Last Thanksgiving was my first with a new kidney, so naturally I was grateful to my anonymous donor. This year I’m just thankful to be alive and breathing. Okay, I admit that sounds totally lame—and vague as hell—but it’s really how I feel. Honest. Maybe because I’ve been through so much hell pre-transplant, I’m somehow able to be thankful for even the smallest things.
Here’s an idea—instead of having a single day in the year that’s dedicated to being thankful, we should make it the one day where we can be total jerks all day and then the rest of the year is for thanksgiving. I know… easier said than done, but we could at least try though.
For many, 2020 has probably felt like an alternate dystopian reality; for others, it’s been that way since the 2016 elections. In a weird—and somewhat selfish—way, I’ve felt like the turmoil, especially from Covid19, has forced everyone to come face-to-face with their own mortality. It’s something that’s hard to come to grips with. I mean… I watched my mother slowly dying and my grandmother grow old, but when their time came it was a total shock for me. That kind of willful ignorance can only protect us for so long.
Last year was one of my better Thanksgiving celebrations in recent memory. All of my favorite people were able to come over and we had a blast catching up, eating, drinking (I only had a small glass of wine), and just enjoying each others company. With the restrictions in our state, it will be the first time in a while that it’ll be just me and the immediate family.
A few weeks ago my wife and I were talking about our menu this year. Other than mashed potatoes and gravy, we always go back and forth about the side dishes. We ultimately decided on stuffing, green bean casserole, and rice—because rice is life for Pacific Islanders. There is one thing on the menu, however, that is always a unanimous decision. Turkey.
Rest In Peace or… Pieces?
As I was taking out our Jennie-O bird to defrost, I began to wonder how many turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day. There’s actually a thing called the National Turkey Federation. It turns out that they’re the ones who provide the turkey for the President to pardon each year. They estimate that close to 46 million turkeys are consumed on the last Thursday of November. That’s crazy!
But there’s more. About 22 million turkeys are roasted, fried, barbecued, and I don’t know what else on Christmas Day, and 19 million are devoured during Easter. Now, this may be a cultural thing, but the Easter numbers surprised me because I’ve never had turkey for Easter. Maybe turkeys should just replace bunnies as the official Easter animal… or maybe we could credit them for laying Easter eggs. I don’t know. It would make more sense than a rabbit laying chocolate eggs. Our children have enough to be confused about nowadays.
Okay, enough of that mini-tangent. Just a friendly reminder—before we stuff our faces with that delicious, sleep-inducing, gravy-smothered poultry meat, let’s thank the turkey that gave its life. That bird had a 1 in 46 million chance to win the turkey lottery, but unfortunately for him—and fortunately for us, he lost.