Thanksgiving, according to a wise man, is a special night.
It is my favorite holiday. Better than Passover, better than Kwanzaa, better even than Hobo week. And don't tell me that's not a real week, because Google says it is. And if you've never gotten down in August during Hobo week, then you have not lived. But despite all that frivolity and bindle-weaving, Thanksgiving is the best.
Is it the history of brutal oppression of an indigenous people? Maybe. Is it the awful football games? Doubtful. Is it the airing of grievances over heaping piles of white and dark meat, fueled by liquor and stuffing? Bet your ass. Mostly, though, it's the quintessential America-ness of the day.
You can have your 4th of July, your Memorial Day, your Arbor Day. Thanksgiving is the only one that combines gluttony, sloth, greed, wrath, lust, pride and envy. I don't know what it means that I associate America with the seven mortal sins. Could be that I just love Brad Pitt. Or maybe it's that I celebrated this holiest of days by participating in all 7 capital vices.
Gluttony - this is almost too obvious, but to wit: I ate an obscene amount of turkey, fought viciously against Brother A for the stuffing, and inhaled an entire chocolate pie. "Good pie, Ma." Damn skippy it was. And that was before Friday night, where the family dined on raw beef and leftover turkey.
Sloth - so much turkey, so much napping. And as for those terrible football games: did I watch them? Hells yeah. What am I going to do, get off the couch to find the clicker to change the channel? That sounds an awful lot like work, buddy.
Greed - this is the one I'm most embarrassed about. So you know how some malls opened Thursday night at midnight to bring in Black Friday early? And you sat at home wondering how unbelievably avaricious some whackos could be, how addicted they could be to good deals? Yeah, that was me and my family. Ostensibly the idea was to go at night, so we could have fun on Friday. That didn't actually work out, and we ended up going at night and during the day. This led to...
Wrath - wherein I cursed the gods, my own brothers, my wife, my child, capitalism, and the other whackjobs shopping at 3 in the morning, and almost stabbed a poor checkout girl with a cufflink. Plus the sleep deprivation gave me a nice short fuse right up until the holy Sabbath.
Lust - I'm just saying, Thanksgiving does some weird things to your brain. One minute you're staring at the perfectly cooked turkey, all gold and stuffed with stuffing, and then next your shirt is across the kitchen, you've got gravy all over your naked belly, and all the stuffing is gone.
(Note: that came out a lot more disturbing than I thought it would be when I started writing it. And yet...I'm not deleting it. So I guess the lesson is that I have no shame.)
Pride - Carving the turkey is a grand tradition in my family, passed down from my grandfather to me and Brother S. And I have to say, I carved the shit out of that turkey. It was magnificent. There was nothing left but gristle and bone, because I have the hands of a surgeon.
Envy - I'm pretty certain that, in the end, Brother A got more stuffing than I did. And I had to leave all that extra beef in Florida to be consumed by the rest of my family. And Brothers S and Z got some sweet-ass clothes. Should I care? Shouldn't I, who has talked up socialism and disparaged the free market all these months, let it go?
I should. And maybe if I'd been able to eat some more turkey I'd be ok. But you know what? While the rest of the country is gorging on leftovers this week - turkey sandwiches, turkey loaf, turkey burgers, turkey soup, turkey salad, turkey jerky, turkey stew, turkey chips - I've had to subsist on non-turkey roughage. And that's not cool.
My resolution for next year? Ether for the brothers, turkey for me. And lord help Child if he ends up liking dark meat instead of white...