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Thanksgiving: A good time to date a Pilgrim

November 18, 2011|Chris Erskine

I once dated a Pilgrim. A Pilgrim-American Princess, in fact. Talk about crazy Thanksgivings. They have all these traditions, the Pilgrims do. For instance, you can't play knickers (much like marbles) till after dessert. And no Marie Callender pies. Ever.

They're purists about their pies, not to mention many of the other traditions we kind of follow today. If it weren't for the hot tubs and the wine, a Pilgrim Thanksgiving wouldn't be worth it at all.

Funny what you remember. The Pilgrims used to have this saying: "What happens in Plymouth Rock stays in Plymouth Rock." But that didn't work out so well, because the Native Americans couldn't keep a secret. This, I'll remind you, was well before Facebook, when secrets were more common and keeping one actually counted.

Eventually, I traded my Pilgrim-American Princess for a Florida-American Princess, from down around Miami, where they stand around in the sand like flamingos, preening and picking out husbands. (Hey, youz, over 'der, come over heyeee!)

But if you're dating a Pilgrim, I recommend trying to hold on to her (or him) at least till Friday. From what I hear, another Thanksgiving is on the way.

And, traditions aside, nobody does it like a Pilgrim.

::

Speaking of Puritans, I'm trying to get my wife, Posh, to share more recipes, because from what I hear, her chicken chili recipe was well received. I call it Posh's Christmas Eve Chili, and it's made with Trader Joe's green salsa and the shredded meat of a deli-roasted chicken.

She's not much for shortcuts, but you can throw this together in about 30 minutes. The FDA looked into it and discovered it cures the common cold, the uncommon cold, depression, recession, canker sores and the often-debilitating repercussions of chronic self-doubt.

Essentially, it's a miracle drug, and I think her chicken chili could be the basis of a small fortune, which is the only blessing lacking in our lives right now — money. The other day, we got the bill for her emergency room visit: $1,250. Or, as I prefer to think of it: 240 bottles of that oily red wine I like.

Anyway, the bill from the hospital comes. To review: A couple of weeks ago she clunked her head on the doorjamb, opening a two-inch gash. At the ER, they glue her together with Krazy Glue. Two week's later, this bill.

I don't see why people say the U.S. healthcare system is broken, because $1,250 for 11 cents worth of quick-drying glue seems more than fair to me. After all, the doctor had to take the time to uncap the glue, then recap it when done. Tricky stuff.

So, I don't care what people say about healthcare, a $1,250 bill for quality ER work is a true bargain.

Thank you, Dr. Frankenstein. The check is in the mail.

::

Some talking points as friends and family gather 'round the Thanksgiving table this Thursday:

— You think it's global warming, or a prelude to the apocalypse?

— Does anyone know the difference between an Apple Jack and a Froot Loop?

— This chipmunk pudding is delicious.

Me, I don't know an Apple Jack from a Froot Loop, or a chipmunk from a woodchuck. I don't know a heron from an egret, a hard drive from a soft drive, a barley from a hop.

But I do know a good Thanksgiving turkey when I see one. The leathered dermis, stretched and shiny, right out of a Norman Rockwell scene — wood, wool mittens, spittoons.

Thanksgiving has its own set of acoustics, the oven door thumping closed, suitcases hitting the floor.

The little girl returns from college sometime soon with that rainbow smile of hers, wearing those big flouncy scarves in triplicate.

The lovely and patient older daughter will walk in the front door too, shaking her car keys. She has matured into one of those young women who rattles and ka-clomps and enters a room the way a snowstorm enters Montana, full of bluster and with no indication of how long she'll stay.

To celebrate the holiday, their wiseguy brothers — one strapping, one slight — will throw the football in the house. Their mother will holler at them to stop this minute. Right NOW!

All will be as it should be. A holiday made from scratch. Thanksgiving. Home.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

twitter.com/erskinetimes

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