November 24, 2008
Thanksgiving. What an awesome opportunity to sabotage the Rockwellian preconceptions of family and friends. If you’re full of loathing at the thought of this year’s Turkey Day being another endless, boring, bloated, recliner-bound football watching fart fest, don’t despair. You just need an attitude adjustment. You need to get on the right side of Thanksgiving. First, start by meditating on how wonderfully lucky you are to be in America instead of some dust pit like Somalia, whose version of tailgating involves an ultimate fighting death match with a few hundred other motivated contestants for a sack of rice tossed off the back of an Oxfam aid truck. Check. You’re in the plus column there. That alone should be enough to make you want to put on a pilgrim outfit and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, but this is America. You don’t have to attend the pep rally if you don’t want to. All you have to do to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving is to be thankful. That other attendant bullshit is all negotiable. Traditions are swell, but like laws, rules, hearts, and piñatas, they were made to be broken. Just because your Thanksgiving doesn’t look like it leapt out of the pages of Martha Stewart Living doesn’t mean you aren’t doing the holiday justice. You can be equally thankful with malt liquor and chili dogs. Sure, Bo Pilgrim would like you to stuff your gob with gobbler, but that doesn’t mean you can’t whip up a big batch of Bhindi masala or sag paneer. If the pilgrims had run into the same American Indians Columbus was looking for, they would have feasted on that stuff anyway. There’s no reason your culinary expression of gratitude should be the byproduct of the navigational ineptitude of an Italian glory whore. Show your thanks with something you’re truly thankful for. If you can honestly look into your heart and say your favorite dish is oven-roasted turkey with giblet gravy, then rock that shit, yo, but if you’re into sushi or baby-back ribs or baba ghanoush, don’t let tradition con you into buying canned cranberry sauce. Seriously, cranberries are only barely tolerated by people with urinary tract infections. Maybe the pilgrims had a lot of trouble peeing. Who knows? It doesn’t mean they had to lay that trip on you, though. Similarly, if you prefer margaritas or banana daiquiris over white wine or beer. Treat yourself. It might be a little awkward when you show up at your mother-in-law’s house with a quart of hooch and a blender, but she can’t say you aren’t festive. Plus, the tequila should help counteract the Demerol effect of the turkey. After all, nothing says party like a roomful of fat nappers, eh? Then again, you can just blow the whole thing off and be thankful that you’re not one of them. In that case, you’ll want to thank the Alamo Drafthouse for offering up a Turkey Day screening of JCVD, the new Jean-Claude Van Damme flick in which Van Damme plays himself playing himself. Sounds complicated, but it’s really just French. The good news is that even though it’s Turkey Day, you can still order from Alamo’s regular menu, but if you want to pay homage to Bo Pilgrim, you can still preorder and get a full Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. Just tell your waiter to wake you up when the movie’s over.