Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Game Bored the Turkeys Too

Yes, we all know that Thanksgiving is about food, first and foremost.

Such traditions of course date back to the first Thanksgiving, when the Indians played the Pilgrims to a 14-14 tie, with time running out as the Indians took their football and went home, forever leaving the Pilgrims dissatisfied, since they—coming from Europe—naturally would have preferred to play soccer.

This is the reason why soccer has never really caught on in this country.

Consequently, food became the focus of ensuing Thanksgivings, and as you may know, footballs are made of pigskin (hence their nickname), and since so many pigs were used in those days to keep the tribes supplied with footballs, hogs became scarce in the fall.

But turkeys were plentiful, because these curious birds would instinctively gather to watch the Pilgrims play this crazy game of soccer that they had brought with them from England. And after the game, the Pilgrims could easily harvest the large number of turkeys that would still be standing confused along the sidelines. (Seems like turkeys were the first ones to be lulled into lethargy by watching men futilely kick a ball up and down a field for two hours without scoring a goal!)

This is why today, guys—whether Pilgrims, Indians, or even Italian—will eat until they have to unsnap the top button of their trousers, and then sit in front of an oblong plastic monitor while they watch a bunch of obese men pushing against another bunch of obese men for three or four hours.

Somehow, this evokes passion, especially so if one bunch of obese men have stars on their headpieces. (This, I believe, has something to do with astrology, and the moon being in the seventh house of Häagen-Dazs, or some such place.)

At any rate, my wife, Barbara will be cooking one of those turkeys this Thanksgiving. She doesn’t care for either football or soccer, so she can’t grab one of those languid birds from the sideline of a game—she has to actually go to the Williamstown Farmer’s Market and buy one. Can you imagine! Her Pilgrim forefathers—or foremoms, I guess—would be horrified.

And me? Well, if there are no good movies on TCM—The Maltese Falcon or El Dorado would be good—I’ll guess I’ll have to be content to sit with my sons-in-law and watch those fat guys on the monitor push against one another for three hours.

God, I hope TCM doesn't show Drums Along the Mohawk this Thanksgiving!

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