THANK YOU MERCI AND SHNORHAGALOOTYOON

Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever and if you disagree with me–I will fight you! Don’t even try to argue this point. Every other holiday involves spending ridiculous amounts of money on gifts–or cards–or candy–and by the time you’re done raiding your checking and savings accounts–there is very little left–let alone any sense of self-satisfaction knowing that you spent hundreds of dollars on gifts for people you don’t really like. Not Thanksgiving. On this day–whatever money you spend–it’s either on food or travel–two things that always mean having a good time. Thanksgiving is the most perfect holiday for a number of reasons. There are so many–but I made a list of the top ones.

1. Thanksgiving hasn’t been whored out to Hallmark and other greeting card companies. The only people who exploit and commercialize this holiday are cranberry–yam–pumpkin–and turkey farmers. No one wants to have a huge inflatable turkey on their front lawn or a Pilgrim and Indian holding hands. Halloween has the pumpkin. Christmas has the tree. Easter has the eggs. Thanksgiving has the juicy–edible–turkey? which brings me to my next point.

2. Is there a better way to celebrate any event than consuming mass quantities of food? Trust me on this one. Thanksgiving wouldn’t be as popular if instead of eating we had to fast for a full day like Ramadan. Plus–what other day allows you to have hommous–tabouleh–turkey–yams–green beans–stuffing–pita/lavash bread–soujoukh–basturmah–khorovadz–ikra–AND pumpkin pie? Enough said.

3. FAMILY

Say what you want about being able to pick friends but not family members; it’s still great to have everyone around the same table. Even if it means the inevitable awkward topics being brought up in front of random relatives. Last year my family would alternate between "When is Skeptik getting married?" and "When is Skeptik going to get a real job." This year I’m hoping to deflect some of the pain and suffering by implying that one of my cousins may have a serious drinking/gambling problem. It’s not true but anything is better than having toasts made to my fertility and grandchild providing potential.

4. In fact–combining number 2 and 3–it should be obvious to anyone that this was a holiday tailor made for Armenia’s. Is there anything that Armenia’s do better than coming together and eating? It’s almost like the first American settlers knew that four centuries later–a group of hirsute [ED: this word means "covered with hair"]–clannish settlers from the Transcaucasus Mountains was going to settle in an area to be called Holly Wood and Dale of Glen and would eat–drink–and open up thousands of mini-grocery stores in strip malls alongside massive banquet halls.

5. HAVING DAYS OFF FROM WORK

There’s nothing quite like that Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day at work when you are about to take the day off and keep starring at the clock. I’m convinced that national productivity drops about 60 percent in that 4 hours before everyone gets off of work. People are just giddy and don’t care. And come 4:59 p.m.–most offices are ghost towns.

6. THE ANNUAL TELETHON SHOW RAISING MONEY FOR ARTSAKH

It’s actually a very impressive program. The Armenian community comes together once a year and decides to actually put on a decent–quality television program with music–art–and entertainment. Meanwhile–you might be able to catch a glimpse of your little cousin from Alex Pilibos either working the phones or picking his or her nose in a corner of the studio. Good times and a good cause.

7. Any lame joke told by your grandmother or grandfather or member of your family playing off the pun of Turkey (the Republic) and turkey (the bird you’re about to eat). These jokes are horrible and make no sense but when told by an older Armenian person looking to make a comparison between a chicken-like bird and an oppressive nation–then they automatically become funny. "Why is Tanksgiving the best holiday for Armenia’s? Because we love to eat Turkey! Get it? Turkey like the Turks!" I really heard this one last year. Given–it’s not funny–but the fact that my friend’s 65 year old aunt did find it funny–had me on the floor rolling all night long.

So between food–family–vacation and wholesome–unadulterated goodness–there isn’t much that Thanksgiving doesn’t offer. And for all that–we give "thanks." which is the single best reason to celebrate Thanksgiving. Few other holidays make us take pause of the hustle and bustle of our daily lives and make us think about what we should be thankful for. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving–I have created my own list of things to be thankful for aside from my family–friends–health–and such.

I–Skeptik Sinikian–am thankful for:

THE INDICTMENT OF VICE PRESIDENTIAL CHIEF OF STAFF SCOOTER LIBBY

I’m grateful for the fact that the Vice President has been knocked down a peg or two as a result of this and won’t be able to steamroll his oil profit politics down people’s throats for a brief time.

THE CASTRATION OF HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER TOM DELAY

When I heard that DeLay had been indicted–I could not help but dance the Mipos Dance of Joy. No man has had more animosity and arrogance towards toward the Armenian Cause than Congressman DeLay–a man whose career was in pest extermination–before he became a pest himself in Washington–and refused to allow a vote on the Armenian genocide Resolution time-and-time again–while using his pulpit to preach a staunch pro-Israel foreign policy.

DAVID NALBANDIAN WINNING THE MASTER’S CUP IN CHINA AGAINST ROGER FEDERER

When tennis’s new darling–Federer–beat Tennis’s old darling Agassi at the US Open–it marked the end of a great era of Armenian tennis fans. It broke my heart to see the once heroic Agassi struggle against the youthful and arrogant Federer. So it was with as much joy when I saw internationally 6th ranked and Argentine born ARMENIAN David Nalbandian handily defeat pretty boy Federer. David should change his first name to Vrezh (revenge) after that classic victory. For Armenia’s it looks like tennis is the new chess.

I’M THANKFUL FOR SYSTEM OF A DOWN’S NEWEST ALBUM and for all the hard work those young hairy [ED: hirsute] hard rockers do to raise awareness about the cause. We have multiple organizations out there working to raise awareness about the horrors of the Armenian genocide–but to no avail. These four young punks get up with their harsh lyrics and Middle East inspired rock melodies and raise an entire generation to their feet–all screaming for justice. That’s just beautiful. Rock on boys. Rock on! (By the way–their new album just came out. Buy it. If you don’t listen to it–give it to your younger cousin. But do support these boys.

I can go on with my list but I’m running out of space and I hear my folks calling me from the kitchen. Apparently–someone forgot to get the yoghurt and some tomatoes. Maybe Trader Joe’s or one of the "Nbaradoons" [ED:Bakhal] is still open. Until next time.

Skeptik Sinikian wrote this column while deep frying a turkey in olive oil and making his world famous cranberry tabouleh. If you would like to receive the recipes for either of these delicious dishes or would just like to tell Skeptik how arrogant/stupid he is–email him at SkeptikSinikian@aol.com or visit his outdated blog at www.Sinikian.blogspot.com.

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