International students unfamiliar with the American holiday “Thanksgiving” often ask how it originated. It’s actually a pretty
straightforward story. Basically, when the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock hundreds of years ago, they realized that they were
totally unprepared for life in America. Luckily, the Native Americans invited the Pilgrims to their harvest festival. Historians imagine that it probably went something like this:
Native American: Hey, I hope you enjoy our delicious harvest festival. We don’t always have enough food to feed ourselves, but we’re totally willing to share with you out of the kindness of our hearts. After all, the land doesn’t belong to anybody, and its crops shouldn’t either.
Pilgrim: Hey, thanks! I can’t wait to eat your food, steal your land, rape your women, viciously subjugate your people using firearms, give you diseases like smallpox to which you have no immunity, kill the animals you feed off of, fight several wars with you, burn down your villages, constantly drive you onto smaller and smaller parcels of land, and ultimately attempt to make amends for killing off 95 percent of your people and relegating you to a lower social class by giving you small areas on which you can make casinos and fight amongst yourselves about who is native enough to reap the profits, and all because your religious views haven’t developed in the exact same way as ours!
Native American: Wait, what did you just say?
Nowadays, celebrating Thanksgiving is pretty easy. You get together with your entire extended family and eat a ton of very specific food items. These include:
Cranberry Sauce — It looks like a can because it came out of a can. The red color represents the spilt blood of the indigenous.
Corn — Squanto, an English-speaking native, taught the Pilgrims how to grow corn by burying fish. The corn then helped Pilgrims survive and kill natives. It symbolizes the white man’s triumph, and should not be eaten by vegetarians.
Stuffing — Proof that turkeys are, in fact, made of delicious bread filling. Should be eaten slowly while contemplating the meat-grain continuum and discussing the food pyramid as an inaccurate representation of the food groups.
Gravy — Liquid fat. Will doubtless be poured over everything.
Mashed Potatoes — A nod to the Irish potato famine.
Oysters — Delicious, but not served at Thanksgiving. Godspeed.
Turducken — Key/uck/icken
Turkey Roast — Should be eaten.
Following the feast, you sit around and try to avoid hearing for the sixth year in a row about the time that Aunt Jean saw the back of Woody Allen’s head when she went to New York City in 2004, while the vegan tryptophan slowly and mercifully puts everyone to sleep on the couch in front of the television.