Thanksgiving, 1993: The Admiral Theater

To the best of my recollection, this was Thanksgiving 1993.

I was 21 and living in Chicago. I'd moved there a few months earlier, under the promise of a job at the Second City, a famed comedy club, that evaporated before I'd ever set foot in the door. Being young and refusing to give up, I stayed for the adventure. My apartment was incredibly cheap, and I was performing a lot more than I had been in LA. I thought I'd make this my new home.

My two roommates had left town to visit family. Greg, a fellow improvisational comedian who'd suffered the same retracted job offer as I, was off to Massachusetts. Marko, a 6'6" pre-frontally lobotomized hoarder who suffered from homophobia, anti-semitism, and only experienced joy while performing as a children's party clown, was someplace I did not care.

Over the many years, I have come to recognize that homophobic, anti-semitic, hoarder, children's party clown roommates come with an increased incidence of violent death. The rent was really cheap.

My friend Kevin came into town from Los Angeles, we didn't even think about dinner. Mostly, we liked to drink. We were 21 and it was cold.

It was Thursday, everything was closed and we were hungry. We realized it was Thanksgiving. I am absolutely certain this very-good-idea-were-we-not-broke-as-fuck was Kevin's and not mine: we would go to the Chicago Ritz-Carlton and join their Thanksgiving dinner.

We decided that appearances would matter and that we should look nice if we intended to have dinner with rich and fancy people at a rich and fancy place. Read the rest

Charles Phoenix's accidental Astro-weenie 'Tom Turkey'

Pop culture historian Charles Phoenix, the culinary kitsch king behind the Cherpumple, accidentally created this Astro-Weenie Roast Tom Turkey Dog in his test kitchen a few years back.

His space-agey "bird" is made of "turkey meatloaf skewered and studded with turkey wieners, turkey kielbasa, ‘lil turkey smokies and fresh cranberries."

He writes, "I didn’t mean to do this, it just happened. I didn’t think about it, I just did it."

Previously: 'Addicted to Americana,' Charles Phoenix's new book on 'classic & kitschy American life & style' Read the rest

How to win the wishbone wish

Scientific American consulted biomechencial engineers on how to win the wishbone wish fair and square and also by cheating.

Read the rest

Stove Top stuffing-branded fat pants are already sold out

Everyone got the memo. This is the year when big food behemoths like Taco Bell and Hidden Valley came out with their own gimmicky line of personally-branded clothing (and gifts).

Well, now there's a new contender and it's stranger than the rest. Stove Top, Kraft's stuffing brand, has come out with Thanksgiving Dinner Pants.

Watch this and weep:

Alas, you won't be able to stuff yourself into these fugly $19.98 stretchy-waisted fat pants because they have already sold out. Wah wah.

Side note: I'm reminded of Betabrand's Gluttony Pants from a few years back.

(CHOW) Read the rest

Polarized political advertising led to shorter Thanksgivings in 2016

A pair of economists analyzed data aggregated from smartphone tracking apps to see how long Americans spent at Thanksgiving dinner and how far they traveled to get there, and compared it to precinct-level voting data and data on the intensity of election advertising spending targeted to the subjects, and concluded that "Cell-tracking shows that mixed-party families had shorter 2016 Thanksgivings, an effect exacerbated by political advertising." Read the rest

This ice cream is flavored like Thanksgiving dinner foods

West coast ice creamery Salt & Straw isn't encouraging anyone to give up their Thanksgiving day meal, but they are making a version that is cold and creamy to ingest.

For the month of November, you can order their five-pint "Thanksgiving Dinner of Ice Cream Series," as follows (descriptions via Los Angeles Magazine):

-- Sweet Potato Casserole with Maple Pecans ("Sweet potatoes are roasted down and mixed with cream and sugar to make a sweet, spicy, sticky ice cream. Then Oregon pecans are mixed and caramelized with maple sugar. It is then of course topped off with hand-churned ribbons of Salt & Straw’s own delicious homemade gooey maple fluff.")

-- Buttered Mashed Potatoes & Gravy ("Salt & Straw has made over 600 different flavors of ice cream, and this is hands-down the most savory one ever served. Salt & Straw makes a potato- flavored ice cream, thanks to the real potatoes boiled down until the starch turns to sugar, and then stirs in their own homemade gravy fudge made from two mashed-up recipes, pun very much intended.")

