parks. SeaWorld, you know how to reach me.

If you don’t think turkeys are a threat to humanity, you obviously have never taken the time to think about how much angst they must feel from their painful existence. When they’re alive, they’re just crummy looking peacocks and when they die, they’re crummy tasting chicken. I say let’s make sure they never become that second part, and if they must be eaten, let’s make sure it’s by a great white shark while they’re on a jet ski, as a part of SeaWorld’s most popular new attraction; Poultry in the Water. I guess what I’m trying to say is, SeaWorld, the ball’s in your court.

If you’re someone who is reading this and thinking, “hey, I like turkey,” let me present you with a hypothetical.

You are about to throw a huge Fourth of July party, so you go to Wal-Mart. You stroll past the boxes of Pepsi stacked to look like the Statue of Liberty, and into the snack food aisle. Here you look out upon a display of varicolored Pringle cans, when one catches your eye. Tucked away on the bottom shelf, is a beige Pringles can containing a new flavor. Holiday Turkey.

How dirty would you feel, standing in that aisle, holding that beige canister? What deeply repressed, intensely troubling thoughts would stroll their way back into your psyche? The wall that protects me from permanent existential dread, would easily crumble in the presence of Turkey Pringles.

The point is, you don’t celebrate using turkey. Use pizza, like the thick-blooded Americans we all are. 

Do you know what else they didn’t have when the first Thanksgiving happened? Flu shots, eHarmony, flamethrowers, Lizzo, skateboards, equal rights, and maraschino cherries”

I get that when the first Thanksgiving happened. They didn’t have pizza, but do you know what else they didn’t have when the first Thanksgiving happened? Flu shots, eHarmony, flamethrowers, Lizzo, skateboards, equal rights, and maraschino cherries. We’re so much better off now, so why aren’t we eating like it?

Readers–my beautiful, loyal, malleable readers–for you, I declare the fourth Thursday of November “Family Meal Day.” We shall spend the day with our families, and beckon the good people of Papa Johns to provide us with a beautiful dinner. Light some candles, make some memories, and make sure you have at least one conversation that acknowledges the fact this was Native American land first and that orcas don’t belong in Sea World.