Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Did you put your shoes out? Now that’s change you can believe in!

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!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Thanksgiving_1900.JPG

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Thanksgiving_1900.JPG

 

 

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.

4141998993_e22f323681_o

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2553/4141998993_e22f323681_o.jpg

 

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

 

 

Barcelona’s last bullfight

Much better than Bullcelona’s last barfight.

Cryptozoology Break! The Bunyip

Australia’s native Aborigines have plenty of tales involving a ferocious freshwater creature called the Bunyip, who comes out of the water at nightfall to hunt for their children. Descriptions vary greatly, from dog-faced to reptilian to starfish shaped. Since “Bunyip” actually translates to “evil spirit”, shape-shifting is probably not out of the question. But, it is more likely the Aborigines could never accurately describe it because they were busy running for their lives in the other direction. A solid survival technique in this case.

Art by Allen Douglas

Cryptozoology Break! Kongamato

In the Jiundu swamps of western Zambia, a legendary pterodactyl-like creature known as Kongamato (“overwhelmer of boats”) had been terrifying the natives for generations. This elusive creature was known to capsize boats and deliberately pursue and destroy any poor soul who laid eyes on it. A few early 20th century explorers reported seeing and often being attacked by these crazy ugly flying monsters. Similar sightings were reported from as far away as Mount Kilimanjaro. Today, the real truth about the Kongamato remains a mystery…

You say Kongamayto, I say Kongamahto, let’s get the heck outta here!

History Schmistory, July 20: Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

1858 - The first ever fee was charged to see a baseball game at the steep price of 50 cents per person. Sure had to break the piggy bank for Babe!

 

Gotta' pay those nickels to see them knuckles! 'Babe Ruth in 1921,' [public domain]

Gotta’ pay those nickels to see them knuckles!
‘Babe Ruth in 1921,’ [public domain]

History Schmistory, July 18: “In Freedom We Are Born!”

1768 - The Boston Gazette published the “Liberty Song,” America’s 1st patriotic song. It was an American Revolutionary War song composed by patriot, John Dickinson. Come, join hand in hand, to sing this tune to the motherland!

History Schmistory, July 17: Starry Eyed Harvard!

1850 - The Harvard Observatory took the 1st photograph of a star (Vega). Vega is argued to be the next most important star in the sky after the Sun. Needless to say, it is a “bright spot” in history for astronomers!

What happens on Vega, didn't stay on vega!

What happens on Vega, didn’t stay on vega!

History Schmistory, July 16: Kissing Cooties Goodbye.

1439 - Kissing was banned in England to stop germs from spreading! Soon after, blowing kisses became the next best thing.

 

Enjoy my germs!

Enjoy my germs!

History Schmistory, July 15: Roc-King Out!

1799 – The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon’s Egyptian Campaign. It unfortunately did not give them the ability learn a new language online. It did however have three different languages written on it (Greek, Demotic & Hieroglyphic!)

 

Before internet was invented...

Before internet was invented…

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