-- Apple Cranberry Stuffing

-- Salted Caramel Thanksgiving Turkey ("Turkey stock is cooked and mixed with sugar, spices and onions down until it bubbles into a caramel, which creates the base of the salted caramel ice cream. And Salt & Straw also roasts turkey skin until it’s crispy and then candy-coat it and mix bits of that in, too.")

-- Spiced Goat Cheese & Pumpkin Pie ("It starts with goat-cheese ice cream, which is sprinkled with pumpkin pie spices, but the generous helping of mashed pumpkin folded and swirled in really steals the show.")

All five pints are available now for $65 plus shipping. Read the rest

Chestburster roast turkey

Prepare a turkey as usual, but add a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with spaghetti teeth into the just-split chest cavity of the bird, garnished with dye-enhanced gravy and cranberry sauce -- YUM! Read the rest

Another Thanksgiving Prayer

As it's been 30 years since William Burroughs' legendary Thanksgiving Prayer was recorded, I thought a contemporary tribute was in order. Read the rest

A Thanksgiving Prayer from William S. Burroughs

Thirty years after William S. Burroughs wrote his "Thanksgiving Prayer" and sadly it's never been more relevant.

Read the rest

Happy Gunsgiving!

From Glock, makers of fine handguns and honest tweets about America's Thanksgiving roots in pie and lethal force. Read the rest

How Canadian and US expats celebrate Thanksgiving in Japan

My wife Carla is executive editor of Tofugu, a very cool website about Japan. She just wrote an article about how USans and Canadians living in Japan celebrate Thanksgiving. She interviewed five people (a few are Boing Boing readers who responded to a request to be interviewed) and they told her how they managed to have a nice dinner in a country where turkeys are relatively rare.

WHAT DO JAPANESE PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT THANKSGIVING?

Joel: Not very much. Unlike Christmas and Halloween, school kids tend not to learn much about it other than, "Americans eat turkey." There also seems to be a lot of confusion with young kids regarding turkey versus chicken. Explaining that they are not the same animal results in a lot of baffled looks.

Annamarie: I have found very few people are familiar with American Thanksgiving. Apart from the knowledge that it exists and that we usually eat turkey, most people I’ve spoken to about it are at a loss. This isn’t a bad thing. I appreciate the opportunity to explain both the storybook and historical origins of the holiday.

Katie: I'm still discovering what Japanese folks know about Thanksgiving. Since I work for an American company (Nike) I find most of my coworkers are pretty savvy about things like Fourth of July and other very American holidays, but I can't tell what my neighbors think, or even if it registers on their radar at all. The most interesting insight for me this year was when a colleague said they were going home to visit family for the Obon festival, “you know, kind of like your Thanksgiving holiday.” I thought it was a good sign that he equated Thanksgiving with “homecoming” and not overeating and football games.

Read the rest

The dystopian First Contact/alien abduction sf story hidden in the Thanksgiving tale

When you look at the Thanksgiving story from Squanto's point of view, it's a pretty depressing science fiction story about minding your business outside your home one day when you're suddenly abducted by aliens with advanced technology, and when you finally make your way back home, years, you discover that nearly everyone on the continent has been wiped out by an alien supervirus. Read the rest

Racist, sexist, gross and weird: THANKSGIVING

From the late 1800s to the early 1940s, many Americans celebrated Thanksgiving by dressing up as "ragamuffins" in masked costumes and then thronged the streets, basically trick-or-treating for money and gifts. Read the rest

William S. Burroughs: "A Thanksgiving Prayer" (1986)

Uncle Bill, please lead us in A Thanksgiving Prayer.

Read the rest

Thanksgiving treats that look like sh*t

There's still time to run down to the supermarket and buy this cake for the coprophages joining you for Thanksgiving dinner.

Check out more unusual Thanksgiving treats in the gallery here.

Read the rest

Meeting Cow Dog

In this telling short story, Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin meets a homeless neighbor and his big, rambunctious dog. When time is short, sometimes more can be found in companionship and reflection of a simple truth: that the now, in all its peace, beauty and suffering, will pass.

How to cook a marijuana marinated turkey

Happy Danksgiving!

Read the rest

More posts