Indulgences of the season

I'm thinking back to how Thanksgiving used to be. Nice. Simple. Pleasant. Kinda corny in its nice, simple, pleasantness. Which means, of course, that poor ole Tom Turkey didn't stand a chance when he finally had to go toe to toe with our ever-demanding national lusts.

Remember how all the stores used to be closed on Thanksgiving? And not just closed at noon. Everybody, even the liquor stores, was closed all damned day! If you woke up on Thursday morning and you needed some whipping cream or wine, well, sorry pal, but you were totally SOL. I know it seems ridiculous and almost unbelievable, in light of how much money has been made ever since stores dared to open Thanksgiving morning, but I swear I'm not making this up. Or am I? Is this just a dream left over from some Charlie Brown special?

Remember how there was only one goddamn football game on Turkey Day? One. The Detroit Lions would always play somebody on Thanksgiving morning, and that was fine. I grew up thinking it was part of the holiday, that we could, as a nation, enjoy watching the Lions get stomped by the Bears or Packers on Thanksgiving morning while all the heavy lifting was going down in the kitchen. Then, at noon, when the game was over, we could go out and rake leaves or throw footballs in the yard while The Bird was finishing up.

Remember the days before … Black Friday? It's true! I can distinctly remember a time before anybody got punched in the mouth over a goddamn yo-yo or mangled in a shopping cart stampede. I know it seems totally weird, but back then, when Thanksgiving was simple, calm, and corny, the Friday after was usually a day where people—went back to work? Or hung around the house eating turkey sandwiches? Bizarre! Now, Black Friday is as culturally installed as reality television, and it's battering the walls that protected Thanksgiving Day from Santa's Satanic Shopping Sprees into splinters. Just this year, the arbitrary boundary of time that kept Black Friday's grubby paws off Tom Turkey took some severe hits, with major chains and retailers opening for business at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. A few years ago, this would have been heinously unthinkable. An outrage! Is nothing sacred? Is Thanksgiving not hallowed?

Say what?

Hell, this year, Kmart said nuts to opening at 6 on Thanksgiving night. Six PEE-EM? That's a one way ticket to Loser City, chump. Let's get this party started and Screw you Target!”…. and unlocked the doors at 6 Thursday morning.

So, yes, indulge me as I dare to indulge in sappy nostalgia for those simpler times when our two national fetishes of football and shopping were still contained in Pandora's Box, and Thanksgiving had its own special aura. Because now, Pandora is screeching to hurry up, finish that bleepin' pie, biyotch, cuz I need to make some bets at the sports bar in the damned mall!