Once again it is almost Thanksgiving, the time of year when we go to the shopping mall of our choice in memory of the Pilgrims, a hardy band of men and women who set out from England in their frail ship, the Frail Ship III, in search of a place where they could exercise their constitutional right to set suspected witches on fire. It was a very difficult voyage -- at times they thought they would never reach the New World -- but finally, one morning, after 18 weeks at sea, the fog lifted and the lookout shouted the fateful words: "Hey! We forgot to put up the sails!"
Several hours later they arrived in New England, and although their luggage had unfortunately been checked through to the Pacific Northwest, they were able to survive that first rugged winter thanks to the help of a friendly Indian, Tonto, who showed them how to throw tea into the harbor. When a year had gone by, they celebrated by having a big dinner and inviting the Indians over to sign a treaty under which the Pilgrims got Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Ohio, and the Indians got bacterial infections.
Today we celebrate these events by watching the Detroit Lions on television and eating the traditional ludicrous Thanksgiving meal, which consists of 142 mutant food items that exist only on Thanksgiving, such as yams glazed with Rice Krispies and Cool Whip, served in 142 individual 12-pound Corning Ware containers, far more than will fit simultaneously on the table, so we must constantly pass them back and forth to each other, keeping a third of them airborne for the entire two-hour meal, similar to the system used by the Strategic Air Command for nuclear bombers.
The pie`ce de re'sistance (literally, "let the buyer beware") of the Thanksgiving meal has traditionally been the turkey, although in recent years more and more upwardly mobile urban professionals are switching to the ostrich, a bird that combines the advantages of weighing 350 pounds with the advantages of being able to kill a man with a single kick. As Buster Webster, president of the American Ostrich Council, put it in a recent interview: "Just the drumstick from a mature bird like Rex here could feed a family of six for AAACCKKK ..."
Whatever kind of poultry you choose, you'll want to serve it with "stuffing" prepared the traditional way.
TRADITIONAL STUFFING RECIPE
Ingredients: NO OYSTERS.
To Prepare: Prepare stuffing in bowl. DO NOT PUT ANY OYSTERS IN IT.
Serve WITHOUT OYSTERS.
The secret to this recipe is that it does not contain any oysters, which are phlegm-like sea creatures that spend their entire lives eating wharf slime. And yet sometimes you will attend a Thanksgiving dinner -- this has happened to me -- where the cook will deliberately put these organisms INTO THE STUFFING and then give it to you to EAT. If this ever happens to you, my advice is that you claim you have a routine dental appointment and leave immediately, because for all you know there will be leeches in the aspic.
But good food is not the real purpose of Thanksgiving; the real purpose is to get together with all those Loved Ones whom we rarely see, even though they live just a half-hour away, because we hate them. Hosting one of these large family "get-togethers" can be an awful lot of work, so if it's your turn to have "the whole gang" over to your house this year, here's a little "tip" that can make things go a lot more smoothly: CLAIM YOU HAVE LUNG FLUKES.
Lung flukes are organisms that I found out about recently while browsing through the parasites section of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and although they are not usually considered a Friend to Man, they can help to drastically reduce the turnout at your Thanksgiving dinner. A day or two ahead of time, call up all your Loved Ones and say: "Hello, Alice? Listen, I want you to know that (cough) I'm still expecting you all here for (cough cough) Thanksgiving, and the doctor says there's nothing to worry about concerning the (cough cough cough) lung flukes unless I (cough cough cough cough cough cough) cough on the food."