a foreign national’s guide to the traditional american thanksgiving feast

Well, international readers of BSC, thanksgiving is upon us and as always it’s this time of year when depressed American losers such as myself sit around and listen to everyone carrying on and on about what they’re thankful for. In just two short days, we’ll all come together and stuff ourselves full of shitty foods that we seem to recognize aren’t that good 364 days of the year. The object (and I’m not making this up) is to make yourself so full that you become hugely uncomfortable and eventually pass out in the vapor of your own gluttonous sloth. A true thanksgiving victory is only achieved if, after your nap, you go back and pack more food into yourself. The farting gets pretty atrocious, honestly.

The food, it should be noted, is not only unhealthy but also prepared in such a way that encourages rabid gluttony. This is particularly interesting because the ACTUAL items being prepared (let’s just go with the basics: turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans and cranberries) are extremely healthy (the exception being potatoes which are neither healthy nor bad for you in their natural state…like brandy). HOWEVER, these items, once thanksgivinged become some of the most deviant monuments to slothful corpulence ever assembled on one table. Let’s examine, eh?

The turkey: Turkey (no skin!) is one of the healthiest meats out there. It’s lean, it’s packed with protein, it’s gross so you can’t eat too much of it. It’s practically a superfood. On thanksgiving this cannot stand, so what do we do? Well, we stuff an entire turkey with a mixture of bread, eggs and meat and then smear butter all over the skin so the skin itself becomes crispy and even MORE deliciously bad for us (Some Americans, not content to stuff the turkey with such mundane items actually stuff the turkey with a duck that’s been stuffed with a hen that’s been stuffed with ham [I am not making this up]) . We cover the turkey with various fatty drools (gravy!) and shovel it down by the bucketful. But hey, if you’re gonna go crazy on something on thanksgiving, make it turkey. It’s still healthier than everything else on the table and it won’t be as awkward as going crazy on your creepy uncle that used to make you shower with him.

Potatoes: Potatoes are so often made into unhealthy treats that it’s tempting to suggest that the potato itself is unhealthy. It’s not. It just tastes terrible unless you smear it with grease and butter and lard. On thanksgiving, America has taken it a step further by not only mixing potatoes with insane amounts of heavy cream and butter, but also liquefying the mixture into a smooth consistency that could be consumed with a straw. There is nothing as completely emblematic of the fallacy of the healthy American diet as a gigantic pile of buttery mashed potatoes covered in gravy being greedily inhaled through a straw by an obese four year old boy. I don’t know if that happens (it probably does) but it’s not a stretch to imagine it, is it? That means we’re doomed.

Sweet Potatoes: These are a real genuine superfood. Good thing we cover them with butter, sugar, honey, cinnamon and a fucking LAYER OF MARSHMELLOWS before we serve them. Yes, this shit is delicious. It’s the best vegetable preparation ever. But when this is the healthiest thing on the table, it’s a lot like looking around at your new roommates and deciding to share a room with the rapist because he seems the most sane and at least he seems to shower every once in a while.

Green Beans: We put the green beans into a casserole dish. We cover the greenbeans with cream of mushroom soup (cream, mushrooms). We cover that with some indeterminate little deep fried crispy things that can’t possibly have anything to do with the natural world. This is technically eating greenbeans. It’s also technically picking around greenbeans to eat mouthfuls of heavy cream-soaked little crispy things.

Cranberries: another ‘superfood’ (I hate that term by the way. Broccoli used to just be something you should eat because it’s a green vegetable. Now, we spend so many meals eating flaming hot cheetos and twix bars and shit that the natural benefits of a regular old vegetable have been somehow elevated to super human. Nice. [I love flaming hot cheetos and twix by the way]). However, you won’t really recognize your little buddy the round, berry-esque cranberry on the thanksgiving table. No. In fact, all that’s left of the cranberry is a gelatinous mass that is shaped exactly like the tin can it came in and sliced into discs. This is another one of those items that could be readily consumed with a straw if you felt that lifting and lowering the fork was too much work.

Of course, after all this come the pies. Pies are SUPPOSED to be bad for you, so I’m not gonna really waste time admonishing everyone for having pies. Pies are okay. My wife makes a pumpkin cheesecake that will melt your dick right off. It’s so spectacularly good. One slice contains the annual caloric intake of a typical Darfurian too, so it’s PACKED with energy. In fact, if you don’t go run like, seventeen miles (or hectares or whatever) right after you have a slice, you can actually sit there and watch your dick disappear into your expanding abdomen.

Well, that’s all, internationals! I hope this little breakdown was enlightening. You all have a happy, regular old ho-hum Thursday while we here in America prove, once again, that as long as we’re the fattest we are the best. USA! USA!


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