No, Thank You


Turkey just ain’t my kind of bird.

By Luke Robinson

I have a November-related confession to make. A big one.

Thanksgiving is my least favorite major holiday.

Oh, don’t be so offended. It’s not the words “Thanks” or “Giving” that make this holiday last on my list any more than they make it first on many of yours.

I do love seeing so some of my cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles that I don’t get to during the regular course of the year, but that goes without saying. Family time is always good- even when it is bad- and Thanksgiving should be about family.

That said, I know what Thanksgiving SHOULD be; I am just disenchanted with what it actually is.

Thanksgiving SHOULD be about counting blessings and visiting relatives. However,  the holiday has morphed into  an excuse to put a temporary Golden Corral buffet right smack-dab in the middle of your living room upon which several of your family members’ least-liked spouses will gorge themselves into a gassy food-coma while the Detroit Lions throw interceptions until you wheelbarrow your guests out to their cars.

Hallmark should make holiday invitations that read, “Come celebrate Thanksgiving with us! Be sure to wear your ill-fitting sweater and mildly-stained khakis while you stuff yourself like a masochistic piñata as we all pretend to listen to each other.”

It’s not the company or the bad football that makes me dread Thanksgiving;  it’s the food. See, I am relatively picky eater. I don’t like the traditional Thanksgiving meals. Stuff like casseroles or light-brown gravies or more casseroles or various congealed fruit formations or even more casseroles all make me sicker than a lab rat.

I especially dislike turkey. That kinda makes Thanksgivings an unfulfilling grind for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I hate that I hate turkey. I wish I liked it. It’d make my life so much easier for Thanksgiving (and at Subway restaurants year-round, for that matter). Alas, I cannot stand it.

In fact, I don’t eat any deli-related meats. I don’t care how many glazings of pineapple-flavored lacquer your great auntie puts on that cross-hatched ham or how many tin cans of cranberry Play-Doh accompany that Butterball, I ain’t eating ‘em.

It is rather depressing, though. According to all of the Norman Rockwell books my grandparents had, good fathers are supposed to skillfully and happily carve turkeys on holidays. They all look so happy with their frilly drapes in the background, their cool pipes and their 27 children around a 6’ x 6’ dinner table. (Apparently, Rockwell wasn’t a huge fan of coitus interruptus; that guy loved drawing big ol’ families).

Of course, if judging by those books were correct, those fathers also wear bowler hats when they are being punished via stockade so maybe that’s not the best example to pattern my life after.

Anyhoo, what’s wrong with some good Bar-B-Que on Thanksgiving? The Pilgrims and Indians didn’t eat it, but I blame that on the fact that no one brought any Dreamland sauce over on the Mayflower. If they had just known how good pork butt was back then….

What about really eating outside the box on T-Giving and having fried shrimp in lieu of that glorified yard-bird? Sounds a little crazy, but whenever I have good fried Gulf shrimp I am DEFINITELY thankful!

I guess the good news about my getting older is that I no longer have to pretend to eat the turkey when it is served. No more cutting it into really tiny bites and dispersing around the plate to imply it was heartily eaten. I just don’t put it on the plate anymore.

So, if you ever have me over for Thanksgiving (and who wouldn’t want to???) just don’t be offended when I only eat the collards and 9 to 14 dinner rolls. In my opinion, turkey is for the birds.

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