The Canadian Thanksgiving weekend is about to begin. It is the weekend Canadians traditionally give thanks to the First Nations who helped us kick American ass during the war of 1812. That war was the only time the Americans were ever beat if you do not count Afghanistan (where they managed to take Kabul and damn little else); Iraq (where they look to be having trouble maintaining control of Baghdad); Vietnam (the war which continues to give the American Dream nightmares); and the War on Drugs (which they lost decades ago).
The Thanksgivings I remember best were the ones spent at an uncle's place watching summer vacation slides projected on a living room wall after the old people were shitfaced and the kids sedated by doctored kool-aid. In those days by the time October came along we were well into winter and we needed a slide show to help us remember the few weeks of hot weather spent gawking at girls wearing hot pants and halter tops. My grandpa invariably fell asleep and sleep-talked about his war experiences during the slide shows. He never talked about the war except when he was sleeping. When he mumbled, "Get down! Get down!" or, "Incoming!" we were never quite sure what he was talking about, especially when names like June, Elizabeth and Margaret followed his lusty shouts.
Grandma would grit her teeth at each mention of the female names we were all quite familiar with. Grandpa must have nailed every skirt in England when he was not training to kick first Italian and then German butt.
When I got older I would mix my grandma double gin and tonics and drink cognac and smoke cigars with my grandpa. Actually I smoked my cigars on the patio in the Dope City dark.
Every Thanksgiving, after I came in from the porch to enjoy my brandy, my Grandpa would ask me, "Beer, how can you smoke that crazy shit?" I guess I had a different answer every time he asked. I smoked the crazy shit to keep me awake during the slide show and avoid getting in a sleeping conversation with my Grandpa about the merits and demerits of English birds.
We both knew that in comparison with Canadian women, English women were turkeys. Gobble, gobble.