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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Killing Thanksgiving

I'm mad as hell. Somebody stole my turkey day and it will never be the same again. Every year in November, untold numbers of turkeys are slaughtered for Thanksgiving feasts around the U.S.A. But this year, malevolent forces were out to kill the very holiday itself. Not with a gun. Not with a hatchet. Not with some explosive device. The killing weapons of choice? CREDIT CARDS!

I am not a fan of Black Friday. BUT when it's moved up to in Thanksgiving Day, Thursday...well that just makes my blood boil.

Have we become a nation of the most ridiculous, conspicuous consumer FOOLS on earth? The invasion of Black Friday into Black Thursday is a perfect example of how easily American consumers can be sucked in by giant retailers into thinking they're getting a good deal. Yes, I realize that we are a consumer driven society but why are we so easily snookered by giant retailers? For the love of God...the Good Will Store was having a Black Thursday sale on Thanksgiving Day.....the Good Will!  So....maybe you could buy somebody's worn, musty, dusty, old tweed jacket for $1 instead of $2.00?

Thanksgiving is the one holiday of the year that is slightly less consumer driven than most. Family, feasting, fun and football on TV or a rollicking, ragtag game of football outdoors with the more agile members of your family clan. The Thanksgiving tradition I've always enjoyed is steeped in homespun, happy times centered around gratitude and appreciation for the blessings we have and for the people we love. All that and plenty of turkey and all the trimmings are symbolic of this special day out of the year set aside for thankfulness and pleasant family togetherness.

NOT ANY MORE! This year, the historic and noble feast of Thanksgiving Day was unceremoniously bull-dozed aside by pure, unadulterated greed. Greed on the part of retailers, many of which opened early on Thanksgiving morning. Insanity...on the part of frenzied mobs of shoppers who are lured like cattle to a slaughter-house of bargains. It's merchandising madness gone terribly awry. Frantic, deal hungry shoppers play right into the avaricious hands of lustful merchants who gleefully ring up sales with the swipe of millions of credit cards as fast as a thief can pick your pocket.

I don't begrudge retailers making money. They can cram in as many customers into their stores with as many clever discounts and cheesy marketing tactics as humanly possible. I used to be a marketing believe me I know all about wild and crazy ad campaigns. HOWEVER, I just hate it when businesses invade our family Thanksgiving celebration and turn respectable dinner companions into ravenous shopping sharks who jump in the car and fiendishly race after a good deal, turkey leg still in hand....on Thanksgiving Day.  Like deer in the headlights, Americans are easy targets for these modern-day Scrooges of the retail industry.

I'm sadly afraid that it won't be too many more years down the road, that Thanksgiving Day will be a mere footnote in American history....replaced by "Happy Retailer Day". The iconic Thanksgiving American holiday will be killed off by rapacious retailers who prey on naive, bargain-smitten shoppers. I like a deal as much as the next person, but I'm not going to risk my life for one.

I know perfectly lovely people who have made a tradition of Black Friday shopping. Most days, they appear to be completely normal, sane individuals. But on Black Shopping weekend, they degenerate into crazed bargain demons. They salivate with excitement over the thrill of a deal at 3 a.m. Camp out in the bone-chilling cold and wait in line for hours. All for the inglorious degradation of getting clobbered senseless by a flat screen TV sailing through the air.

I wonder how the early Pilgrims would react if they could see the hoards of pushy, vicious, desperate, ferocious bargain fanatics trample over their grandmothers to get a deal on a Kindle or a 15 piece Rachel Ray cookware set. Life in the rugged wilderness near Plymouth Rock might actually look tame compared to the near savagery of Black Thursday and Black Friday. Those intrepid Pilgrims might just high tail it back to England if they ever caught a glimpse of screeching, screwball shoppers diving head first into the bottom of a giant bargain bin at Walmart to snag the last Hello Kitty toaster.

I guess I just don't appreciate all this depraved, wacky kind of shopping fun. So I'll just help myself to some left-over turkey stuffing and fervently hope that Thanksgiving Day will still be on the calendar next year before it's totally killed off.

And they call this "fun" ??

Oh, the insanity of it all!

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Sunday, November 18, 2012


Do you Pin? As in Pinterest? For the unenlightened, Pinterest is the darling social networking site of 2012. It's a virtual pin board. It allows members to organize and share anything that interests them by "pinning" images on a theme board. Sort of like a digital scrapbook. People have become so addicted to Pinterest they call it, pinsanity. A lot of stuff on Pinterest is aspirational. Wishful thinking. Collage displays of travel spots you dream of visiting someday or clothes you'd really love to wear when you lose that extra 30 lbs. Recipes are popular on Pinterest too. My friends who unabashedly adore Pinterest, admit that it's often more fun to look at mouth-watering food pictures than get up, walk to the kitchen and actually real time.

In the United States, females make up 82 percent of Pinterest users. But outside of the U.S., Pinterest members tend to be mostly male....57 percent men in United Kingdom, 79 percent men in Japan and 74 percent men in France. Hmmm...I wonder what the trendy Pinterest themes are in Paris?

Honestly, I don't have much interest in Pinterest. I was invited to join by friends and so I did. But I just couldn't get hooked on it. It involves a LOT of time. Facebook is my social media drug of choice. I don't fault anyone who uses Pinterest but I often wonder how they find the time to peruse all the stuff that's on it.

Frankly, Pinterest gives me an inferiority complex. Like I need another one. There are all these millions of women on Pinterest every day, who display photos of how they make their own candles from scratch, whip up 12 layer cakes, boil their own cutesy soap in the shape of reindeer, plan extravagant menus fit for royalty, redesign the interior of a cruise ship, work up chic decorating ideas for a mansion most of us could never afford to own, and cleverly clip garden shrubs into topiaries that resemble each member of their family.

Me? I'm just lucky to drive to the Post Office, buy stamps and not have an accident on the way home.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Buck Stops Here...Literally!


This might be sad to hear
But I’m not fond of deer.
They may strut with grace
And have a cute, cuddly face

But they don’t know their place
When they debase
My garden space.
It’s a disgrace.

They devour every flower
And for good measure
They smile with pleasure
Noshing on my blooming treasure.

I yell, I plead, I shoo them away
But to my dismay
They won’t stray from my garden buffet.
It’s their favorite hang-out cafĂ©.

I'm not fooled by their bambi looks
Those doey eyes out of story books.
They steal my plants in broad daylight
Or sneak around in the dead of night.

Spring, summer and fall
They have a culinary ball.
Even during snowy winter
They eat my evergreens down to a splinter.

Now listen up, you hungry beasts
I’m tired of providing your daily feasts.
You just finished off my beautiful mums
And you’re still coming back for tasty crumbs.

I’ve had it up to here, you pesky deer
Enough is enough, so you’d better stay clear
Of my precious garden plot.
Trot back to your own forest lot.

Oh I know, we’ve invaded your territory
But boo hoo on that old sob story.
I don’t shoot at you or sling arrows your way
I don’t even eat your meat, I dare say.

So do me a favor if you please
Return to the woods with big oak trees,
Ticks and fleas and lyme disease
And leave my flowers to the birds and bees.

Now if you abide by this humble truce,
You will not replace our Christmas goose.
But if you don’t stop your nibbling ways
Then it’s roasted venison for the holidays!
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