(I wrote this for another site a few years ago. It’s long, it’s stupid, it’s ridiculous, but it apparently made several people giggle and they said they would not mind reading it again. . Plus, I am feeling really sorry for Thanksgiving, the red headed step child of holidays, so I have a couple of post in honor of that holiday coming up. Also, please note that the following story is very, very, very, politically incorrect. I wrote it during a fit of insomnia induced delirium.)
My neighbors have started stringing up their Christmas lights and Target is already blasting Christmas music. It’s November. Where have all the turkeys and pilgrims gone?
I feel bad for Thanksgiving. It’s like the forgotten holiday. People get all psyched for Halloween and about three weeks before Halloween actually gets here, the decoration aisle in the stores is moved to the back and Christmas takes over. Thanksgiving has become nothing more than a bookmark between two bigger holidays. And now, between the way stores ignore it and the insistence of a lot of schools to no longer tell the story of the first Thanksgiving for fear of pissing someone off, there will come a time when that Thursday in November is given another name and another celebration. Christmas Blast-Off day or something like that. Eventually, the story of Thanksgiving will get lost and one day when our great grandkids ask us about it, we’ll be making shit up the way we do for St. Patrick’s Day or Easter.
I took some time out of my busy schedule to imagine a retelling of the first Thanksgiving, many years from now. As told by Some Pilgrim.
The Pilgrim’s Tale
So we set sail to go find the land of Virgins. Except we didn’t find the virgins. Well, we found some place called Newfoundland, but everyone there talked funny and we decided to keep looking for the Virgin Land. Or Virginia. Something like that. All I know is that we were promised women.
We landed in this place called Plimoth and met up with some Indians wanted to be buddies with us. Now, these are not the Indians you know of today, those guys who build huge casinos and sell cigarettes. These were more like pow-wow Indians. You know, cowboys and Indians. The first guy we met was Chief Nokahoma. I think. Everyone wanted to make friends with the new kids, because the new kids bring cool stuff with them. The first thing these Chief Nokahoma said to us was “What kind of booty you got up in that ship, yo?” And I said, “Hey, I got a wife and teenage daughter. You can have them in exchange for that bitchin’ hat you’re wearing.” He told me it was called a headdress but dude, that sounded gay. I stuck to hat.
I wore that feathered hat with great pride. My wife and daughter weren’t really that thrilled about being Chief Nokahoma’s bitches, but hey, they got a warm tent to sleep in and some cool Pocahontas dress up clothes.
We spent our first couple of months building a bunch of houses on the Indians’ property. Thye didn’t exactly give us this property and we didn’t exactly ask, but it’s not like they had any deeds. Every time one of those chief guys asked what I was doing, I just said, “Hey, it’s a free country, right?” Even though it wouldn’t really be a free country for more than a hundred years later, but what do Indians know?
I’ll tell you what they know. They know how to scalp a white man. That has nothing to do with my story. Just saying.
So we built our houses and churches and tried to get the Indians to come to our church and worship our god, but they had all these weird beliefs about running bears and sitting ducks and shit like that. I think it was voodoo. Not sure. All I know is that when I saw my wife at some Friday night pow-wow, she said Chief Nokahoma was hung like Galloping Horse. And I happened to see Galloping Horse in the community shower a few nights before, so that explained why my wife was walking like she just got off a horse. A Galloping Horse. Get it? I asked her how she knew what Galloping Horse was hung like and she just smiled. Whore.
Finally, the harvest came. We gathered all our Indian friends and said, hey, we want you to come over for dinner on Thursday, but it’s a potluck dinner. That means you have to bring something. Mrs. Smith used this opportunity to sell Tupperware to the Indians, explaining how it keeps the hot stuff hot and the cool stuff cool and comes in a variety of colors and if Princess Sacajawea over there sold enough to her friends she could get a free colander! Colanders make kick ass headdresses, too!
