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Charlie Hatton
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A Thankless Effort

I should never be allowed in public. Clearly. But I should be doubly locked in and chained to my nightstand on holidays. Particularly Thanksgiving. I’ll explain.

Today being one of vanishingly few that my wife and I both have free, we decided to run some errands together. Grab some lunch, hit the gym, drive the dog deep into the woods and kick her out of the car — the usual old stuff. And everywhere we went, the people we met all had the same thing to say:

Happy Thanksgiving!

The first severalteen times we heard it, we had the same reply:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Gradually, though, I started to feel like a trained parrot, just repeating the same phrase back into someone’s face. “Squawk! Happy Thanksgiving! You said, “Happy Thanksgiving!’ Happy Thanksgiving! Polly wants a giblet! Squaaaaawk!

So, I tried to find something else to say that expressed the same thought. It turns out that Thanksgiving isn’t particularly flexible in this regard. Much to my dismay.

See, I was thinking of Christmas. If someone jumps out of the bushes and screams ‘Merry Christmas!‘ at you, you’ve got options. ‘Happy X-Mas!‘ works. ‘Joyous Noel!‘, too — if you don’t mind sounding like sort of a douche. ‘Happy Holidays‘ is in vogue these days. And there’s always ‘Happy Hanukkah, you insensitive asshole!

(If you can pull it off, of course. A yarmulke helps, but isn’t absolutely necessary provided you can muster enough righteous indignation to be credible. I’ve seen Catholics do it, just for kicks. It’s possible.)

The point is, there are lots of ways to say ‘Merry Christmas!‘ (or ‘Happy Hanukkah!‘ or ‘Krazy Kwaanza!‘ or ‘Spooky Wiccan Winter Solstice Time!‘) without saying those exact words. You could greet a whole busload full of shopping mall Santas, and never say the same phrase twice.

But what the hell do you do with ‘Happy Thanksgiving‘? I didn’t know, but I was determined to find out.

I started off easy. The next ‘Happy Thanksgiving!‘ thrown my way was met with a:

And a happy Thanksgiving… to you.

“She still made me stop. Said I looked like some kind of Grim Turkey Reaper.”

That wasn’t great. For one, it was still mostly the same damned words, and took a lot longer to say. Also, my wife didn’t like the ominous pointing that went along with it. She said it creeps people out. I was just trying to be precise. I’m not wishing happy Thanksgiving to that guy, or those girls, or that group of creeped out people over there. I’m wishing it to you. And only you.

She still made me stop. Said I looked like some kind of Grim Turkey Reaper.

Fine. I tried to be more creative. Next time it came up, I said to the big musclebound guy behind the counter at the gym:

Joyous fattened turkey time!

That didn’t go over well, either. He asked, ‘What’d you just call me?‘ and I had to scoot out of there before he lobbed a dumbbell at my head. I had to wait in the car while my wife worked out.

Luckily, that gave me time to prepare. As we made the rest of our rounds this afternoon, I flung rapid-fire replies back to every ‘Happy Thanksgiving!‘ I encountered:

Merry Pilgrim eating day!

(Spent ten minutes explaining that I meant celebrating the Pilgrims eating with the Native Americans. And that I wasn’t condoning actually eating Pilgrims, in any way.

Which is a hell of a conversation to be having with the butcher in the grocery store, let me tell you.)

Gobble down a tom tonight!

(Said to our lunch waitress, whose husband’s name, regrettably, happens to be Tom.

I tipped her all the money I had left, but I’m pretty sure she still spit in my soup. Or worse.)

Hapgiving Thanksy, too!

(I was running out of ideas at this point. Or developing a speech impediment. Probably both.)

Clearly, I wasn’t getting anywhere with these efforts. Except kicked out of Kroger’s, and possibly arrested.

So I give up being nice. I’m spending the rest of the day holed up in the house, and if I never hear another ‘Happy Thanksgiving‘, it’ll be too soon. But if I do, I’ve got my reply waiting on deck:

Stuff a drumstick up it, jackass!

Here’s hoping the rest of you have an easier holiday time than I did. Eat some turkey. Cranberry sauce it up. And above all, have a happy… well, you know.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “A Thankless Effort”

  1. RedRaider says:

    …and just remember, tie the legs together and it’ll be warm and moist when ready! (Not my tip!)Happy pre-solstice Macy’s parade Thursday.

  2. kerry says:

    you could have just said, “happy turkey day!” true, it’s sort of lame, but it’s better than ‘happy pilgrim eating day’ you have to admit.

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