By Chris Gay
Each November, millions of families and friends get together to give thanks on a holiday conveniently created for that very purpose. (October, if you’re Canadian. But that’s another faux history.) In honor of Thanksgiving, I’ve written a brief, albeit fictitious, history of Turkey Day. Enjoy.
During the early years of the 17th Century, Englishmen and women were subject to the overtly restrictive shopping guidelines set by the British Crown. When traveling out to purchase cheap, unnecessary trinkets for the upcoming Christmas holiday, the King’s subjects were limited to the few Royal strip malls that were mainly located around suburban London.
Most of the citizenry complied so as not to rock the boat, but for some who felt they should have the freedom to purchase as they saw fit, the frustration began to mount. These people were labeled “Pilgrims”, for their desire to be granted the right to make “Pilgrimages” to the United Kingdom’s big box stores deemed off-limits to the common folk.
These brave Pilgrims began to meet in secret to discuss ways to throw off the King’s heavy yoke, and end his persecution of purchasers purchasing unsanctioned purchases. Eventually, they opted to form a new settlement on the distant shores of the New World…America. But the burning question was, how could they ever afford a ship and the cost of supplies? Then, one day, it hit them. Sponsorship.
Ultimately, they were able to carry out their plan with sponsorship money from multiple sources. First, they contracted with the Mayflower Moving and Storage Company. This allowed them to stock the boat with food, clothing and first aid in exchange for the ship’s naming rights. Later, this became known as the Mayflower Compact.
The ship itself was built by materials donated by The Home Depot on the condition that upon arrival in Virginia, (the colony they were originally slated to settle in) the Pilgrims would grant them exclusivity rights to the entire Chesapeake Bay region. And also that the official Virginia state motto be permanently changed to “More Saving. More Doing. That’s the power of the Home Depot.”
In the summer of 1620, the Mayflower and her crew loaded on two sets of travelers; the British Shopping Separatists, and another group from Holland. The latter assemblage was added because the ship’s Captain, Christopher Jones, (No relation) thought the trip would go much smoother and the passengers more manageable if everyone on board had a steady supply of Dutch cocoa…and those tasty, cool-looking windmill cookies.
The trip lasted several long, arduous months, with the crew and passengers alike suffering everything from Cabin Fever to Scurvy. In fact, this might’ve been the one time a group of people would’ve been ecstatic if Life had handed them lemons. (Trust me, that joke will get funnier the more you think about it. Unless you’re stupid.)
At long last, the Mayflower came upon Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where it dropped anchor on November 21st. Captain Jones and future Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford went ashore with a search party to find a Denny’s, as well as a place to establish their permanent settlement.
The question of why they didn’t continue south as planned was answered by Bradford’s journal entry dated 21 November 1620: “T’is unbearably cold. The journey took months longer than anticipated, and we are completely out of beer. Screw Virginia, I’ve decreed that we shall settle right here. Sorry, Home Depot. You win some, you lose some.”
In early spring 1621, the remaining passengers joined the scouting parties on shore and built cabins on their new settlement grounds. Shortly thereafter, an English-speaking Native American named Samoset came by to welcome the settlers at the Plymouth Colony. He asked William Bradford if there was anything he could get them and, according to witnesses, Bradford replied: “Sure. How about some pumpkins, a little squash, a few turkeys…and the entire Eastern Seaboard?”
With the help of another English-speaking Native American, Squanto, the Pilgrims were able to not only successfully farm the land, but also pour the foundation for the very first Papa Gino’s fast food pizzeria in North America.
Throughout the summer of 1621, the Pilgrims labored furiously to erect their dream settlement. By early July, they had already constructed an Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday’s and, for a taste of home, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips.
By late August, the ‘Plymouth Colony Mall & Buckle-Focused Haberdashery’ was completed in its entirety. Its grand opening featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Neil Diamond, who happily performed ‘Sweet Caroline’ for the assembled crowd.
In November, Plymouth governor William Bradford extended an invitation to Wampanoag chief Massasoit (namesake of Massachusetts) to join the Pilgrims at a banquet to celebrate the success of their initial harvest, as well as the completion of the glamorous new mall and adjacent 18-theater Movie Cineplex.
For the main feast, Massasoit sent four men to the North Truro Boston Market (then known as Boston Chicken) to pick up the dinner they’d called ahead and ordered the day before. Bradford had planned to make popcorn as an appetizer, until his wife reminded him that they’d left their microwave oven back in England.
When they returned, the Pilgrims and Wampanoags gorged themselves on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cole slaw and the awesome macaroni and cheese Boston Market makes using that spiraled pasta.
Dessert was Dutch apple pie (forgot about that Holland group, didn’t you?) with a topping choice of Hood Cookie Dough ice cream, or Cool Whip.
After the meal had been eaten and the plastic plates and utensils placed in the recycling bin, the members of both groups retired indoors to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions on a 52-inch HDTV Bradford had bought from Best Buy. By halftime, the effects of the poultry’s tryptophan kicked in and both the Wampanoags and Pilgrims alike had passed out asleep on the floor, and the three available couches.
Later that evening, both groups toasted each other continuously with huge mugs of Narragansett beer until Bradford broke up the party, announcing that he needed a few more hours of shuteye so he’d be rested enough to fight through the early morning Black Friday crowds.
That Friday afternoon, after all the shopping had been done and the Christmas trees set up throughout the settlement, Bradford gathered his people around the ‘McDonald’s Gazebo’ in the middle of the ‘State Farm Insurance Town Square’ to address them
An excerpt from his journal entry that day chronicles his speech:
“Fellow Englishmen and Hollandaise; no wait, I think that’s a sauce. Fellow Englishmen and Dutch persons. Today we gather to celebrate the completion of a dream. We have at long last shaken off the reigns of Great Britain and here, in the New World, we can now shop where we choose without fear. This is what America is all about: Commerce. The freedom to buy what we want, where we want, when we want and in the quantities we want. However, for no reason whatsoever, aside from perhaps the perpetual annoyance of this blog post’s author, I resolve that liquor stores in the Colony of Connecticut will remain closed on Sundays for the next 400 years. Amen.”
And that my friends, is the fabricated history of the first Thanksgiving.
God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.
What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.
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‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay
As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.
Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.
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‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay
The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.
Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:
Meat on a Bed of Rice
Cheese and Crackers
Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!
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Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.
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