This in from the wire: Thanksgiving canceled. In an effort to streamline the holidays, the powers that be believe that removing the Thanksgiving barrier to getting merry and jingling bells will benefit the nation and individual communities. Preliminary data from recent studies show that while a small percentage of citizens still enjoy the remembrance of the New World's first settlers, the majority either take issue with it or prefer to ignore it.
Animal rights activists, turkey lovers who have traditionally celebrated Thanksgiving as a day of mourning for the succulent birds, call Thanksgiving a senseless excuse for the mass murder of misunderstood poultry. They are pleased that parents will no longer indoctrinate the nation's youth into the barbaric practice of humbly stating life's blessings over basted, browned death on the dinner table.
In more mainstream society, equal relief at the cancellation of Thanksgiving prevails. The man on the street throws up his hands, stating, "Unemployment is up. Foreclosures are up. Bank accounts are down. What have we got to be thankful for? War? Starvation? Poverty? National economies tanking?" The average Joe and Janet strain to conjure thoughts of gratitude; therefore, the pundits decided that skipping Thanksgiving will (1) clear the calendar so that the masses can focus on gearing up for goodwill and (2) relieve the anxiety caused by the discordant scene of scarecrows juxtaposed against Christmas lights.
Not everyone is happy with this decree, however. Retailers waged a mass protest against the outright cancellation, arguing that without a dark-meat Thursday, how could there be a lucrative black Friday?
As word came down to local municipalities, mayors urged chamber members to clear their fall adornments from downtown thoroughfares and storefronts. City workers took the first opportunity to ornament main street America with lighted symbols of the season. "This is nothing new," remarked one mayor. "We've been headed in this direction for years. Thanksgiving is a throw-away holiday. It isn't marketable and therefore it generates no tax revenue. It just makes good business sense to cancel it."
When asked what people should do instead on the fourth Thursday of November, one proponent of the cancellation suggested that folks perform a trial run of their Christmas dinners. Fearing that he ticked off his turkey-loving constituents, he added, "But a better use of the long weekend would be to invite the in-laws over to determine if you can tolerate them Christmas Eve through New Year's."
Many citizens report that they will use the day to deck their halls without the encumbrances of Indians and pilgrims. They look forward to staying awake for football games instead of slipping into the tryptophan stupor of yore. Some admit, though, that they will miss the leftovers and making mile-high turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce sandwiches. One gentleman summed up the sentiment succinctly, saying, "I suppose we can't have everything and Christmas, too."
Although not officially announced until afterward, signs of the pending cancellation appeared even before Halloween, when Yule-themed commercials crept into primetime television. Santas and snowmen sneaked into retail displays, pushing aside bags of treats printed with the Great Pumpkin, creating the question of whether fall was ever here at all.
In fact, word was released that scientists are working on a genetically modified year with only three seasons: spring, summer and Christmas.
A small group of concerned citizens has initiated a petition for the preservation of American history and tradition as embodied by Thanksgiving. So far they have succeeded in getting two signatures: each other's. A heckler reportedly jibed, "We'll keep Thanksgiving on the calendar if you can get Santa to sign."
Lucy Adams is the author of Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run. She lives in Thomson. E-mail Lucy at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit her web site, www.ifmama.com.