Greetings. If you are sitting comfortably then I shall begin. And a Happy Thanksgiving to one and all for tomorrow! What a great day – “well done!” to whoever thought of it. This Mother-of-All national holidays, and by far my personal favorite, is all about celebrating with friends and family. Throw in food, drink, and football and it can’t get much better than that!
Anyway, as you digest that unnecessary yet unavoidable second helping of food, and before your nap, perhaps you will be inclined to summon up the energy to take part in my Thanksgiving Day Quiz. (Answers at the end of the column.)
1. How many people were on the Mayflower when it set sail from England in 1620? a) 35 b) 88 c) 102 d) 148
2. One year after the 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 ration of men to women at that historical event? a) Even b) 2:1 c) 5:1 d) 9:1
3. What color was taboo to the new settlers and was never worn? a) Red b) Purple c) Blue d) Black
4. What was the last name of the Mayflower’s Captain? a) Smith b) Brown c) Jones d) Bligh
5. Which two football teams in the NFL traditionally play at home on every Thanksgiving — one since 1934, the other since the 70s?
6. How many degrees can a Turkey see with its eyes? a) 360 b) 270 c) 180 d) 90
7. What is America’s favorite dessert on Thanksgiving? a) Pumpkin Pie b) Pecan Pie c) Sweet Potato Pie d) Crème Brule
8. 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
9. Who pushed for the Turkey to be the nation’s national symbol?
a) Benjamin Franklin b) Abraham Lincoln c) F.D.R. d) George W. Bush
10. Fish, fowl, peas, pumpkins, veal, beef, turkey. Which of these items was not on the very first Thanksgiving Day menu?
11. True or False? Indians attended the first Thanksgiving feast.
12. True or False? Thanksgiving is always the last Thursday of November.
13. True or False? Male Turkeys are the ones who make the gobbling sound.
14. True or False? The Pilgrims brought beer with them on the voyage to the New World.
15. True or False? At the early Thanksgivings, Turkey Vultures were also on the menu.
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Let’s stay 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 the family is gathered together on the big day – “Families are all about love overcoming emotional torture.” 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 rest my case!
Public Service Announcements. #442: The Vets from the Mendocino Animal Hospital are here on two Thursdays next month, Dec 2nd and 9th, at the Farm Supply north of Philo on Hwy 128 from 2pm to 3.30pm on each occasion. #443: This year the Winter Farmer’s Market plus the Arts and Crafts Mart is moving from The Grange to the Porch at Lauren’s Restaurant where Lauren will have coffee and pastries for sale too. It will be on Saturdays from 10.30am to 1pm every week (except Xmas Day and the New Year’s Day). #444: The Annual Holiday Bazaar organized by The AV Unity Club to benefit Student Scholarships and the AV Library is on Sat Dec 4th, 10am-4pm at The Apple Hall and will feature Xmas Gifts, homemade baked goods, and an auction. #445: There are still plenty of fresh organic eggs available from the AVHS Ag Department. Contact the school or e-mail Beth Swehla at email@example.com. They are delicious. Trust me on this, you can thank me later. And a few early notices for your new 2011 calendar. #446: The 5th Annual Anderson Valley Film Celebration is set for The Grange on the weekend of January 28th-30th. And of course the Valley will have the two extremely popular annual crab feeds in the first few weeks of the new year. #447: The AV Senior Center Crab Feed will be held in the Apple Hall on Saturday, January 15th, 2011. #448: And then there is the Original Crab Feed scheduled for Saturday, Feb 5th, 2010, 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 Jan 15th big night out or Gloria Ross at 895-3017 for the Feb 5th extravaganza.
I’m outta here. Be careful out there; stay out of the ditches; think good thoughts; and may your god go with you. One final request, “Let us prey.” Poking and stroking egos wherever necessary and, as always, humbly yours, Turkey Vulture. PS. Keep the Faith. PPS. You can contact me with words of support/abuse either through the Letters Page or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. PPPS. On the sheep, Grace. PPPPS. Is that ‘lafter’ I hear, Carroll?
(Answers to the Quiz) —
1. c. 102–74 males, 28 females. (2 dogs, no Vultures).
2. d. With only fifty-one survivors, the ration of men to women was 9:1 – there were just five women remaining! I couldn’t possibly comment further...
3. b. Purple. It was associated with wealth and the upper classes in the Old World at that time.
4. c. Jones. His name was Christopher Jones
5. The Detroit Lions (since 1934) 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.
6. b. 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 one from Lemons’ Market!
7. a. Pumpkin Pie, although Freshly Squished Squirrel Pie covered in a creamy entrails sauce is the pie of choice here at The Nest.
8. d. All were acceptable – similar to Thanksgiving at The Nest; guests are encouraged to partake in each.
9. a. Benjamin Franklin – a great man and obviously a true visionary.
10. Beef. Not even bulls’ testicles or cow eyes.
11. True. The Indians easily outnumbered the Pilgrims, more than half had died over that first year.
12. False. It’s always the 4th Thursday of November, even when November has five Thursdays.
13. True. Females do not.
14. True. Ya gotta like that.
15. False. That would be unacceptable, although possibly quite tasty.