A New and Improved Thanksgiving from Marco Polo!

So, I was sitting around thinking about Christmas and it occurred to me that Thanksgiving hasn’t even happened! What the? Well, hey, I am Italian after all. But there are a few things you Americans could do to dust off and spice up this uniquely American holiday. I should start by pointing out that the first Thanksgiving lasted 3 days!

Yes, when the Pilgrims celebrated their first corn harvest, they killed some fowl and invited the Indians over for some grub and revelry. An eyewitness account tells us that the celebration lasted for 3 days. For the pilgrims it was finally time to let loose and enjoy the fruits of immeasurable suffrage and labor. They were ready to party, and party they did. For 3 rollicking days of gorging and drinking and puking and dancing and singing and a whole list of other regrettable things.

These days, I know the leftovers last for 3 days, but what about the celebration? Why not extend the holiday through Saturday? Think of all the historically accurate things we could do! That being said, if you please, I offer an alternate Thanksgiving itinerary for your consideration:

Day 1: Thursday

Most of us have no idea of the hardships of a harvest in a world without industrial machinery, particularly after having survived a harrowing voyage where half of your colony succumbed to disease, and the rest fought through sickness and starvation to get through the winter alive. I’m not proposing you do all that. But maybe the least you could do is skip breakfast and do some pushups.

That’s not all that fun is it? Well your traditional Thanksgiving dinner should taste all the better! Plus there’s plenty of American football to keep your mind occupied through the anticipation.

Feel free to insert your Thanksgiving Day feast here. But, you might consider replacing turkey with duck since water fowl were much more plentiful in the Plymouth area those days. Also, there is no mention of turkey on the first Thanksgiving. So there’s that. Oh, and you can say goodbye to cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes too. Sounding less appealing? Well then, you are devoid of any true Thanksgiving spirit and shouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the holiday at all. Get back to work!

-It is essential to end this day with pumpkin pie. And begin the next with more pumpkin pie. So, at the stroke of midnight, you will eat more pumpkin pie.

Day 2: Friday

Today it’s time to put on the other shoes, or moccasins, if you will. Sure it’s great to be a pilgrim on Thanksgiving, but what about the natives? The Indians didn’t waltz into the party empty handed. In fact they didn’t waltz into the party at all because they preferred rain dancing or the like. They actually went out into the wild and killed some deer to share with the pilgrims. So maybe a morning deer hunt would be in order? Then gather the family and watch Bambi so you can truly understand what you have done. You will then be certain not to allow a scrap of Bambi’s mom go to waste.

After lunch, you’re due for a walk. The good folks who were always quick to assist the ill-equipped and ill-advised colonial expedition on countless occasions didn’t just walk around the block to join them in their celebration. So it’s only fitting that you go for a 20 mile walk somewhere, maybe to a friends house, or perhaps to a shopping district to do your precious “Black Friday” shopping. But don’t take the main routes. Try walking in a straight line, Teddy Roosevelt style, taking on every obstacle in your unwavering path. The Indians made a grueling Winter trek just to hang out with their drunk obnoxious friends, your ancestors, so you should, at least in part, experience that hardship for yourself.
Don’t forget, when you need a break, munch on some more pumpkin pie.

Day 3: Saturday

OK. You made it. Time to relax. But not for too long. At some point you should go outside and build shelter for yourself. Those TP’s aren’t going to pitch themselves. Then it’s dress up time!! Here’s where you can either spend 3 hours putting on endlessly complicated pilgrim garb, or you can do what I do: Strap on a loin cloth, put some feathers on your head and go shoot some arrows at things in the woods. (Try not to hurt anyone.) Some other games could be in order. Blind Man’s Bluff was popular with the Pilgrims. Indians also enjoyed throwing rings at pins stuck in the ground. Though, when one has the bow-and-arrow option, I don’t know why that would be a preference. Or you can just play touch Football for all I care, the point is just try to have some fun already, it’s a celebration!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After an exhausting day of revelry, close things out with the most wonderfully bastardized traditional American creation; the Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich. If you haven’t tried it, shame on you. But no worries, just be creative, I’m sure you can figure it out.

Oh, and here’s where you have the rest of your pumpkin pie.

 

-So, there it is! Your brand new 3 day Thanksgiving experience! You’re welcome!

 

…Okay, fine, do whatever you want.

