Thankful for Ask HAT

Just a reminder: over on International Day, you have the opportunity to see what I am thankful for, and say what you are thankful for too. I laid down the challenge yesterday: who will respond?

I had my movie preview all ready to go (movies your whole family can watch this Thanksgiving weekend), but something prompted me to keep it until tomorrow. Instead I want to run last year's Thanksgiving ASK Hat. This was a column I used to do with Tracy Lynn, where we'd answer reader questions. As usually happened, Tracy Lynn slapped me around like she was a fierce kitty and I was so much turkey....Enjoy.

(Tomorrow will be the movie previews)


"If loving us is wrong, you don't want to be right"

Dear Ask H.A.T.,

I'm totally conflicted about Thanksgiving. I know we learned in school about the Pilgrims and the friendly Indians who helped them, blah blah blah, but that's not what happened. The Pilgrims may (may, I say) have been seeking religious freedom in the new world, but they also had some pretty intolerant views themselves. And as for the Indians....from the Pilgrims all the up until today America has a deplorable record for how it has treated Native Americans. Losing their homes again and again...small pox blankets, you name it. It seems like a sick joke to gather round and stuff yourself in honor of so much bloodshed.

On the other hand, I loves me some mashed and gravy. I could stuff myself on stuffing, I'm merry for cranberry, and I trip out on Triptophan. In other words: totally my favorite meal of the year, worth even putting up with relatives for. I feel guilty, but gravy always covers the shame.

So help me out Ask, Hat. Thanksgiving: can I hate the word but love the bird?

Closet Turkey

Dear Closurky,

Tracy Lynn: What I'd like to know is, Why us? Do we have a bug light over our mailbox? Some sort of sign that says Overthinkers Apply Here? Are we flypaper for freaks? Because it seems to me that other advice columnists don't get these questions.

IT IS TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE ORIGINAL THANKSGIVING. It happened over 200 years ago, and making obnoxious speeches at the dinner table is only going to piss off your dad and make your mom cry. Just shut up and eat your dinner and be grateful that you actually have food to eat and a place to eat it, dumbass.

Hyperion: Good Lord, TL. I've been away so long I forgot you New Englanders view logic the same way Frenchies do baths. The least of your problems is that the Pilgrims were a little more than “200 years ago,” but we'll let that pass and move on.

If you play your logic out, that means that if some day they have a day in Germany celebrating how the Third Reich made it through a tough winter by the helpful Savage Jews, everyone should just shut the hell up, as long as there is strudel involved.

Why must every Ask HAT somehow include you denying the Holocaust?


It is a big deal, or at least potentially can be. We've been fed a load of propaganda, although what else is new when it comes to American history? (Or any country, for that matter. You ought to see what these Maple sniffers up here believe about themselves.)

Of course, everyone--even sanctimonious liberals who hate America--have much to be thankful for, and there is nothing wrong per se with taking time to reflect on that. My problem with the whole ordeal is how much gluttony is involved. (And I say that full cognizant that I often eat like a predator on the Serengeti, never sure when my next meal is coming.)

I can vividly recall extended family Thanksgivings being absolutely embarrassed by the sheer volume of food. It was insane, and would take two pages just to describe. It would seem that if we are supposed to reflect on what we have to be thankful for, the day would be better spent not eating, and maybe donating time in a food kitchen or something, so see how the other half lives.

Tracy Lynn: If you are so concerned with how the other half lives, why wait til Thanksgiving? I have a problem with bleeding hearts bleating about shit like that just so other people feel bad, and so that they can feel righteous.

I'm not saying that it was right, you twit, just that Thanksgiving has more to do with being grateful for your blessings than pilgrim/Indian relations.

Moreover, however the hell long ago the Pilgrims allegedly happened, it was definitely over “200 years ago,” so sit on it.

And stop saying I'm a Holocaust denier or I will fucking kill you in ways that will make you wish you had lived in ye olde days, when people were more merciful.

Hyperion: So, you've sunk to threatening my life over what I say? You sound like a German to me. And since when were people more merciful? Was this in the time of Unicorns and vast cities made of chocolate?

