[Editor’s Note – Joel Murphy is currently traveling via plane, train and automobile to get home in time for Thanksgiving, so today we are reposting this classic Ned Bitters Thanksgiving rant, which originally ran on the site December 2, 2008.]
This week’s inductee into the “Overrated Hall of Fame” is … Thanksgiving.
Once again, Mrs. Bitters and I didn’t go “home,” or north, for Thanksgiving this year. We hardly ever do. (Although after living here for 20 and 23 years respectively, I think here is actually home to us by now.) Our Thanksgiving dinner? Takeout from the local Hard Times Café, which was one of about eight restaurants open on Thanksgiving in this shithole area in which we live. We split chili mac, a chili dog, jalapeno poppers and chicken wings. We devoured it while standing at our kitchen counter. We were in total bliss. And we were damn thankful.
That beats the hell out of another paint-by-numbers American Thanksgiving in a crowded house filled with drunk relatives. How was your Thanksgiving? I’m betting that, if you traveled or spent it cooped up with a passel of “loved” ones, the negatives far outweighed the positives. Because Thanksgiving is overrated.
Turkey: I’m guessing yours was no doubt severely overcooked, resulting in a dry, flavorless bird that needed copious amounts of gravy just to make it swallowable. This is 2008. Stop cooking the shit out of it like your grandmother used to. The bird was done an hour before you took the shriveled carcass out of the oven. And it’s not the triptofen that send the family into a two-hour collective nap. It’s borderline asphyxiation brought on by all those deadly dark-meat turkey farts.
Stuffing/Dressing: If you were served a casserole of soggy bread any other day of the year, you’d howl in protest and slap the cook. But last Thursday, you somehow crowbarred in a third helping.
Cranberry Sauce: Cranberries taste good only if liquefied and paired with vokda. I can think of 37 fruits that taste better then cranberries, but somehow, the bitter berry makes its way onto most Thanksgiving tables. Where is it the other 364 days of the year? In its rightful slot on the “Who Eats This Shit” list.
Mashed Potatoes: A clever cook can devise countless ways to make a potato so delicious your taste buds stand up and salute. But in late November, imagination is cast aside and potatoes are peeled, boiled, whipped to a runny mess and flavored with an unoriginal mix of salt, pepper and butter. And you triple-dipped anyway, didn’t you, you fat bastard?
Drunk Relatives: In movies and TV shows, the drunk in-law is always a good-natured lout who elicits a few warm-hearted laughs with his Zinfandel-induced antics. I bet that in your non-sitcom real life, your shitfaced second cousin grabbed your sister’s tit before throwing up in the hamper.
Football: Americans used to have to endure two blowouts. Now we are subjected to three. I don’t care if we bail out the Detroit automakers. Can someone just bail us out of having to endure the Detroit Lions every Thanksgiving?
Parades: I tried to watch these parades every year when I was a kid. I lasted about two minutes each time. I tried watching them as an adult. I lasted maybe 90 seconds. I just can’t resist hitting the remote when I see the chunky flag girls in that band from Little Rock. Maybe if they picked high school bands based on teenage hotness instead of, you know, actual talent, more people (meaning me) might actually watch.
Parade Hosts: Even if the parades were boner-inducing, who wants to listen to the pathetic enthusiasm of the C-list pseudo-celebrity hosts who are just so damn grateful to be offered the work. I didn’t watch a second of this year’s parades, but I bet one of them was hosted by the likes of Alan Thicke or Leah Remini. One year that Corky guy was a co-host. That’s right, Corky, the Downs Syndrome kid who became an actor and landed a role in a hit series by going all John Gielgud on our asses by playing – get this – a kid with Downs Syndrome. If that’s the fast-track to Hollywood success, than Ned Bitters should move to L.A. tomorrow. By Friday I’ll have landed that “miserable middle–aged bastard” role they’re casting.
Thanksgiving Crafts: Hey son, that turkey finger puppet you made? Corky could whip up on one of his slow days. Show me somethin’, kid. Impress me.
Sickeningly Sweet Family Movies on Network TV: Even when I was a kid and had no iPod, no computer, no video games, three measly channels and an undiscovered cock for my three daily jerkings, having to sit in the living room with my family and watch the likes of Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke made me damn near suicidal. Are today’s kids still forced to watch a sexless whore of a nanny sing her way into the heart and pants of an already engaged quasi-Nazi with six talentless little brats? Must our kids still contend with the chill-inducing creepiness of a shrill-voiced Dorothy traipsing about with a trio of pseudo-monsters? Does any kid still buy a nanny who flies who uses her umbrella to fly? Today’s overstimulated kids have at their disposal Gears of War 2, 2000 songs, 200 channels, On Demand, Tivo, DVR, a closet filled with DVDs and 30-second clips of Sarah Palin lookalikes sucking on black cocks online. I think all that trumps some washed up SNL alum talking to animals.
Call me Ebenezer. Call me a misanthrope. Call me bitter. But don’t call me incapable of feeling thanks, as the holiday requires. I’m extremely grateful for many things. Faux Sarah Palin porn, Thanksgiving chili dogs and the fact that three weeks from today, Christmas will be over, too.
Ned Bitters is, in fact, overrated. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.