Thanksgiving expands with our waists
DESPITE the range of dangers circling overhead so far in 2005, from earthquakes to the bird flu to Kevin Federline's new hip-hop career, most of us are still lucky enough to be just days away from the five-week final furlong known as the holidays.
First on tap is Thanksgiving, arguably a Digital Slob favorite -- especially for those who don't have to go Greyhound and negotiate bunk space with a third-grade second cousin just to hook up with a respectable turkey leg.
To make a long wikipedia. com story short, in 1621 Pilgrims started Thanksgiving as a celebration for a bountiful harvest and surviving hardships. It was an outdoor feast that included Native Americans.
By 2005, it had evolved into a celebration for bountiful mid-sections and surviving high cholesterol among relatives. It's now an indoor feast that includes watching football and eating pumpkin pie until nodding off to the dulcet tones of Verne Lundquist on CBS.
"Why can't everyday be Thanksgiving?" you might be tempted to ask. Well, without boundaries, all holidays lose their magic. Imagine if you added that Count Dracula outfit into your weekly rotation. Imagine if coeds refused to pull their shirts back down once they returned to Psych 101 class from Fort Lauderdale.
But the packing-it-on traditions of Thanksgiving are expanding well beyond late November, actually, at roughly the same rate as our waistlines -- helped along by sodas that are so big they're water hazards for small animals and by the two Twinkies we routinely buy at 7-Elevens that now come with that third one that's there to top things off -- you know, for dessert.
Sucking down this much "thankfulness" is now almost a full-time job.
But why blame our giant selves when Digital Age messengers are such giant-er targets?
Bathroom scales used to be diplomatic, moving back and forth like a pendulum within a 10- to 15-pound range. Digital scales, on the other hand, are about as subtle as Donald Trump when he's running so late for a formal function he enters "The Apprentice" boardroom wearing a tuxedo.
Why can't someone invent an LED scale that allows you to turn the tact up or down? You want "228.7 pounds," you got it. You want "220-ish," you got it. You want "'One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.' -- Sophocles (circa 490 B.C.)," you got it.
Sometimes something occurs to you as a child that seems so profound that confirming it as an adult would only ruin its mystique. Such is my theory on why senses dull as we age. Long ago it hit me that Mother Nature probably makes grandpas lose their eyesight so they will be spared seeing grandmas get all fat and wrinkled (this probably goes double for grandmas).
How many couples went splitsville back when the best treatments for fuzzy vision were crocodile dung and lizard blood? How many since? Divorce lawyers likely owe their new yachts to advancements in LASIK eye surgery as much as anything else.
So, to review, earthquakes, cholesterol, Girls Gone Wild, 228.7 pounds, crocodile dung and divorce -- all subjects worthy of further discussion at your Thanksgiving feast.
At least until you pass out with the remote in one hand and pumpkin pie in the other.