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Every year, on the fourth Thursday of November, USAmericans celebrate the feast of Thanksgringo by cramming a giant bird into their stoves and sharing a tense meal with annoying relatives.

Most Americans hate turkey which is why they slaughter so many of them at this time of year. After the annual massacre, Americans consume the birds in the Thanksgringo feast that pays tribute to pioneer spirit, stolen land and over-indulgence.

Forgetting how foul last year’s turkey tasted, families will gather around dry, overcooked carcasses and tell folksy stories about the brave pilgrims who, fleeing Old World intolerance, managed to sneak an entire continent out from underneath its original inhabitants.

To make the dreaded bird more palatable, resourceful cooks will accessorize it with caustic  cranberry relish, marshmallow encrusted pumpkin pie, gravy drenched giblets, and a variety of roots and tubers coated in burnt cinnamon.

Gringo Thanksgiving is an awkward, disaster fraught family feud and celebration. Before the feast, it is traditional for children to gather around an imported TV and watch American football, the modern version of ancient Roman gladiatorial competitions. Enjoying ritualized violence helps impressionable youngsters bond with their racist uncles, angry grandparents, and mean cousins.

When the meal is served, Americans thank God for granting them more horsepower, firepower, and body mass than all other nations combined. After saying grace, the cook is often moved to tears when the in-laws garnish everything with traditional displeasure.

Unfortunately, Thanksgringo is not without risk. Last year, an entire subdivision perished when someone tried to mask the gamey taste of turkey by stuffing it with shredded paper and slathering it with motor oil before dropping it into a deep fryer.

Just like the pioneers of old, when the feast is over Americans race to shopping malls and trample each other in celebration of another New World tradition known as “Black Friday.” Seething with pent-up aggression, we turn Costco and Wal-Marts into mixed martial arts cage fights for baubles and bargains.

Thanksgringo means Christmas is just around the corner. Which means another chance to kill turkeys, argue with our spectrum-y relatives and prowl the day-after-Xmas sales as our pilgrim fathers no doubt intended.

R.S. Gompertz is a native of Southern California who currently lives and writes in Seattle. He recently completed a tour of Mexico and South America during which he spent several weeks in Cuenca, to which he hopes, someday, to return to live. His most recent book, “Life’s Big Zoo,” is available on Amazon. For more information about his life, work and travels, click here.

30 thoughts on “Thanksgringo

  1. Thanks for the laughs, Mr. Gompertz. It’s funny how Ecuadorians are so eager to pick up traditions from the “new world”. Most of it probably starts from the trend setters returning to their homeland. We now have (fake) Christmas trees and ornaments that begin selling in October, Halloween parties, and Easter egg hunts. Easter traditions are still emerging as there is confusion between chocolate eggs and genuine rabbit pellets. This time of year it’s black Friday sales, or even funnier – black month sales! If they ever start celebrating Thanksgiving, I’m packing my bags.

    1. Lorenzo, it’s those ‘new world’ trends to the cash register. Have you tuned out those Christmas tunes in the background yet? Any excuse for a ‘cash holiday’…

  2. I tried really hard to accept this article as funny. Alas, I could not. Absolute hogwash masquerading as humor. This writer should find another pastime.

    1. What a sourpuss! Just because you don’t get it you don’t have to be rude. Nuance and irony are not for everyone.

      1. I have no trouble understanding nuance and irony. And I am not a sourpuss. This attempt at humor is just infantile and nonsensical. Not in the least bit funny.

        1. Is not
          Is so
          Is not!
          Is so!
          IS NOT
          IS SO

          Blah, blah, blah. One man’s happiness is an 8 point buck while another man’s happiness is a 30 foot putt. I love Gompertz and I’ve never been wrong in my life.

          Have so
          Have not
          Have so!
          Have not!
          HAVE SO
          HAVE NOT

          There, I had the last word so I must be right.

          In life it is important to know when to stop arguing with people and just let
          them be wrong.

          1. Thank you for your keen, definitive insight. Gompertz has a right to express himself, as do other people (me included) who do not “get” the weak attempt at humor. But thank you for advising all of us kindergartners on how to think, and comport ourselves. If only we could all ascend to your lofty level of the all-knowing.

      2. Get what? If we are honest Thanksgiving enjoys a place right next to the tooth fairy. Designed to help smooth ruffled feelings from the civil war (which it did not) it has become another retail frenzy. Half of the world’s population is going to bed hungry and will tomorrow as well. And pass the stuffing.

  3. Yup, the only reason founding fathers, the crusades, went to North America was for the bird’s l-tryptophan and they weren’t letting anyone get in their way. Now we celebrate the sacrificial day of thousands of birds and thousands of people and watch more barbarism on a medium source called tell-a-vision…in the name of god.

  4. This is the grumpiest, old-curmudgeon thing I ever read. Who do you claim to be speaking for, Mr. Gompertz?

      1. Unfortunately my mom died in 2010 so I couldn’t go to her for an explanation (as suggested here). Although unnecessary, and just to be sure, I did look up the word “satire”. I got “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.” I don’t like being accused of lacking a sense of humor or intelligence any more than anybody else, but I still find this a stretch. Really? Celebrating this classic American holiday with family and friends is “stupidity” or a “vice”? Nope. I still disagree. I’ve always enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to this Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving!

        1. Ray, you are apparently even more dense than I originally thought. The reference to your mother is METAPHOR. Now go ask someone who you love and respect who is alive, to explain the whole thing to you.

          I don’t know Gompertz at all but I guarantee you that he is not anti-Thanksgiving. Ask him.

          1. I’m surprised, and sad in a way, this critique I began on a piece of writing has so quickly escalated into a direct and aggressive attack on me as a person. I’m assuming by your use of all caps that you’re shouting at me. Correct me if I’m wrong but it also seems apparent you’d prefer to use much stronger language, if the publication would only allow it. And all this over my critique of an article that completely trashed Thanksgiving? This is not where we should be heading regarding how we communicate with each other, either face-to-face or in a public forum such as this one.

            I occasionally get together with a few other guys for coffee. A couple of weeks ago I missed a day but later learned the discussion got so heated one of them punched another one in the face. The coffee place threw us out making it very clear we’re not welcome back, and the guy who did the punching hasn’t been back to the group. The thing is this. They were discussing Christianity.

            If we were discussing this piece on Thanksgiving face-to-face would you be taking a swing at me? If so, then how could we ever discuss anything deeper, politics for example? Vicious personal attacks, verbally or otherwise, are not where we should be headed. I’ll admit they’re increasingly common, but they really don’t get us anywhere. They just show lack of control, nothing to be proud of.

            1. Ray, really? All of that for 6 innocuous lines of text from me, wherein I capitalize a single word for emphasis which you construe as yelling at you? Why don’t you address the points I make instead of deflecting and feigning being offended? Perhaps we could get somewhere then. Alternatively, if you are truly that thin skinned, perhaps you should avoid public forums entirely.

  5. Many of the articles I read in Cuenca Highlife are offensive jabs at gringos, and everything from this writer is offensive

  6. Sarcastic humor is an artform, but appreciating it requires a modicum of intelligence. Read the comments on Gompertz article with that in mind.

    1. it is artform that unfortunately is lost on this article (and the author). I can laugh at pretty much anything (and i mean ANYTHING) if its funny but this is just not good sarcasm…. “Thanksgringo”? i mean come on? did a 5 year old come up with that?

  7. Unfortunately there is no nutritional value in hyperbole. That being said Mr. Gompertz will make a great expat. Happy Hollendaise and Seasons Bleatings!

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