Aspects Of Thanksgiving

Turkey: Turkey makes you sleepy, because it has that chemical in it. That’s just science! Actually, that’s untrue, it’s not science at all. The chemical in turkey is not what makes you sleepy. You could look it up. But it’s cute that we had to make up an imaginary reason as to why we’d be sleepy after Thanksgiving. Because “traveling long distances, watching six hours of football, then eating three pounds of food, then having an excruciating hour-long conversation with your aunt” apparently wouldn’t qualify as a reason to be “sleepy” unless there was some sort of chemical explanation.

Honestly, just thinking about Thanksgiving makes me sleepy, and by “sleepy” I of course mean “quasi-suicidal.” Too much food and relatives and enforced conversation and–


Sorry, I just passed out for a second and my head collapsed onto my keyboard.

Anyway, turkey! Yay, let’s all gather together to eat a food that is universally acknowledged as being “dry” and “bland.” Thanksgiving slightly sucks, is all I’m saying. You don’t get to have sex like on Halloween, and you don’t get presents like you do on Christmas, and you don’t get a sense of Jewish guilt like I do on Easter. But hey, the side-dishes on Thanksgiving are okay… Grade: C-minus

Mashed potatoes: …Right, so, side-dishes! Mashed potatoes are good. There is nothing bad to say about mashed potatoes, especially if you leave the skins on, and throw some garlic in there or something. And mashed potatoes are pretty much un-f-ck-up-able. I know this because even I can make them. You boil potatoes, moosh them up, and toss in some milk and butter and salt and pepper. There’s no way you can screw that up. If mashed potatoes were a toy, they’d be that cup-with-a-ball-on-a-string thing. If they were a musical instrument, they’d be the triangle. Anyway, it’s good in life to have something you can’t mess up, even if you try. Or is that too profound? Anyway. Grade: A

Stuffing: For some reason, stuffing makes me think of a World War II scene: a bunch of American soldiers at war with bread. They’re trapped in a trench, surrounded by bread, and then the sergeant is like, “Well, boys! Damned if we’re not in a tight spot. There’s only one way out and that’s to fight our way out.” And then the bravest of them jump up and toss some grenades at the bread, and then pop down into the trench as fast as they can. …And when they emerge, several minutes later, stuffing is the result. “War is hell, boys. Now let’s sprinkle some sage and chopped onions around here, and then let’s eat.”

…Anyway, stuffing is part of the never-ending attempt to distract from how blah turkey is by surrounding it with other, better foods. Turkey is also like this very unpleasant conversational topic that you’re trying to avoid. In fact, if turkey was a conversational topic, it’d be you having to confess that you gave your girlfriend an STD on her birthday: awful. Okay, enough about how much I dislike turkey. Grade: B-plus

Candied yams: Wow, do we have enough carbs for this dinner yet? Do you think? Really, if your carb needs aren’t being met yet by mashed potatoes, bread, stuffing, etc., then adding something like candied yams isn’t really going to satisfy you either. Really, what you should do in this case is just quit your job, and become a wandering Carb Nomad, traveling from town to town in sackcloth or something. “BROTHERS AND SISTERS, DO YOU HAVE ANY CARBS THAT YOU CAN SPARE? PLEASE. JUST SOME CRACKERS OR ANYTHING. OH GOD I NEED CARBS; ANY CARBS.” Yuck. Grade:D

Cranberry sauce: There’s been a decades-long debate going on about cranberry sauce at my family’s house. My step-sister and I like the canned type, everyone else likes the homemade type. Finally we just compromised and had both kinds, in two different bowls. But god, it took years to get to that point. Years of painful alternation between different types of sauce. It was like the Thirty Years’ War of cranberry sauce, with one side always falling into utter defeat.

“What mighty contests arise from trivial things,” said Alexander Pope, and man, he had a point there. You can love and respect your family, and yet still get into the most excruciating debates over, say, sauce. Or types of milk. Man, we debated for years over milk. I like the two percent kind, but some people like the skim kind, which is just white-flavored water, as far as I’m concerned. And then some other people in my family like whole milk, but accidentally drinking whole milk from a carton leads me to have the following reaction: “JESUS CHRIST THIS IS WHOLE MILK, AAAH. WHY NOT JUST POUR MELTED BUTTER DOWN MY THROAT. AAAH. SPEW!”

So to return to the topic of cranberry sauce for a second. I preferred the canned type from little kid-dom, mostly because I was fascinated by the way that it emerged from the can in perfect can-form, even down to mimicking the wavy metal ridges in the side of the can. Fascinating. And then, you can slice it. What other types of “sauce” can you slice? None that I can think of, at the moment. Grade: A-minus.

Pumpkin pie:  Pumpkin pie is delicious, but it also falls into that odd subcategory of “food that we’re only allowed to have for three weeks out of the year.” F-ck that noise. …Who decides these things? Some shadowy cabal of evil men somewhere? Like Alan Greenspan and Rupert Murdoch and Dick Cheney and Kobe Bryant and Freddy Kruger and such all gather in a board room with a long table and are like, “They shall have pumpkin pie for exactly this long, and no longer. Ba ha ha. Ah ha ha. Ah ha ha. Hoo.” …Also, I love Eggnog far more than I even love pumpkin pie, so don’t even get me started on that whole topic. Who is it that gives us eggnog and then takes it away from us again? We only get like thirty noggy days!

