SUN., NOV. 30, 2003
Thanksgiving again: Time to head back to dysfunction junction for a gut-busting glut of food, folks, and football; time to literally lean over the plate and take one for the team; time to reacquaint yourself with the marginal, milquetoast fare of thankful, yet ultimately starving puritan pilgrims. Start with the yam, aka “sweet potato” – but evidently not sweet enough to find its way to your plate without a generous crown of brown sugar, butter, and marshmallow – nothing more than window dressing for a profoundly ugly tuber. Is it dessert, or merely a side dish with an identity crisis? Then you have cranberries: Sliced, diced, minced, molded, pressed, or pureed, these are bitter, bitter berries – the only fruit that can take the fun out of Jell-O. How about turkey? Apparently all of the fish got used up fertilizing the corn, and these ugly, dim-witted fowl were the only fauna too slow to outrun a pilgrim with a stick. Yes, turkey is a serviceable protein substitute and a powerful sleeping aid, but these qualities alone hardly qualify it for holiday centerpiece status. When was the last time you enjoyed a bucket of Kentucky Fried Turkey? That’s no fluke, it’s epicurean Darwinism. Ahhh yes, and then you have the pumpkin. There are so many ways to enjoy pumpkins, and yet only a few of them involve actual ingestion – and then only if they’re generously lathered with a thick layer of whipped cream. Funny. Such a unique and delectable flavor deserves to be preserved and tasted year-round – sort of like that thing Dolly Madison does with the cherries and the apples. So why isn’t the San Joaquin Valley an endless sea of pumpkin patches? Same reason the Gap isn’t pushing pilgrim hats and shoes with big-assed buckles this season: Evolution. Now there’s something to be thankful for – that and the comforting thought that come Sunday, you can scream back to Austin and purge all of that boxed wine and leftover green bean casserole with a healthy dose of All Good Stuff, the high quality live variety show from the sharp minds at Two Note Solo. All Good Stuff is a hearty stone soup of readings, films, music, and favorite clips from its popular Open Screen Night that is sure to flush your spiritual plumbing. After a wholesome weekend of starch and stasis, a raucous night down at the Drafthouse is just what the doctor ordered … or at least recommended.