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Bird’s Eye View

Greetings one and all. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin. And a Happy “Turkey and Football Day” to all! What a great day. “Well done!” to whoever thought of it. Family, friends, food, drink, and football. It doesn’t get much better than that! This Mother-of-All national holidays is still called “Thanksgiving” by some of us, but the new title has far greater relevance in this day and age, or so I am led to believe.

With this in mind, here’s an appropriate Valley Quiz. Answers follow Old Buzzard’s remarks near the end of the column.

1. Which two teams in the NFL traditionally play at home on every Thanksgiving?

2. How many degrees can a Turkey see with its eyes?

a) 360 b) 270 c) 180 d) 90

3. One year after the 102 pilgrims had arrived at Plymouth Rock half of them had died. So, as they sat down to the first Thanksgiving, what would you say was the ratio of men to women at that historical event? a) 2:1 b) 5:1 c) 9:1

4. At the first Thanksgiving which of the following was approved table manners? a) To eat with your hands b) To spit on the floor c) To throw bones into the fire when done. d) All of these.

5. Who pushed for the Turkey to be the nation’s national symbol?

a) Benjamin Franklin b) Abraham Lincoln c) FDR. d) George W. Bush.

Staying with the Thanksgiving theme for the Quote of the Week, I have a few words from Matt Groening, creator of ‘The Simpsons,’ to perhaps remember when all of the family is assembled on the big day. “Family gatherings are all about love overcoming emotional tor­ture.” And here’s that jolly clown Joseph Stalin’s com­ment about gratitude, which is a feeling we should all perhaps have on this special day. He said, “Gratitude is a sickness suffered by dogs.” What a miserable bastard; I shall not be inviting him over tomorrow! OK, let’s have a positive thought to finish with, and with the Thanks­giving Day Dinner the focal point for most of us, what better sentiments than those uttered by English novelist and essayist, Virginia Woolf, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” I can’t argue with that!

Public Service Announcements. Calendars and pens at the ready. #144. The Boonville Winter Market is now on its winter schedule and at the new venue. It can be enjoyed on Saturday mornings at The Boonville General Store from 11am-1pm. #145. The Independent Career Women have their Christmas Party on Friday, December 6 to which their Dependent Jobless Men are invited. #146. The Annual Holiday Bazaar organized by The AV Unity Club to benefit Student Scholarships and the AV Library is on Saturday, December 7 from 10am-4pm at The Apple Hall featuring Xmas Gifts, homemade baked goods, and an auction. #147. The Community Holiday Dinner is on Sunday, December 8 at The Grange. #148. The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital will next be in town on Thursday, December 12. #149. The AV Historical Society’s always-enjoyable Christmas Gath­ering is on Sunday, December 15 at the Little Red School House.

Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are on Wednes­days this year and in between them is, of course, the annual New Year’s Eve Party at Lauren’s Restaurant in Boonville. The Valley will have the two extremely popular annual crab feeds in the first few weeks of the New Year. The Crab Feed to benefit the AV Senior Center will be in the Apple Hall on Saturday, January 18. And the Original Crab Feed is scheduled for Saturday, February 5, also at The Apple Hall in Boonville. I’m giving you plenty of notice on these two major Valley events because some of you may wish to give Xmas gifts to loved ones in the form of tickets. If so, please contact organizers Gina Pardini at 895-3609 for the big night out on January 18, or Gloria Ross at 895-3017 for the Feb 5 feast. Remember. both events sell out every year.

Here is the menu for the Community gatherings over the next week for the Senior Center at the Veterans Hall in Boonville. The Center asks for a $6 donation from Seniors for both lunches and dinners and charges $7 for Non-Seniors for lunches and $8 for the dinners. Tomor­row is Thanksgiving so the Senior Center will be closed, but next Tuesday, December 3, the lunch, always served by Marti Titus and her crew at 12.15pm, will be Meat­loaf, Mashed Potatoes w/Gravy, Roasted Cauliflower, Rolls, Barley Salad, with Birthday Cup Cakes for des­sert. Then next Thursday, December 5, the lunch menu will feature Chicken & Dumplings, Brussel Sprouts, Rolls, Farro Salad, and Lemon Pudding Cake. Remem­ber, all ages are welcome! Hope to see you there.

From our regular correspondent, The Old Buzzard, comes another in his insightful series, ‘Signs that the Apocalypse is Approaching.’ Buzzard reports, “Readers may have been wondering about my whereabouts in recent weeks, or maybe not. Well, the Apocalypse has not happened and I am alive and well and able to inform you that I have been south of the border. Now that I have returned, I have some observations and a few sweeping generalizations about our ‘next door neighbors’ that I wish to share. Nothing earth-shattering, but just a reminder of a few things that some of you may not have heard in a while. These are offered ‘in my humble opin­ion,’ so don’t get your knickers in a twist if you disagree.

“Do not believe a Mexican bartender if he tells you the chili pepper is’ just a little hot.’ What was I thinking? Freshly made corn tortillas are a beautiful thing. Most Mexican beers pair well with the food and suit the cli­mate, but Pacifico and Bohemia do it the best. The treatment of animals and pets seems to be an act of extremes. either overly pandering or downright cruel. High-school kids and college students seem to be texting as often as ours do; the college students dress in a similar way too, while the high school kids wear very smart school uniforms and it might well add a few points to their IQ and test scores. Something to think about. Attending Sunday mass down there is a wonderful expe­rience, even for pagans like myself, and based on the packed ‘house’ that I was part of, the Catholic Church is still alive and well in Mexico. Lots of things seem to work at about 75% capacity. Coffee machines, washing machines, computers, phones. You just accept and move on. Lots of people work very hard, lots of whom seem to be cleaning. As a result, many places are spotless, if a little ramshackle and broken down. Some folks appear to be very rich indeed, with ostentatious displays of fine jewelry and fancy cars. Most are not. Everyone is late. Not many Americans are down there these days com­pared to visits in the 80s, 90s, and early 00s. A shame, as they are very welcome and safe virtually everywhere. In restaurants and bars, nothing is too much trouble for the staff or unavailable. Lying on a sun-drenched beach in late November, reading a riveting book about the JFK assassination, while sipping a cold beer and devouring some fresh fish tacos, is the best way to spend a Friday afternoon. If you have a better alternative, let me know, but I don’t think you possibly could. (PS. The San Diego airport already has its Christmas tree in place and deco­rated on the concourse. This was November 19).”

Thanksgiving Day Quiz. Answers.

1. The Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys play at home on this day every year, which for the hapless fans of the Lions, in recent years anyway, has generally meant a miserable Thanksgiving.

2. A Turkey can see for 270 degrees around it. This would explain why you’ve had little luck when trying to creep up and capture one for dinner. I suggest you just buy a fresh one from Lemons’ Market!

3. With only 51 survivors, the ratio of men to women was 9:1. There were just five women remaining. I couldn’t possibly comment further.

4. d) All were acceptable. Rather like Thanksgiving at The Nest where guests are encouraged to partake in each of these ‘manners.’

5. Benjamin Franklin. A great man and a true vision­ary clearly.

Time to take my leave. So, until we talk again, Keep the Faith; be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. Oh, and of course, one final request, Let us prey. Humbly yours, Turkey Vulture.

PS. Contact me with words of support/abuse through the Letters Page or at PPS. Skylark, read any good books lately? … Keep on hum­ming, Hummingbird. … Everything cool with you, OJ? Of course it is. 

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