Revenge is sweet and non-fattening. – Alfred Hitchcock

As you’re reading this there’s a week or less left before Thanksgiving, our all-time favorite holiday. It’s our fave because it’s the least demanding, at least if you’re a relative sluggard like us. All you might have to do is pop for some groceries and then prepare to eat the same. You got your turkey which is not going to break your budget, some stuffing- essentially stale bread – a veggie or two and a can of that jellied cranberry stuff. We like it with the can lines still on it. Round out the menu with the brewski of your choice, and you’re all set. Strictly from a budgetary point of view, we can be extra thankful that the pilgrims didn’t celebrate with T-bone steak and Dom Perignon.


It’s important not to stint on the beverages. If you want to have an historically accurate celebration, you will need that beer, you know. On the Pilgrims’ voyage over from England, the crew and passengers drank beer the whole time. Their destination was the Virginia colony near present day Jamestown, but they wandered off course and ended up at Plymouth Massachusetts. That’s right, the Pilgrims could’ve been busted for SUI, Sailing Under the Influence, and it caused them to miss the mark by, oh, about 600 miles.

To add insult to injury, when they got off the boat, the sailors wouldn’t let them take any beer with them saying they needed it for the return trip. I guess we’ve all heard that one before. Pilgrim William Bradford, in his journal entry in the Fall of 1620, complained that he and his companions “were hastened ashore and made to drink water, that the seamen might have the more beer.” The Mayflower captain was later to settle in Penn’s Woods where he went on to found the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Luckily we’re past all that, and have access to nearly limitless supplies of food and beverage. But with great freedom, and beer, comes great responsibility. And just because you are a tolerant, open-minded, freedom loving, champion of all that is right and good in our nation, state and community, that doesn’t mean you don’t have some mean-spirited, fascist and/or communist inspired saboteurs among your family and friends who may see the family gathering as an opportunity to vent about the big you-know-what a week ago Tuesday. This can take place anywhere from the dinner table to your Turkey Bowl touch football game so you need to be vigilant. As always, the Idler is there for you. Here are our tips for a successful and tranquil holiday experience:

Watch Out For The Crackback Block – Hillary supporters have been playing defense since the election returns came in and are eager to lash out. Trumpsters need to keep their “Make America Great Again” hats on a swivel. Your maiden auntie may look harmless, but if she’s sporting a safety pin she’s also likely to clothesline you at the first opportunity.

Don’t Be Too Quick to Take Offense – When Grandpa is carving the bird, and observes that there was a nice crop of turkeys this year but the left wings don’t look too good, he may be making a purely poultry observation. Ask him if there are enough right wings for all the extremists at the table. If he tries to wallop you with a drumstick, make sure the gravy boat isn’t Grandma’s bone china before you throw it.

Dueling Graces – If someone insists on adding, “Lord, let there be no walls built between us”, or “Dear God, help us make America great again”, just let it go. Depending on the level of devotion and/or partisanship, you could be praying while the stuffing gets cold.

Choose Your Weapon Carefully – If you are going to insist on wiping the grin off of your opponent’s face with a Boston Cream pie, make sure other diners have had a slice first. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a partial or even lesser pie for the task. Try mince meat – hardly anybody likes that.

Changing the Subject – Traditionally, an effective way to defuse a volatile situation is through the use of the old standby, “How about those Steelers?” This season, however, you may just open up a second front and end up with all-out war. Go with old reliables like, “Do the Browns suck, or what?” or just a simple, “Pens, baby.”

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