Anyway, I’m thinking of starting an Occupy Pie movement. I’m going to sit in a square in downtown New York and stay there until the fat-cats crumble and give us pumpkin pie all year long. …And to a lesser extent, give us mince pie all year long. I’m somewhat flexible on mince pie. Actually I might even end up using mince pie as a bargaining chip, to help release the pie that I truly want.

So, if you’re into this whole thing, then follow me at #OccupyPie on Twitter. …Nah, I’m just kidding. I would never use Twitter. Twitter is like Facebook for people who find the whole “interacting with other people and not spewing your own thoughts all day long” thing to be too taxing. …Right, so where was I? …Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Love you! Go eat some carbs and save me the wishbone thing. Grade: B-minus. TC mark

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  • Nadia

    That’s so strange. The vast majority of people I know find Thanksgiving to be their favorite holiday. Y’all must have families that really suck cause I personally enjoy spending time with mine and eating good food. What’s not to like?

    • Oliver Miller

       My family, mostly?  So you kind of hit the nail on the head there.

      • Xyz

        I believe what NADIA is trying to say is that it’s nigh impossible to effectively satirize a holiday as beloved as Thanksgiving, because:
        A. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well online, or in written language. Ask Jonathan Swift.
        B. A negative take on any element will be seized upon by a certain percentage of people who identify that given element as their favorite part of the holiday.
        C. Well reasoned arguments against an emotional reaction to a holiday, piece of art, etc. have a tendency to make you sound like a dick. (For reference, see the above sections of this comment.)

      • Guest


  • Gregory Costa

    New Englanders do Thanksgiving better.

  • Sheniqua La Rouche

    ….you like canned cranberry sauce? what the hell is wrong with you?

    • Gregory Costa

      What’s wrong with you?  The only way I’m eating cranberry sauce is if it’s in the shape of the can after it’s out of the can.

      • Oliver Miller

        Greg knows what it’s all about.

  • Anonymous

    Another good one, Holden. You had me giggling out loud in the Airport. Someone to me to sush and I told her to fuck off.

  • Anonymous

    Another good one Holden. You had me laughing and giggling aloud in the airport. One lady told me to shush and I told her to fuck off

  • BellaLuce

    (pumpkins aren’t in season all year…just sayin) 

    • Oliver Miller

      Somehow I feel that with our modern “canning” techology, we could still overcome this and make pies year ’round.

    • Guest

      pretty sure most people don’t make pumpkin pie out of fresh pumpkins

  • Steph Vita

    You have obviously never had a turkey cooked correctly. My mom’s never made a dry one. Also, I love Thanksgiving. Family + food = awesome.

    • Guest

      sounds pretty dry to me.

  • Maggie

    Your article became invalid when you decided to rate pumpkin pie B-. What’s up with that?

    • Oliver Miller

      It was an overall rating that took into account the irritating lack of pumpkin pie for 10 months out of the year. #occupypie

  • Space mtn

    holidayz @ da halfway house holla

  • a.

    God, how sad is it that I actually checked to see if #occupypie was a thing? And how much sadder, that it is..

    • Oliver Miller

      How sad is it that I didn’t know if “#” was a thing on Twitter or not?  I was just guessing.  Man, I’m old.

  • Guest

    I despise Thanksgiving, but not, you know, in an ungrateful way. A day dedicated to gorging yourself surrounded by family (YAYYYY) and football, with no other options, to be immediately followed by the biggest, blackest shopping day of the year is my own personal hell. Also, add the fact that my birthday occasionally lands on Thanksgiving = no fun. Ever.

    Turkey is only delicious in deli form, or if you have the opportunity to nom on a leg barbarian style. Forget puritanical pilgrims, when I inherit matriarchy of my family, we’ll celebrate it like Vikings. 

    Also, this is absolutely spot on, and I’m almost convinced Oliver Miller is my secret soul mate: “Twitter is like Facebook for people who find the whole “interacting with
    other people and not spewing your own thoughts all day long” thing to
    be too taxing.”

  • Host

    I love when articles make me laugh out loud…. you had me at “wandering Carb Nomad”, sir. So I can forgive you for not googling how to spell ‘sergeant’. And I’m sorry I had to add that incredibly annoying comment. 

    • Oliver Miller

      Crap, I *knew* that word looked wrong.  Crap, crap, crap. Although I’m also supposed to have editors. EDITORS YOU HAVE FAILED ME ONCE AGAIN.

  • Danielle Nathan

    Oliver I’ll make you a pumpkin pie in the off season, my extra can of pumpkin is good till something like December 2014… stuff lasts forever.

  • Kyle LaMar

    Was debating whether #OccuPie would have been better, then said #OccupyPie aloud and immediately knew I was wrong.

    • Oliver Miller

      My editor and I had the same debate and he was wrong too.

  • guest

    candied yams > cranberry sauce

  • Anonymous

  • Anapie5

    this was next level funny…. A+

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