Tag Rules The World
 
Thanks A Lot! by paul v.

It's time for the great odometer in the sky to turn over and come up all zeroes -- oh shit, wait -- this is the Thanksgiving piece.

Okay:

Do you hear the apocalyptic sound of a million turkey wings flapping in hellish roar? It's the last Thanksgiving of the 20th Century and it's time to die, turkeys!

Oh God, that's a little grim. Let me start over again. How about this:

Oh yeah, baby, we're coming at you with the hottest thing this side of buttered toast - the Annual Tag Magazine Holiday Insanity Issue! Commmmpleeeeeeete with the very latest stories from. . . 

Okay, just shoot me now and make it painless. One more try:

Everything is getting faster, louder, ruder and more self-centered. Cars speed through lights and honk at people to move. Garbage blows through the streets like country leaves. Money is the new Messiah. Praised be the Dow.

Shit.

<<<Ten painful blank screen minutes pass>>>

Thanksgiving. Sigh.

Well, first, Dear Reader, you might be interested in some of my sunny, hopeful meditations on past Thanksgivings. Take a moment to read them (1|2) while I go get a cup of tea. 

Okay, I'm back. Feeling inspired and uplifted by last year's rant?

So what, you ask, could I say this year for Thanksgiving
that I haven't said before? Well, this is the first year that I'm not eating turkey. Im almost 40, and have probably eaten Turkey on this day just about every year since I had teeth. And despite my largely unpremeditated shift to vegetarianism over the past few years, I have still found myself making an exception at the Thanksgiving table -- until this year. 

I didn't like meat very much as a kid, but I ate my fair share. I scarfed hot dogs and sausages, bacon, roast beef and other parts of the cow, pig and even lamb.

I must confess that when I drove a bagel delivery truck I used to run to the world-famous Katz's Deli and inhale a monstrous brisket or pastrami sandwich, slathered with mustard, and then zone out in food coma for the rest of the day. 

To cut to the chase (especially because I can already see a piece on vegetarianism in my future if I don't fuck it up here) let me just say that I stopped eating beef one day. My car broke down on a back road in California, I was getting over a terrible romance and I was suddenly surrounded by cows. It's a long story. Bottom line: I stopped eating beef.

But I still ate chicken. Ate it like a fiend, in fact. Chicken and fish. And turkey on Thanksgiving. Then a couple of years ago -- you guessed it -- I stopped eating chicken. But STILL, last year I ate turkey at Thanksgiving.  It felt like I would have been rude -- except to the turkey, of course, but that's a whole other story.

So this year I have eaten no chicken, no beef, and almost no fish. It's just the way I have become. Not only that, but when I needed a new jacket last spring, I avoided leather and went for something called a "vegetarian leather" jacket, made from a strange, but not unpleasant, rubbery material that looks *almost* like leather.

This Thanksgiving  it's just going to be just me and my parents in the house I grew up in at the top of a hill in Yonkers, New York.

I was nervous when I called my Mom to iron out the details. I blurted out "Mom, I don't want any Turkey this year." And before she had the chance to say anything, I immediately, gruffly said, "Just make me some fish." She said "Okay Paul," and that was it!

What was I so anxious about? I suppose it's still odd to my family that I don't eat meat. They just don't say anything. My brother was talking about a great restaurant hes just been to and he mentioned that they had some superb vegetable dishes "because I know you're, uh, a vegetarian." He sounded a bit strained.

They must wonder about me. I've always been the quiet one. The quiet one who actually did very bad things on the sly. They have never asked me about my new veggie lifestyle, though. Only once did my mother say "So, you're not eating meat now?"

To which I replied "No, not really," in my vague way.

Maybe next year when I bring up a tremendous roasted tofu turkey she'll say something.

So that's the big news this Thanksgiving. That and, of course, the fact that I haven't had a girlfriend in eons. In fact, I haven't kissed a girl since I ate chicken.

At this rate, I will end the millennium meatless, chickless, not-quite-penniless, not-quite-dickless, and constantly restless. At the same time, I feel rich in spirit, full of hope, and brimming with gratitude and thanks for many things, some solid and some not-so-solid.

Let us give thanks and praises for the planet which gives us strength, even if we are destroying it at a shocking rate. Let us be grateful for family and friends, even if they do drive us insane once in a while. Let us remember how precious is the gift of life, even if we waste it watching TV and surfing the Web. And let us stop, bow our heads, and offer a prayer for all the Turkeys who must die that we may celebrate this holiday.

 

Tag Rules The World

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