With Thanksgiving around the corner, thoughts turn to chilly days, roseate cheeks, the promise of snow, and the advent of blubber season. Some are of the opinion that our annual glutton festival begins at Halloween, evident by tacky fingerprints from stealth-diving into the kids goodie bag. As far as I’m concerned, the starting bell for the World Series of holiday binging, technically rings on Thanksgiving Day. Unlike our puritan ancestors, who ate foods native to the New World, our modern tables groan with big-breasted birds, carbs the density of a black hole,and sugar confections to send us all to diabetics anonymous.
We’re not exactly strangers to high caloric intake, but when it comes to the start of blubber season, we take it to a whole new level in late November and never look back until January. You’d think we’d give ourselves a break between holiday gluttony, but we can’t help ourselves. One famous fitness trainer, who’s a vegan, suggested tossing out the leftovers to avoid temptation. I hate it when vegans weigh in on America’s favorite pastime. Besides, it wouldn’t help. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, an empty table at work suddenly becomes an impromptu buffet, where co-workers try to outdo each other with how many pounds of sugar they can fit in a cupcake. Then it’s the neighborhood parties with bubbling pots of goodies that rival fumaroles in Yellowstone, meatballs heavier than ship ballast, and enough cheese to feed the global population of mice. Leftover party food is usually limited to the veggie tray we put out for any visiting vegans (and here you thought I was insensitive).
How the turkey got caught up in the insanity is a subject of much controversy. It went from a leading candidate for our national symbol in the late 18th century, to the main event for consumption during the holidays. Had Benjamin Franklin got his way, I wonder if we’d be eating genetically modified bald eagle. Because of its popularity in both affluent and modest households, some think that Charles Dickens weighed heavily on the choice of large fowl through his tale, “A Christmas Carol”. Turns out the use of turkey for Thanksgiving preceded Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863, with Alexander Hamilton proclaiming that no “Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day. So if you are looking for who is responsible for open season on turkeys, blame him.
After Thanksgiving, the Nightmare on Scale Street continues during Christmas week, when our symbol of the season arrives in a sextuple-sized, crimson overcoat and a portable defibrillator. Out comes the ham, prime rib, perhaps another hapless turkey, and gooey cream casseroles disguised as a vegetable. Then we crown the toxic, compost in our bellies with pie and Christmas cookies.
The blubber season is supposed to end on New Year’s Day, when after a night of alcohol infused excess, we again press our posteriors to a chair, nosh on sausage, nachos, chicken wings, and practice gastronomic yoga (better known as the lazy dog position). You’d be amazed how much we break a sweat from screaming epithets at athletes pummeling each other in football.
I’m waiting for the official ratification of National Type-2 Diabetes Day in January, where you’ll find me at the head of the line. Meanwhile, I’m thinking of a triple fowl trifecta with an artery clogging oddity, known as a turducken, for this year’s feast, with sausage stuffing … of course. Double up on the Lipitor, desert will be pumpkin cheesecake.
How about you? Are the bathroom scales at your place trembling in fear this time of year? Is your belt threatening to file a workman’s comp lawsuit for excessive load bearing stress?
Have a great Thanksgiving, and be sure to check your holiday table for maximum weight limits.