How did this Thanksgiving Day celebration begin? The Spectator delved through some dusty history tomes and this is what can be reconstructed:
Indian Chief: “Those silly guys with the black hats, white bibs and patent leather shoes have surely ruined the neighborhood.”
Squaw: “They’re not too bright. Did you see how the captain smacked into that big rock in the bay? You know, the one we Indians call Plymouth.”
Indian chief: “I’ll be thankful when they pull out of here. Land values have gone down and air pollution has increased because of those stupid looking guns they use…”
Squaw: “Let’s invite them to a big dinner and serve them something horrible. Maybe they’ll get the hint and leave.”
Indian Chief: “Good idea! Let’s not serve any deer meat, choice rabbit or luscious salmon. I suggest we catch some of those ugly looking birds that can’t fly and serve them. None of our people would eat those silly looking birds…”
Squaw: “I’ll stuff the bird with some crazy things like chestnuts, mushrooms and anything else I can find. That ought to hasten their departure.”
Now let’s see what was happening in the other camp.
Miles Standish, Pilgrim leader: “Men I’ve just received an invitation to attend some feast the Indians are preparing for us. I suggest we go to this affair. Let’s be thankful that we won’t have to put up with them much longer. I hear they’re moving to New York.”
John Alden: “I think it’s a great idea. We can even bring along some of those crazy mince pies which none of us like and give it to them. Maybe our women would bake a few dozen?”
Priscilla: “Speak for yourself, John.”
Miles: “We’ll bring along some of that stupid corn that’s been growing behind the stockade. We never know what to do with it anyway.”
Priscilla: “We better tell the children to behave themselves and not run around like wild Indians.”
Miles: “Then it’s settled! We’ll satisfy our social obligation to these savages and get it over with.”
John Alden: “I’ll be thankful when the day is over. What do you think they’ll feed us?”
Miles: “Probably nothing memorable. Let’s make believe we’re really enjoying it and offer up thanks for whatever it is.”
John Alden: “I hate that disgusting habit those Indians have of smoking the pipe and passing it around. I suggest we bring our own cigarettes and smoke them.”
Miles: “We can offer them to the Indians. God knows it’s healthier than passing around the pipe.”
Priscilla: “I’ll be thankful when it’s all over.”
So my dear children, that is the story of the first Thanksgiving Day according to the Spectator.
Needless to say, the Pilgrims seemed to enjoy the bird, which the Indians called a “turkey” because of the joke they thought they were playing on the settlers…
In order to be polite, Priscilla said to one of the squaws, “We must do this again.”
“Good,” said the squaw, “how about same time next year. Only this time you do the shopping and cooking!”
HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!