Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Who Invited the Indians?

For your holiday pleasure, I present one of the newspaper columns I wrote for a local paper and have published as "My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale."
Ordering information is located at the end of the column, which deals with, of course, Thanksgiving, but offers a different perspective.


If you thought standing in long lines at the supermarket, looking for the best price for the best turkey, whipping up pie crusts, crumbling cornbread for dressing, slicing, dicing and otherwise concocting salads, vegetables, and assorted other "extras" was exhausting, just think of the original Pilgrims who prepared that famous First Thanksgiving Meal.  No supermarkets for them.  No convenience foods, no, siree.  Let's just imagine...

Preparations began about a week ahead of time, when one of the leaders of the colony proclaims, "It was a good harvest.  We should prepare a great feast to give thanks."  Everyone nods in agreement; the men pick up their firearms and disappear into the woods to Hunt for Game.  This leaves the women-folk to do Everything Else. 

Everything Else consists of:  hauling water, building fires, tending said fires, grinding up the grain so it can be mead into bread, milking the cows, carving pumpkins (oops, wrong celebration; that was for Halloween) -- scooping out the pumpkin meat, squashing the squash...the list grows and grows as the days pass. 

And every evening the Men folk return, empty-handed, gobble up half of the prepared foods, fall asleep and then the next day, set forth again to Hunt Game. 

Don't you suppose the women folk got a bit tired and resentful of the whole thing?  After working all that time on such a huge feast, to have their men come back from the Great Outdoors with nothing but sore feet and empty stomachs, and no thanks for all the womenfolk have done? 

It doesn't seem to matter, however, and the days pass and the feast grows bigger and finally, one day, the men return with Game.  Well, at least, they called it Game....

"And prithee (pray thee, this means) what callest thou that?" one of the womenfolk demanded, pointing to a huge, scrawny, ugly bird dangling from a Proud Hunter's hands. 

"It is called Turkey," the Proud Hunter replied, flinging it onto the trestle table.  "Clean it and cook it, woman; it will be part of our feasting."

"Hummph," Woman retorted, surveying the scraggly fowl.  "Couldn't find a deer, huh? So we must make do with this pitiful excuse for meat?"

Of course, there being no reply, Woman prepared the Turkey as best as she could, and the men kept bringing the blasted things in from the woods.  Day after day, more Turkeys appeared, some of them bringing fowl...oh, excuse me.  We were talking about the Men folk bringing Turkey, weren't we?

Well, after a while, Women became inventive, stuffing the insides of the loathsome fowl with all manner of ingredients, each one vying with the other for the most unusual combinations, until at last, the Big Day arrived, and all was in readiness.  The Women had this Turkey thing down Pat, by golly.  They wearily placed the foodstuffs on the trestle table, the Men folk settled down to enjoy their repast, when suddenly, from out of the woods, a Tribe of Indians walked slowly towards them.

"Prithee," one of the more adventurous Women asked her husband.  "Why are these savages approaching?"

"Oh, I forgot to tell you," Husband said through a mouthful of Turkey.  "I invited the Indians to have dinner with us."

Hmmmm.  There may be some modern-day similarities here, after all.  After many days of preparing a feast, and their husbands Hunting for Game (channel surfing the TV. for the best football games, that is) womenfolk finally set the food on the table.  The doorbell rings.  "Who can that be?" she wonders idly.

"Oh," says the husband as he settles behind the mounds of food, preparing to carve the turkey, "I forgot to tell you ..... I invited my brother and sister and their families and Uncle Oscar and Aunt Jane to have dinner with us...."

Some things never change.

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