Hay’s Daze: Dr. Reginald Smoot: The origin of Thanksgiving

It’s been quite a while since we had a visit from our old nemesis whack job and self-proclaimed “expert” Dr. Reginald Smoot here on the Daze, and we’re all pretty thankful about that. And it’s always good to be thankful on Thanksgiving Weekend, however, this particular Thanksgiving, look what the cat dragged in! Dr. Reginald Smoot, Non-Tenured Professor of Sociology, Mail Order University of Carrot River, Saskatchewan. So, even though it’s Thanksgiving Weekend, I’m currently not that thankful that we have a cat.

HAY’S DAZE: “Um, Dr. Smoot, aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else right now? Like Antarctica, for example? Or perhaps Northern Slobovia?”

DR. REGINALD SMOOT: “Thank you for that kind introduction.

H.D.: “Um, OK, let me try this: What in the blue blazes brings you into these pages, which usually contain much more erudite content?”

SMOOT: “It’s a special weekend of course, so I knew you needed a special guest to spruce up your sad little column. And by the way, let me elucidate your lugubrious grammatical wordage for a moment: ‘Erudite’ is a Greek Goddess and therefore must be capitalized.

H.D.: “You must be thinking of ‘Aphrodite’, which couldn’t be further from…”

SMOOT: “Quite the contrary my thick friend, Erudite is the Greek Goddess of Ornithology, and quite coincidentally, we’re talking turkey here. Also, quite literally.”

H.D.: “What on earth does the study of birds have to do with Thanksgiving?”

SMOOT: “It must be patently obvious, even to a pea-brained newspaper columnist that the voluminous Thanksgiving tradition as we know it today was initiated initially by turkeys.”

H.D.: “That’s ridiculous.”

SMOOT: “I didn’t say ‘in Turkey’, I said…”

H.D.: “Ok, right, thanks for dropping in. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out…”

SMOOT: “According to my extensive research from my impressive office above the Tim Hortons in the thriving metropolis of Carrot River Saskatchewan, the pilgrims landed in North America quite a few years ago, and were immediately attacked by a gaggle of deranged turkeys and…”

H.D.: “Geese. It’s a ‘gaggle of geese’. The correct collective noun for turkeys is a ‘rafter’. A rafter of turkeys.”

SMOOT: “That’s not fair, you get to Google, and I don’t have my desktop with me.”

H.D.: “You can Google on your smartphone, you dork.”

SMOOT: “On my what?”

H.D.: “Um, could I take another quick peek at your mail-order PhD?”

SMOOT: “So the turkeys overran the much more precipitous pilgrims and drove them inland, across middle America whereupon they reached the coast and invented Las Vegas. And people from across the land, including the world, were so very garrulous and grateful to have a place to go and see Celine Dion that once a year they slew a turkey and made gravy and stuffing. And that’s why we have Thanksgiving to this very day.”

H.D.: “You’re a real whack-a-doodle aren’t you, Smoot.

SMOOT: “Thank you. But then of course, it’s a well-documented salient historical fact of science that you can’t possibly have turkey dinner without cranberry sauce, and you probably didn’t even know that it took a legendary group of Canadian farmers from Saskatchewan to discover how to make cranberries out of sauce.”

H.D.: “Don’t you mean make sauce out of cranberries?? You’ve been dipping a little too much into you own Thanksgiving ‘sauce’, haven’t you Reg.”

SMOOT: “Be that as it may, pathetic scribbler, just remember to be thankful this weekend – thankful for the turkeys, the fortuitous Saskatchewan cranberry farmers and of course, yours truly. And just be thankful the Mayflower didn’t land the pilgrims in Newfoundland instead of Plymouth Rock. Lobsters don’t go so great with cranberry sauce.”

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