The Day Plymouth Really Rocked

An unofficial history of the First Thanksgiving

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It's time to clear up some history about the First Thanksgiving. The first Pilgrims were actually English "Separatists" who insisted on being called "Puritans," which means that England considered them a "pain in the butt."  Many Puritans were originally from Holland but left there because they hated being called Dutch, hated Dutch Doors and Dutch Ovens and Hollandaise Sauce.  But things were even worse in England, where they endured religious persecution and being forced to live in villages with comical names like Scurvy Sommersetshire-Essex.

So, in 1620, the Puritans boarded a ship called the Mayflower Winnebago. All luggage and carry-on items went on a smaller, fuel-efficient vessel, the Mayflower Compact.  Retracing the route once used by Christopher "Motion Sickness" Columbus, they set sail for Cleveland — which shows you how desperate they were to get away from England and English people. They hated everything about England, including English Muffins and English TV Channels and English Leather cologne.  So naturally after pulling ashore in the new world they named the place New England. Go figure.

Right away, these immigrants realized they had made a mistake. These hardy but poorly educated Dutch farmers lived lives based solely on the Bible, which, as it turned out, contained no helpful information on how to get around Boston in snow drifts deep enough to bury a school bus. Undaunted by their difficulties and girded by their Dutch heritage, the Puritans survived by changing their names to Pilgrims (literally, "Frozen Dutchman").

On the positive side, the Pilgrims were finally free from religious persecution. On the negative side, they took a vote and decided to guillotine the British travel agent who convinced them to relocate in a country where there was nothing to do in November but watch TV specials about the Kennedy Assassination.

The Pilgrims were about to go stark raving mad when they met a Native Indian named Pocahontas, or maybe it was Squanto. Anyway, the Indians taught these Pilgrims how to churn butter, eat barley and get up on a ladder and freeze your butt off stringing Christmas lights. These were things the Indians detested doing and assumed they would no longer have to do for themselves because they would now have Pilgrim slaves to do it for them.

Gradually, the immigrants began to get on the Indians' nerves. The Pilgrims played very loud music, called "Plymouth Rock," which the Indians hated. The Pilgrims also had this annoying habit of using the word "like" all the time — as in, "Like, why don't you Indians go out and, like, pick us up some, like, some whipped cream and, like, while you're at it, go find some other country to be natives of."

The Indians had had enough of this Pilgrim Progress. They decided they'd rather swim naked across the Bering Strait than spend another day with these turkeys from England. All this talk of turkeys gave the Indians an idea. They threw a lavish, "We're Moving To South Dakota Where We Can Have Our Own Casinos" farewell party.  It featured turkey, cranberry relish, and the first-ever Exxon-ITT-Nintendo-Pepsi Orange Bowl Parade. You should have been there.

As the feast drew to a close, Indians and Pilgrims rose together, sang lusty choruses of Chuck Berry's "Nadine," and gave thanks to God that, in spite of all their travails, at least rap music had not yet been invented.  For their part, the Indians were grateful that they would never again be forced to eat pumpkin pie or attend church with people who wear black Pilgrim shoes with buckles the size of billboards. The Pilgrims were grateful that their harvest was bountiful, that the Indians weren't very bright when it came to real estate closings, and that the Kennedy Assassination TV specials were almost over.

   Natives and immigrants had forged a new land full of promise and opportunity, not to mention a paid legal holiday for government workers.  The legacy of that First Thanksgiving Dinner was a nation of amber waves, fruited plains, purple mountains and, thanks to the Indians, a thriving casino industry.    

The rest is history. You can look it up. God shed His grace on thee.


© 2015, David Chartrand