After the Indians exchanged some nuts and berries and a few Susan B. Anthony dollar coins for some Tupperware products, I made them each write down what they were going to bring to the potluck. It’s not like I was trying to hold them to it or I thought they were gonna try to bail on us, it’s just that you don’t want to end up sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner and realizing that you have four sweet potato pies, but no string bean casserole.
I almost felt bad that most of the food the Indians were bringing had to be hunted down or picked or just needed hard labor to get. Me, I was bringing a peach cobbler from Mrs. Johnson’s Bakery. I don’t have time to bake or cook. And I no longer had a wife or daughter to do that stuff for me. In my defense, I was the planner of this feast and I had a lot of work to do to get everything in order. Squanto, who complained that I was lazy white ass, can go stick a corn on the cob up his ass and whistle Dixie for all I care. He didn’t need to threaten to scalp me over a damn peach cobbler. So what if he spent three days in the woods hunting deer, dragging the carcasses to his campground, skinning the things, cutting them up and curing them? And so what if the other Indians spent three days killing all kinds of turkeys and geese for our feast and their wives got malaria while out in the woods collecting nuts and berries for pies? A little hard work never killed anyone. Well, maybe it did. But you get my point, right?
So a lot of the Indians were all up in my face about doing most of the work, but they were invited guests and that’s the way we did it in Britain. Yea, yea, I know we weren’t in Britain anymore, but damn it, I was going to teach these Indians to do things the right way.
Jesus, this story is way longer than I intended. But I just want to make sure we are getting things straight here. Because I know you all have history books that tend to “retell” stories, kind of like the way they did that remake of the Poseidon adventure, which they claimed wasn’t a remake at all but a retelling. A retelling is nothing but telling your own version of a story because you don’t like the way the real version went. Ernest Borgnine owns you. Never forget that.
Anyhow. Thanksgiving came and we all gathered at my house. Except that there was way too many of us and we ended up having to eat outside. Ever been to New England in November? It’s fucking cold. And the Indians show up all wrapped up in fur and animal skin and we just had some Members Only jackets. And they didn’t even bring us any fur. You would think they would have at least warned us about the weather. Whatever.
Everyone dumped their food on the table and we did a buffet style thing. Pocahontas wanted to do a whole sit down dinner with place cards and all that crap, but I knew what she was up to. She would have made us sit Indian-White Man-Indian-White Man like we were at some high school mixer. I don’t want to be forced to talk to people during dinner. Dinner is for eating. Not getting-to-know-you conversation. So we did the buffet and the white people sat at one table and the Indians sat at another and all the kids sat at the kiddie table and the Indian kids taught the white kids how to scalp squirrels and the white kids taught the Indian kids all the words to 50 Cent’s In Da Club.
After dinner, we had dessert and espresso and we smoked the peace pipe and drank about three cases of King Cobra. Then we put on a Scorpions 8-track and had an air guitar contest and then we played “throw the arrow at the drunk Indian” but that game ended when Running Bull got a shot to the heart. And I was to blame.
That almost ended the night on a sour note, as alluding to Bon Jovi lyrics usually does, but we smoked more of the peace pipe. And more. We sat around in a circle and just kept passing that thing around. After about 15 rounds of puffing and passing I was starting to see Jesus. Or maybe that was Squanto. Did Squanto wear a crown of thorns? I stared at my hand for a while and everyone talked about some life affirming moments and then John Bunyan took out his guitar and we all sang a round of “Wish You Were Here” before we called it a night.
We all went home and dropped some Alka Seltzer and most of the men had relations women and I just masturbated while thinking about Pocahontas stuffing a turkey. Again. Then I said my nightly prayers, which is weird when you just made love to yourself. But it was Thanksgiving and I needed to let God know that I was thankful for the bounty he had provided us with that day and for the fact that we finished it off in a mostly peaceful way.
And that is how, many years from now, the story of the Holiday Time Forgot will be told.
(My favorite part of this story is the image. I think I retold it just to get to use that again)
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