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COUNTY AGENT GUY

By Staff | Nov 21, 2014

It is Thanksgiving time, a traditional holiday that was started by the Pilgrims, a group of intrepid voyagers who decided to put ashore not far from the site of present day Boston due to the fact that they were nearly out of beer.

Sadly, Sam Adams Brewery wouldn’t come into existence for several more centuries, so the Pilgrims had to make do with that awful substance known as “lite” beer.

This and the total lack of televised parades and football games were among the many harsh privations that our pioneering forebears were forced to endure.

Things have changed tremendously since that first Thanksgiving. For instance, the average modern American will now consume more calories on Thanksgiving Day than were contained in the entire original Thanksgiving feast.

They say that the most important exercise you can perform during the holidays is grasping the edge of the table and pushing yourself away.

Like many, I find it nearly impossible to follow this brutal exercise regimen. Plus, pushing back from the table only puts me in closer proximity to the kitchen counter which is loaded with plates full of yummies, some of which I have sampled only a couple of times.

Certainly that luscious lefse could stand more scrutiny.

And like many, my waistline gives testimony to my failure to perform these dinnertime push-backs. But it’s not my fault.

The forces aligned against me are simply too powerful.

For example, there once was a time when I would only catch an occasional glimpse of a cooking show on TV. Watching such programs made me feel like when I was a kid and stumbled across the Ladies Foundation Garments section of the JC Penney cataloge.

Whoa, what have we here?

Nowadays, there are entire networks that are dedicated solely to food. It’s nothing but food this and cooking that.

Salacious terms such as saute, baste and glaze are tossed about with total abandon. Bingeing on a cooking network is roughly equivalent to constantly hearing, “Hey, big boy. Want to watch while I whisk up some meringue?”

It doesn’t help that many of the chefs on such shows tend to be ladies who are, shall we say, “experienced” in the field of food.

Ladies who are comfortable with the fact that they have done very few tableside push-backs. But this only makes every salubrious snack seem even more tempting. “Never trust a skinny cook” is the axiom I live by.

The ubiquity of the Internet and the soaring popularity of social media have only made this situation worse. Even on such family friendly and trustworthy sites as Facebook, one can see such tawdry headlines as:

  • Ten ways to drive him wild (rice) on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Your man will cry after tasting this onion-free stuffing recipe.
  • Breast or thigh? Why not both?
  • Change “No, thanks” To “Yes, please” with this willpower-destroying apple crisp.
  • Not his mother’s whipped topping: Seven secrets for disguising Cool Whip.

And the list just goes on and on. After being constantly bombarded by all these subliminal – and some extremely liminal – media messages, it’s no wonder the average guy finds it impossible to “just say no” when a sultry voice whispers to him, “Would you like seconds?”

After stuffing ourselves silly on Thanksgiving Day, many of us will commence to lying on the couch or the Barcalounger or the garage floor (any horizontal surface will do) like a herd of beached seals.

The difference is that seals, if threatened, will actually rise up and do their best to escape the perceived danger.

In the immediate aftermath of our epic Thanksgiving feast, most of us are so comatose we wouldn’t move even if a great white shark were to walk into the living room and ask to see the menu.

The original Pilgrims would never have brooked such nonsense. They spent the first Thanksgiving in the New World eating and playing games and generally whooping it up with their Native American friends. And no, this did not involve visiting a casino.

What passes for games in modern times is the act of watching football. This entails a certain element of danger if by “danger” you mean “it’s entirely possible that I could sprain my wrist while opening this bottle of beer.”

But after all these centuries, the main reason for Thanksgiving remains the same – to gather with friends and family and to give thanks for all our blessings.

And that goes double for these comfy new pants with their stretchy waistband.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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