I do totally agree that waiting for one day a year to feel bad for people is kind of lame. Much better to give and be thankful all year 'round. All I'm sayin' is that if you are going to pick a day to be grateful for what you have, why turn glutton? We need to bring privation back to these kids. (Of course for them, deprived means their cell phone minutes are capped, and no PS3 until all their homework is downloaded.)

Of course, I must not lie: I fully enjoy the Thanksgiving meal, and this makes me curious: what eats transpire at the Kaply stead? I've seen your fridge, so one hopes you're not left in charge.

Tracy Lynn: Well, the last two years we've had Indian food, and that's India Indians—not Great Plains. But my sister in law, Echo, has been threatening traditional turkey plus fixin's this year, so who the hell knows? It's always funny to watch her cook a turkey, though, since she's a vegetarian. HA!

Hyperion: Maybe she should make a Tofurkey. What's your favorite part of the traditional meal?

Tracy Lynn: Stuffing and Turkey skin. And I mean traditional stuffing, not some jacked up monstrosity with fruit or seafood. And gravy. I also like mashed potatoes. Basically I like all the stuff I would never cook myself.

How about you?

Hyperion: I love the turkey, although most every turkey I have tasted is overcooked and dry (but still good). I recently have come to like dressing, done right, and mashed potatoes are always a favorite. I eat as many black olives as I can conceivably eat without my mother catching me. Somewhat bizarrely, my family goes more for the Cranberry out of the can than any concoction. Also, my mom makes this special drink with one third 7-Up, one third Cranberry Juice and one third Orange juice, usually all slushy. Good times.

Anyway, even though I think Thanksgiving is Propaganda, never let it be said Hyperion is not all about contributing to heart disease. While I would wish you might take part of your day to serve those less fortunate, I do hope you are able to gather with family and friends and get to eat as much of your favorite foods as possible.

Tracy Lynn: Or drunk, which usually works better with the whole “family gathering” thing.

Sweet Jebus: I”m trying to have a Thanksgiving moment. Do you have to be a hateful harpy ALL THE TIME???

Tracy Lynn: (grudgingly) Fine. I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and gets all their favorite foods too.

Speaking of faves, I noticed you said you liked stuffing. As it so happens, I got your stuffing right.....

Tracy Lynn:
(hands over ears and yelling in a high-pitched voice) ASSSSSSSSHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!

[More Ask H.A.T. can be found at The Hyperion Chronicles.]


Sea Hag said...

I miss Ask H.A.T.

Anonymous said...

Over and up here in the Seattle school districts, a letter was sent out instructing teachers that Thanksgiving is a "time of mourning" and that it is a reminder to natives that of "500 years of betrayal".

This just gets more and more ridiculous. It makes no sense to feel guilty for something my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather may have done to someone else's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. I don't expect German people who weren't alive to feel guilty about the Holocaust. I expect them to recognize and be fervently aware that it happened--as should we here in the US concerning natives. But if your grandfather personally slaughtered 1000 Jewish people I'm not holding you responsible for it.

I've never ever been at Thanksgiving dinner where people were thinking "Thank God we screwed over those damn redskins!". I've been to Thanksgiving with many families and for everyone working their asses off it's a time for them to get together with their families and share some quality time. It has always been a time when we recognize that we are fortunate to have what we have. The house is usually mixed with an air of sobriety, reflectance, and yes, Allah forbid, celebration and cheer.

As far as gluttony is concerned, why don't we just abolish any and all celebrations, feasts, etc. No more Christmas presents, Valentines cards, or Saint Patty's drinking binges. The logic that we should not enjoy what we have because other people out there can't enjoy it doesn't hold because then we shouldn't be enjoying anything, because there's always someone out there who doesn't have it. We'd have no incentive to live, and what a sad world that would be. Besides, everyone I know usually saves the food and eats it as leftovers for the next week, so it's not an it's this extravagant waste.

Anonymous said...

Your Dad's house is filled with sobriety?

Anonymous said...

Your Dad's house is filled with sobriety?