A Thanksgiving day play
The Thanksgiving meal is a theatrical event that features a peculiar cast of characters.
Take the turkey, the undisputed star of the show. A domesticated turkey is an empty-headed birdbrain that spends his life eating and drinking and sleeping and pooping. He hasn’t a care in the world, including where the nearest toilet might be. In other words, he’s the envy of most guys.
And yet on Thanksgiving day the turkey basks in the spotlight as if he were the world’s most celebrated superstar! His day begins with a spa treatment that includes a vigorous rubdown with oil or butter. He is stuffed to the gills with goodies, then invited to lie down in a warm place for a nice, long nap. By dinnertime, he’s sporting a golden glow that makes it appear that he has spent quality time on a tanning bed. What a life! Oh, to be a turkey!
Or consider the humble sweet potato. I have grown sweet potatoes and can testify that they are one ugly tuber. They are wrinkly and gnarly, with cracks and crevices where untold quantities of dirt can hide. (My wife would like to point out that this sounds very similar to someone she knows.)
But come Thanksgiving, the lowly sweet potato is transformed into one of the leading attractions of the dining room tableau. The grubby root crop will have been scrubbed and dressed up in its Sunday-go-to-meeting finery. Perhaps its role involves pecans or maybe something even more fabulous such as marshmallows. The possibilities are both exotic and infinite. As a sweet potato might say, “I yam what I yam!”
Few fruit are more humdrum than the apple. The apple spends all spring and summer hanging out with his pals and watching the world go by and becoming closely acquainted with local birds and worms. And during this entire time, the apple performs no useful work whatsoever; it neither sows nor reaps! There is much to be said for such a lifestyle.
Yet on the fourth Thursday of November, few fruits garner higher praise than the apple. The apple has been peeled and bathed in sugar and lovingly placed in a cushy crust. Jaws drop when it makes its grand entrance enrobed in golden brown pastry. As if that weren’t enough, additional embellishments such as whipped topping or ice cream might come into play! It would appear that a life of sloth can bring some sweet rewards.
Many of us wouldn’t mind living the life of a cranberry. You get to spend vast expanses of quality time hanging with your buds down in the frog-infested bog. As fall approaches, rumors may begin to circulate about you being “tart” and “juicy.” This makes you blush a deep crimson, which only serves to make you seem even more interesting.
It’s a universal belief that no Thanksgiving meal would be complete without cranberries. Cranberries can show up in any form, be they crushed into a relish or baked into a cobbler. At our house, their most traditional form has always been a jiggling jelly that is shaped suspiciously similar to the inside of a can.