Ask Conlan: Thanksgiving

Some dumbo writes:

Dear Conlan,

With Thanksgiving coming up, I’ve been wondering: what’s the best present to give a turkey for his (or her?) birthday?

Sincerely,
Summer Dumboski

First of all, thanks for your question. Secondly, I feel I should point out (for my readers in Eastern Europe) what “Thank-Sgiving” is all about.

In 1892, Columbus sold the ocean blue-chip stocks. Since the ocean has a lot of liquid income, the stock broker (whose full name was Larry Columbus) was able to retire on his commission, if that’s even how stock brokers make money (I have no idea). To celebrate his retirement, Larry bought all the turkeys in the tri-state area. He wanted to open a turkey zoo, just like he remembered from his boyhood in Istanbul.

He loaded all the turkeys onto a train bound for The Pilgrims (which was the name of an upscale suburb outside of Baltimore). Unfortunately, or fortunately, a hobo had left a half-eaten can of cranberry sauce on the tracks near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The train (officially christened “The Unsinkable Titanic”) hit the can—spraying sticky, purple gelatin everywhere—and then derailed, crashing into a Crisco factory.

Thousands of turkeys died in the ensuing blaze and it smelled delicious. Rather than let all the sweet, smoked turkey meat go to waste by letting homeless people eat it, Larry ordered a team of chefs to transform it into a meal fit for a Norse god. Larry and almost 12 of his friends gorged themselves on the turkey meal, then promptly died of Rip Van Winkle Syndrome.

When everyone else in the western hemisphere heard the story, they believed the crash-splosion and subsequent death meal had been a gift from the god of tryptophan, Sgiving.1 This made almost no sense. Nevertheless, the mayor proclaimed that henceforth every fourth Thursday of May2 would be known as “Thank-Sgiving”. People went nuts about it (in a good way).

And that’s where Thanksgiving3 comes from.

To answer your question, Summer: everybody loves mittens.

  1. At the time, Norse gods were really popular. []
  2. This was before the Great Calendapression. []
  3. The name was shortened after The Final Punctuation Solution in the 1910s. It was a dark time, indeed. []