Thanksgiving analogies to whet the appetite
November 21, 2017
In the land of eternal hot takes that is 2017, it's hard to shock people. Opening a newspaper, turning on the news or checking Twitter can attest to as much. However, I think I've found a topic worthy of the term "hot take." No, I'm not going to disparage an entire race or demean the opposite gender. Heads up all you parade-loving, turkey-murking folks: Thanksgiving is overrated.
A holiday revolving around football and eating should be up there with Halloween, Christmas and the other greats. However, my Saturdays and some Sundays have been filled with gridiron and grub for the past couple of months.
When you consider how bad the football is — the Detroit Lions have never been good and the Dallas Cowboys are the official team of Satan — and the once-a-year-for-a-reason fare you have a formula for indifference.
You can push the sentimental family Lifetime movie stuff elsewhere because we (white people) literally killed a third of the holiday's mascots. (Two thirds if you count the turkeys.) I could expand on the mass genocide prompted by pilgrims, but no one wants to (or really does) talk about it.
As far as the food goes, tell me the last time you craved a Thanksgiving-themed restaurant. Oh, that's not a thing? Excuse me. I'll go on record that casseroles are basically slop in a pan. If casserole had an inspiration it would either be a poor man's potpie or a rich man's gruel.
Cranberry fruit salad is what happens when your grandma tries to sneak health food in your dessert. Not sure who thought putting nuts with the worst flavor of Jell-O was a good idea but that person probably invented mustard gas, as well.
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Even the juiciest turkey is still dry. I put leftover turkey sandwiches ahead of the actual Thanksgiving meal.
Mashed potatoes have the consistency of baby food. The notion that adding gravy to everything improves it is the dated version that adding a fried egg on top of everything makes it better.
I'll give stuffing a pass because it's the one thing on my plate that usually has flavor. Sweet potatoes are only good when loaded with cinnamon, sugar and marshmallows. I used to like pumpkin pie until the PSL craze took over from September to November. If you don't know what PSL is, it's an acronym for Pumpkin Spice Latte, aka what hipsters and yuppies think a pumpkin tastes like. There's nothing as egregious as passing off nutmeg and cinnamon as pumpkin with the possible exception of Buffalo Wild Wings' jerk "I just found out what coriander is" chicken wings.
It's a holiday based on food without the best cuisine. If it was barbecue, a seafood tower, all-you-can-eat pasta and a taco bar then we'd have a proper reason to celebrate.
Forgive me if I come off as a prude, but when I watch football, I can do without satisfactory groans and the sound of family members unzipping their flies. Also, the growing notion that college football is more entertaining than the NFL is on par with people who just discovered alcoholic beer is better than non-alcoholic beer. Now, if Colin Kaepernick could just dispel the untruth that he's protesting the military and our flag as opposed to police brutality and racism, he'd right on par with the guy who convinced humanity the Earth was round.
You may not need written evidence to avoid the Lions and Cowboys, but here's a hall pass when your creepy uncle tries to get you to watch football with him. If Jerry Jones and 180 pounds of racist mashed potatoes switched places, people would applaud the potatoes for its composure under duress. "Who are the Detroit Lions" is the answer to the Jeopardy clue: "This team is the only NFL team to ever finish a season 0-16." Lions fans are Cubs fans if Cubs fans got easily distracted by the success of their local hockey team.
I would have a take on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but I've never watched it. My guess is networks throw out a woman host who is genuinely excited by dated, big balloon cartoon characters and a male co-host who's relieved with every passing sexual harassment claim that doesn't name him.
I won't apologize if your favorite holiday is Thanksgiving because those people stopped reading long ago. All I'm saying is Thanksgiving is overrated. Feeding the homeless and the amount of charity involved in turkey day is incredible. However, I feel it's more of a justification for gorging on enough food to feed a small, third-world village. Going to a casino on a reservation would be more helpful to Native Americans than this Christmas commercial veiled in a charade of giving thanks ever is.
Thanksgiving is like if deforestation companies created Arbor Day and celebrated it by eating mutton and flying kites.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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