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Thanks, With Salt

As tradition has it, myself and my beloved Grace (“She who must be obeyed”) were invited to spend Thanksgiving with other members of Grace’s family. With all that is going on in our country, I spent some time ruminating about the Thanksgiving holiday and how I could make it more meaningful for the entire clan. I realized that, especially now, the holiday presents a “mixed-bag” for folks. For some, it’s a happy celebration of Americana. For others, it’s a chance to gorge on food and watch football. For others still, it’s a reminder that American history is filled with episodes of some people getting the shaft—where one group’s success comes at the expense of another group.

In light of the above, I fired off an email to the entire family as we all prepared to celebrate/acknowledge/tolerate/protest Thanksgiving, depending on the individual’s perspective, recommending that it might be appropriate to consider ways to have a more inclusive, appropriately sensitive, diverse, politically correct Thanksgiving. In keeping with that lone of thought, here’s what I suggested.

No turkey this year. The eating of turkey is a reminder that we have favored turkey over other forms of poultry (e.g., chicken, pheasant, duck, goose, pigeon, etc.). Such favoritism is not consistent with a spirit of inclusion.

Similarly, we need to avoid pumpkin pie for it, too, is an egregious brand of favoritism —exhibiting blatant bias in favor of pumpkins over other, equally delectable squashes (e.g., butternut, honey bear, yellow summer, etc).

No football this year because…Colin Kaepernick—enough said? Also, games are too long. There are other things we can be doing.

We should all strive not to fight with family this year, as most year’s fights devolve into serious breaches of manners, etiquette and professionalism to such a degree that if they were happening in an office rather than at home, everyone involved would be headed to H.R. for a lengthy speech about diversity, inclusion, and appropriate behavior.

We will not have “adult” tables and “kiddie” tables. Such segregation is, quite obviously, antithetical to the spirit of inclusiveness as well as the Constitution. So, we will all sit together, even if it means you have to sit next to your nephew who eats his boogers.

Rather than say “Grace” before or after the meal, we will engage in a gender-neutral, non-denominational recitation of our appreciation for the repast we are about to enjoy, and we will include in that recitation an appropriate level of guilt for enjoying food when most of the world doesn’t have any.

We will avoid saying that the host’s best dishes are “china” as that is, without question, horrifically anti-Asian, unless, of course, the dishes were made in China, in which case, we will take our host to task for being unpatriotic and failing to “buy American.”

For similar reasons, the holiday meal shall not include any wine, beer or other spirits made anywhere but in the good old U.S.A. Thus, no French Bordeaux, no Italian Chianti, no German pilsner, and no Jägermeister. If you want to get drunk, you’ll have to do it the way we do it here in America—binge drinking as many different things as you can, as long as they’re made here, close to home.

After-meal TV viewing shall not include any movies that encourage divisiveness. The Wizard of Oz is out as it completely disparages the short of stature achondroplasiacs among us and I do now want to even discuss the short shrift our Wiccan friends receive by the portrayal of the movie’s “Wicked” witch. Instead, I am recommending that we shall all repare to the den to watch a movie that reminds us that the American dream is about the importance of the immigrant to this country. Personally, I recommend that we all watch The Godfather, a movie all about an Italian immigrant’s penniless arrival in this country and his family’s hard work and struggle to attain that American dream.

And, of course, we shall abstain from the day-after-Thanksgiving ritual of trampling each other at our local merchandise mart. For, while it is quintessentially American to be materialistic, trampling is very non-p.c. Accordingly, when you camp out at Walmart or Best Buy waiting to purchase that new TV, cell phone, or blender you really don’t need, remember, trampling is bad, but keep in mind that aggressive assertion of your own physical space is okay, as long as you say, “excuse me, I respect your person-hood.”

Obviously, I am penning this column several days prior to Thanksgiving but I am still wondering how my suggestions will be received by the rest of the family, although “she who must be obeyed” has recommended that I stop by a Taco Bell on the way out to dinner to pick up my own Thanksgiving staples!

Broad Channel, why would anyone want to live anywhere else?

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