by Kelly Hagen
Thanksgiving happens sometime this month, experts tell us. No one knows exactly when. You won’t know it’s struck until it is too late. You’ll have turkey all over your face, cranberry sauce dribbled down your shirt, and you’ll find yourself needing to take a nap while everyone else is watching football..
Thanksgiving, technically, exists very loosely these days. In ancient times, our forefathers actually recognized it as its own holiday, with cultural significance and everything. And it was the official start to the Christmas season, and we know this because Santa Claus is the last thing you see during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and that’s because that used to be the first time you saw the fat man in his sled.
But nowadays, Christmas season starts after Halloween. Or is it Labor Day? It starts pretty early, just like presidential candidate speculation. Nobody can wait anymore. The minutes the skies clear of smoke from the Fourth of July fireworks, they start hanging garlands on stuff.
Also, I don’t know if you noticed, but they invented a new holiday and placed it a day after Thanksgiving: Black Friday. Really, it’s a terrible name for a holiday; always makes me think about plagues and mass casualties. But instead, it’s the day when retail does a bunch of glorified sales, and open their doors at about 3 a.m., so that mobs of insane people can trample each other, on their way to buying a brand name of TV no one’s ever heard of before, but it’s 87 inches wide, and only $87. What a deal! Destroy anyone who gets between you and it!
I always liked Thanksgiving because there wasn’t a lot of pressure to it. I’m sure those of you responsible for housing your family members from far, far away, who come home for what is now the fifth official holiday of the Christmas season, or those of you tasked with cooking the gigantic feast that goes with Thanksgiving, would scoff at my contention that there’s no pressure. But my house is too messy for guests, and no one really likes me, so there are no guests. And when no one likes you, they rarely expect you to cook for them.
It’s also possible that no one really likes me specifically because I never cook anything for them. I’d better ask somebody.
What I’m a pro at, though, is napping. You eat a gigantic meal, with the main course being turkey, which is loaded with tryptophan, and if you’re at my house, we like to coat the bird in cough syrup, just to make sure no one stays conscious. Because napping is important to Thanksgiving; it might as well be included in the name of the day. Thanksforthenap Day: Kind of catchy, right? But, yeah, I can nap lying down, face pressed into the couch or pointed at the TV, sitting up, standing up, riding on a stationary bicycle, etc. Whatever you’ve got for me to do, I can nap while I do it.
So whenever Thanksgiving sneaks up on us, I’m ready. I’m ready to eat, I’m ready to nap, I’m ready to be thankful for the food and the nap.
God bless America.
(Columnist Kelly Hagen has just been informed that we do, in fact, know exactly when Thanksgiving Day is going to happen. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find all his nonsense online at www.sohagen.com.)