A #Free #Story For #Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans, and, to all my fellows who are not Americans, Happy Thursday!

Here is a story I wrote when Paul Molyneux claimed that you couldn’t make money off a holiday devoted to family and gratitude.

The Cautionary Tale of Silas Rockport
by Marian Allen

Holiday_Cover_2x3Silas Rockport was the King of Thanksgiving. He began with Happy Thanksgiving Day cards (Traditional and Spiritual at first, followed by Contemporary and Humorous). Then, reasoning that atheists had no emotional investment in Thanksgiving, and vegetarians had no gustatory investment in Turkey Day, he instigated and funded a grass-roots campaign to conceptualize the celebration as Togetherness Day. He pushed it all over the world, as an exotic import from the swinging but oh-so-sentimental USA.

The Togetherness Day cards were a big hit, and so were the matching paper napkin/plate/tablecloth sets, hot-‘n’-cold cups sold separately. He did a big business in fragile centerpieces that only lasted a couple of years, but a soul-less rival came up with fragile-looking plastic ones that were indestructible, and Silas lost most of his market share.

That was when he had his first brainstorm: edible centerpieces for Thanksgiving/Turkey/Togetherness Day. The centerpieces–no! the masterpieces!–were spun of irradiated vegetable matter (artificial color and flavoring added) and came in a variety of styles and prices. One of the most popular was Autumn Leaves, made of cranberry sauce (red), buttery mashed potatoes (pale gold), sweet potatoes (deep gold), turkey–marinated tofu for the vegetarians–(brown)and pumpkin pie (orange). The higher-priced model sat on a revolving music box which played “September Song,” which wasn’t very appropriate, title-wise, but was all about the autumn leaves, and nobody ever remembered the real title, anyway.

His second brainstorm came after he had read, with mounting fury, a series of grateful letters from satisfied customers, telling him that they loved his company’s paper and plastic products so much they treated them gently, washed them carefully, and used them year after year with the pride of tradition. He knew that making a shoddier product would only alienate his market base, so they had him by the short hairs, there. Then it hit him–make the intended disposable products edible, too! He’d like to see them re-use something little Johnny had taken a great big slobbery bite out of!

The new items took off like wild turkeys. As the old paper and plastic goods eventually did wear out, the old customers bought into the new paradigm and, each year, the goods that weren’t eaten were run through paper shredders and given to the dogs. “Just like at that First Glorious Get-Together!” dewy-eyed people in commercials said, as music swelled and they choked back their humble tears.

Next, he launched a line of Togetherness Day action figures: Pilgrims, Indians, log cabins, scale model of Plymouth Rock, rustic tables, loseable and replaceable plastic foods, deluxe set includes your choice of Pilgrim or Indian costume in S, M, L, or XL, specify boy or girl. A Saturday morning action-hero cartoon show naturally followed, with a muscular John Smith, an equally muscular Powhaton, and warrior-babe Pocahontas uniting to fight the forces of Evil throughout the universe. The movie broke sales records on its opening weekend.

~*~

The rest of the story is free at Paul Molyneux’ Laughter Loaf web site, or you can buy a copy of the Southern Indiana Writers Group’s anthology, HOLIDAY BIZARRE. For more free stories, visit my Free Reads page.

Happy day!

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Send a character home for a harvest festival.

MA

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “A #Free #Story For #Thanksgiving

  1. Jane
    Twitter:

    November 28, 2013 at 8:21am

    Oh, you tease!

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
    And I hear Hanakkah won’t coincide for another 70,000 years. That’s about three Ice Ages from now.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Pete Laberge
    Twitter:

    November 28, 2013 at 6:50pm

    I have problems with the logic in this sentence:
    “Then, reasoning that atheists (1) had no emotional investment in Thanksgiving, and vegetarians (2) had no gustatory investment in Turkey Day, he instigated and funded a grass-roots campaign to conceptualize the celebration as Togetherness Day.”

    1. Atheists might be happy, even grateful for something. They might be grateful to each other, to a friend or family member, to their own good luck or fortune… Whatever. They would not be happy to “someone’s” deity, because they look at the world realistically. An atheist would probably not care whether you called the holiday “THanksgiving”, “Turkey Day”, “Togetherness Day”, or “Happy Pilgrims and Natives day”.

    2. The vegetarians would likely have little interest in the turkey, true. But some eat eggs, occasionally . Some eat fish from time to time. A few, do eat fowl on occasion. They are not 100%, Die hard, Pure Vegetarians, by some people’s standards, true. But they might still consider themselves Veggies.

    But they are still likely to eat the veggie casseroles, the obligatory green beans, the mandatory pickles, the required mashed potatoes, the necessary pumpkin pie. They either eat, or starve.

    Still, I like the story! And you know, I bet Togetherness Day would be a big seller. Mind you, single and lonely people would not care much for it. No one to be together with.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author
      • Pete Laberge
        Twitter:

        November 28, 2013 at 11:32pm

        I see nothing more logical than a blog where a cat posts.

        My cat, Sweedie used to talk to me all the time before he vanished.

        Noella’s cat buddy now gives me my orders. Apparently, cats CAN sub for each other. They are smarter than we give them credit for. (Or so Buddy claims!) But I know when he wants to go out or come in off the balcony, or when he wants catnip, of treats, and when it is time for me to “flush the litter box”.

        Sweedie was just a little tiny bit spoiled, and would inform me each time, as we lived together. Since I do not live with Noella, Buddy does not have that luxury. But If I go over, and clean up right away (my usual custom) and “nature phones” in between my coming and going, while I am still there, he will come and inform me. I do my duty, since, as he tells me, he has done his.

        Cats can be quite telepathic. What you write for him, he may have a hand in dictating…..

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        • Author

          Marian Allen
          Twitter:

          November 29, 2013 at 9:47am

          Katya is very good at communicating three things: “I want food and/or water,” “Pet me,” and “Don’t pet me.” Oh, and, “I hate you, other animal.” She often tells me she wants to go out, but then she’s like, “No, I don’t. Yes, I do. No, I don’t. Yes, I do ….”
          Marian Allen would love to share..Frog Marching FridayMy Profile

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          • Pete Laberge
            Twitter:

            November 29, 2013 at 9:56am

            RE; Katya is very good at communicating three things:

            “I want food and/or water,”
            THAT IS THE FIRST COMMAND CATS TEACH THEIR HUMANS!

            “Pet me,” and “Don’t pet me.”
            WELL, THE PET ME IS UP ON YOUR LAP. THE DON’T PET ME, IS THAT LOOK WHEN THEY STRUT OFF!

            Oh, and, “I hate you, other animal.”
            YES, FOR SOME REASON CATS ARE NOT INTO NICE NICE WITH OTHER THINGS.

            She often tells me she wants to go out, but then she’s like, “No, I don’t. Yes, I do. No, I don’t. Yes, I do ….”
            BUT THE THING IS, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT A HIGH LEVEL DECISION THE GOING OUT OR STAYING IN DECISION IS? ALMOST A NEED FOR A ROYAL COMMISSION!

    • Author

      Marian Allen
      Twitter:

      November 29, 2013 at 9:44am

      LOL! Over here, we used to have a commercial using the song, “Anticipation,” where the whole point was that the ketchup you have to wait for because it’s so thick and rich is worth waiting for. You’re the opposite of thick, and you may or may not be rich, but you’re always worth the wait!
      Marian Allen would love to share..Frog Marching FridayMy Profile

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