Happy Thanksgiving!

-Marco Polo

 

 

A Name You Should Know: Emma Lazarus

One of the first successful Jewish American authors, Emma Lazarus was a poet and essayist who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, writing numerous powerful works against anti-semitism, supporting immigrants rights, and even arguing for the creation of a Jewish homeland before the Zionist movement came into being. But she is best known for her immortal American poem, “The New Colossus” which appears on a bronze plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty. You know the one, ‘give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,’ that one. Unfortunately, many politicians currently wish to have it removed, along with the torch… to be replaced with a stop sign :)

Cryptozoology Break! The Kraken

Once the most feared creature in the Nordic Seas, the Kraken was often described by bewildered fisherman as a disproportionately large squid, or octopus, or other ferocious tentacled sea monster. The stories were usually scoffed by landlovers until the Kraken was popularized by French science fiction author, Jules Verne, in his classic novel, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Eventually, in the late 19th century, the not quite so giant, giant squid were being discovered washed up on the shore, some at 40+ feet in length, confirming at least in part the nautical horror stories of the past. The giant squid remains an incredibly elusive creature, having only recently been documented alive, but the tall tales of the Kraken, a gargantuan ship-swallowing sea monster, have gradually been adapted into medium tales of a pretty darn big squid who dukes it out with whales.

 

Tech Magic!

An inspiring demonstration of magic, technology and lies that make truth… Just watch it.

Tales of Tourists Walking Around Aimlessly: Florence, Italy


Ah, beautiful Florence Italy. Nestled in the hills of Tuscany, this one time medieval colossus thrives today as a mecca for tourists, students, and artists. Home to Renaissance superstars such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giotto, and Botticelli. Does the world’s next great artist walk these streets today, disguised as an unsuspecting tourist? Only posterity can know, next time on TALES OF TOURISTS WALKING AROUND AIMLESSLY!

All New Music Video: The Foggy London Strut!

Foggy London Strut Lyrics:

Humming through skyway
In coach 57a
That foggy town of London
Is only an hour away

Getting so excited
I’m ready to get down
Gonna press go on the kook-ay
In that foggy London town

(Pilot’s voice)
“Ladies and Gentleman, this is your captain speaking
We are beginning our descent into the city of London
Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts
We hope you enjoyed your flight today, and if you feel the need to strut
Please wait until you exit the aircraft so as not to harm the people around you…”

Come and do the Foggy London Strut
The Foggy London Strut
The Foggy London Strut…Yeah!

Now I’m struttin in the UK
Got the kooky down in my feet
Greetin’ all the guv’nuhs, chaps and birds
As I’m Struttin’ down Victoria Street
Should we strut to the palace or a museum
Perhaps a pub would be the best
Get a little bitty taste of a kidney pie
And maybe give that little dog the rest

(Tour Guide voice)
Westminster Abbey
Big Ben
Buckingham Palace
St. Paul’s cathedral
Trafalgar Square
Piccadilly Circus
The Globe theater
The Tower of London
Out of place futuristic building (Gherkin)
The Tower Bridge
The Castle of Greyskull

Wait…what was that last one?

Do the Foggy London Strut
The Foggy London Strut
The Foggy London Strut…Yeah!

(Tour Guide voice)
The Thames River
Marble Arch
Oxford Street
Cleopatra’s Needle
London Eye
Covent Garden
Hyde Park
Downing Street
Nelson’s Column
Millennium Dome
The Royal Observatory
Wellington Arch
The Water Closet
St. James Palace
Eros Statue
Carnaby Street
Saville Row
Madame Tussauds
Abbey Road

History Schmistory, March 30: Hank wants a new toy!

1533 – Henry VIII divorces his 1st wife, Catherine of Aragon, which leads to the creation of the Anglican church, lots of bloody history over the next hundred years, and several good Shakespeare plays.
Hank

History Schmistory, March 29: Beethoven Rolls Over!

1795 – Beethoven (age 24) debuts as pianist in Vienna.

History Schmistory, March 21. Francophile joins the Cabinet

1790. Thomas Jefferson reports to President Washington in New York as Secretary of State. Jefferson would later live in Paris where he would become a movie star.

History Schmistory: St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is observed on March 17 because that is the feast day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. It is believed that he died on March 17 in the year 461 AD.

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