Boy, just when I thought I had the world all figured out, along comes this whole Thanksgiving imbroglio. As you may be aware, we up here in the Canadian part of North America celebrate Thanksgiving in October, while it is celebrated in November in the United States part of North America. Heaven knows when they celebrate it in the Mexican part.
It was not always thus, that our respective celebrations of Thanksgiving were scheduled on different days. In the past, somewhere between 50 and 20,000 years ago, the ancestors of our great nations gave thanks on the same statutory holiday date and enjoyed one last long weekend in the autumn to kick back, relax, barbeque a few buffalo, and quaff a few mugs of ale.
It all began when that great Nordic nation that is located somewhere way over the other side of the Atlantic Ocean possibly as far away as Taiwan dispatched boatloads of Vikings to discover Minnesota. These Vikings were a hardy lot, enduring wave after wave of ocean waves, scurvy, reality TV, loneliness and desperation, and a proto Kirk Douglas dancing around the outside of their boats on their mighty oars.
On their way to discovering Minnesota, they first discovered a “new found land,” which they called Newfoundland, which later became part of Canada, and to this date, is still the only part that speaks Nordic, which is why we cannot understand a thing they say.
Anyway, the Vikings sowed the seeds of content by giving thanks that they had found someplace safe to land after being tossed around in the Atlantic like lettuce in a salad spinner for the past four months. A few boatloads stayed behind to settle down while the rest of the swarthy adventurers strode off in search of Minnesota, which they finally reached after a very long wait at the border because they failed to declare their boatloads of stuff to the native customs officer.
The following year, they remembered what a great time it was they had giving thanks back up north, so they decided to start a tradition of giving thanks in Minnesota on the same day. And these two traditions held fast while Canada and the United States went through their early development, matured, and were getting set to retire, when the War of 1812 came along.
The War of 1812 was a nasty little bit of business between our two great nations whose details I do not even want to go into lest I dredge up some long forgotten grievance that was probably the fault of the United States anyway. After the dust had settled, one of the few things that were agreed upon was that we would no longer agree on when to celebrate Thanksgiving. Hence, complicated formulae involving harvests, the cycle of the moon, and electoral contests, were derived to set the dates of our respective holidays firmly in October and November, give or take a few weeks. The only remnant of this long settled dispute is the occasional muttering about our celebration being “the wrong holiday, in the wrong country, in the wrong month,” by certain presidential candidate nominee senators.
Now that we have reviewed the history of Thanksgiving, I want to give thanks that I am able to share with my American brothers and sisters an unsettling holiday development that befell Canada on our just past celebration.
Shortly before our holiday on October 11, I was sitting around with absolutely nothing to do, so I started leafing through the mound of grocery fliers that had assaulted our kitchen table. I came across an ad for something called “tofurkey.” There was a picture of a brown meatish dish festooned with the normal sort of things that you festoon a turkey with.
I have personally eaten tofu, and recall it being somewhat bland, tasteless, and without substance. Sort of like a stale rice cake, but less appealing. I understand that tofu can be manipulated into all sorts of faux foods like tofu burgers, tofu fries, and tofu catsup, but I have my lingering doubts. To me, digging into a Thanksgiving tofurkey would be like digging into a salmon steak without the fish. Judging by the picture, I don’t think you would even need a knife to do any of the digging, maybe just a tofork, or a spofoon.
So you have been forewarned and I urge every American to be on the lookout for a gofobbling invasion of tofurkeys crossing your northern border, assuming they can even get past that native customs officer.
Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and is the principal behind the services of Statistics Courses. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.