Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm Thankful To Be Back

Hello, Readers.  I know it's a huge assumption on my part that my salutation is still plural; however, I'm feeling horribly optimistic today.  I'm certain that most of you ceased wondering where I've been and when in the hell I'm going to post some time ago, but humor me here.  I'd like to explain for--if nothing else--my own edification.  I'll be brief. 

As most of you know, Some Guy's day job is as an attorney.  Granted, that word alone conjures up images of greedy, ruthless, money-hungry hucksters uttering nothing but half-truths sandwiched between words like "notwithstanding" and "allegedly" or pointing directly at you from a highway billboard or the back of your phone book. 

Incidentally, if you currently use a phone book for anything other than a booster seat during your toddler's haircut, please open the door and walk outside.  There's a whole world out there waiting to surprise you with its technology.   Phones are actually their own phone books these days and they no longer have cords.  They do, however, make lousy booster seats.  Anyhooo . . .

I suppose my industry has its fair share of those aforementioned huckster types, but in my experience it's not any better or any worse than any other industry.  It's more apparent, perhaps, but not any different.  The profession is much maligned.  I believe there are many reasons for that; some are fair, most are not. 

For the past 14 months I've been working on a case involving the most horrible death imaginable.  For privacy's sake and out of respect for the surviving family members--of which there are many--I won't go into detail.  Suffice it to say that the case is an extremely contentious one between the opposing parties in addition to being especially adversarial between the lawyers.  Put all of that in a bowl and mix in an inordinate amount of travel, many 12-14 hour days involving shouting matches, verbal jousting, not-so-veiled threats, graphic color pictures, and diametrically opposed theories of the apparent cause of the "accident" and you'll get an idea why I have had neither the time nor the inclination to wow you with witticisms lately.

Everyone is playing for keeps with this one and I take my duty to vigorously and unapologetically advocate for the family's interest very seriously.  Granted, I take that duty seriously in every case I handle.  I this case, however, I've come to take it very personally.  At my level of experience, that occupational hazard rarely, if ever, makes an appearance anymore.  When it does, however, it's difficult to handle.  I hope that explains my absence.  With that out of the way, let's get to the good stuff. 

Happy Freaking Turkey Day, Folks.  Yes, it that time of year when retailers across the world fill us with holiday cheer like Thanksgiving Day turkeys packed from neck to rectum with stuffing.  It's time to shake off the serotonin stupor and post-alcohol haze in order to venture out at 4 a.m. on Friday in anticipation of the opening of the nearest Best Buy or Wal-Mart to land the best Black Friday deal possible while simultaneously trying to avoid being trampled literally to death.

It's time for perfectly rational mothers to shake off any modicum of civility toward any other human being in the name of securing the last (insert name of this year's hot toy) in the store so her little angel--sleeping innocently and unknowingly at home or perhaps locked in the laundry room with a jug of water and a sandwich while 'mommy shops'--can have the perfect gift from Santa this year.  It's time for everyone's overbearing mother-in-law or creepy uncle to add stress to an already stressful weekend.  It's time for single, childless people and the black sheep of the family to huddle together and drink their faces off attempting to kill the pain of being ostracised.  In short, it's time to forget about the real reason we have a couple of days off this time of year.   

School children are forced to memorize outdated, historically inaccurate, culturally insensitive songs about Indians and Pilgrims harmoniously breaking bread together in the New World in order to perform them for anxious parents obliged to sit on miniature plastic chairs in the school cafeteria while others jockey mercilessly for position in the SRO section with cell phone cameras and iPads fighting for a glimpse of their little angel mouthing the words in unison.


Incidentally, I've been to one or two of those "Fall Presentations" before and they never teach the kids a catchy jingle about giving the Indians small pox and "purchasing" their land with fire water and shiny trinkets before herding them together like the buffalo they used to hunt and making them walk to Oklahoma in the cold 210 years later.  Perhaps that bit was cut due to time constraints.

As if the blatant mischaracterization of their history and the complete marginalization of the systematic disassembly of their entire way of life are not enough, we rub it in by dressing the kids in construction paper head dresses and face paint.  There's always that one chubby white kid or the Asian kid in the Indian costume that strains the authenticity of the depiction for me.  There hasn't been a casting error that blatant since Leonardo DiCaprio played Howard Hughes in The Aviator.  They might as well take the chubby white kid and the Asian kid and put them in blackface during the Civil War reenactment play.

Alright, I'm exaggerating.  Lord knows I'm not that cynical and all of you know that I'm far from that culturally sensitive.  All I'm saying is that they should at least make the Mexican kids play the Indians and the white kids play the Pilgrims.  While they're at it, they should give the fat kid a hall pass and send him to the back of the classroom with a snack.  After 65 days at sea on the Mayflower I seriously doubt there were any fat Pilgrims.  Now let's get back to my cynical side.  I find it far more interesting than my preachy, indignant side.
Here's a Thanksgiving kid's song I found online. In addition to its fiendishly clever lyrics, its author was so devoid of originality it was actually annotated above the song that it is to be sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot."  Sing along with me, would you? 

I'm a little Indian on the go,
Here is my arrow and here is my bow.
When I go a-hunting, hear me shout-
Bears and buffalo better watch out!

I'm a little pilgrim on the run,
Here is my knife and here is my gun.
When I go a-hunting, hear my shout-
Deer and turkey better watch out!

As delightful as that is, I've taken the liberty of writing a few supplemental versus.   Sing along with me, would you?

I'm a displaced Indian on the go
The paleface took my arrow and stole my bow
When I'm robbed of my dignity, hear me shout
Small Pox and Dysentery, I'd better watch out!
I'm a Presbyterian Puritan watch me twist
I'm an old fashioned English Separatist
The Indian people helped me and that's just great
My progeny will oppress them until they assimilate

Now THAT'S the version I want to hear the kids singing at the play.  I find the thought of the judgey school moms' jaws hitting the floor between their seasonal winter boots--which are so in this year, by the way--hysterically funny.

Incidentally, while Googling "kids pilgrim costumes" in order to find the pictures above, this popped up--which I also find hysterically funny--and unusually confusing.  I'm guessing that there were few Pilgrims dressed like this in Plymouth.  Perhaps this is the traditional dress of the San Francisco Pilgrim who, unlike the Plymouth Pilgrim, had an affection for chilled sangria and dancing.

Alright, let's talk about my real opinion of Thanksgiving. 

Throughout my entire life my Thanksgivings have--like for a lot of people--grown increasingly secular in nature.  It's another long weekend to be enjoyed with friends, football, and plenty of the aforementioned fire water.  However, I always take a moment or two alone to say thanks for the things in my life that were supposedly placed there accidentally by Someone responsible for making us all. 

I suppose we all have a version of that Someone and we all have a version of how "accidental" the things in our lives actually are.  The Pilgrims believed in pre-destination.  The Indians didn't.  The Pilgrims wore funny hats and doilies around their shoulders.  The Indians were shirtless and wore headdresses.  They believed that the Earth was where God showed himself and found the Bible to be nothing more than a book as strange as the people who brought it across the ocean with them.  The Pilgrims were a structured, patriarchal society governed by strict rules dictating their entire existence.  The Indians were a largely matriarchal society of hunters and gatherers who lived communally. 

They were opposites.  Regardless of what Manifest Destiny would eventually visit upon the Indians and in spite of the strife the Pilgrims would endure in their New World, they were all able to come together as equals in November of 1621 and be thankful for the good things in their lives.  The first Thanksgiving was a recognition of an abundant harvest in spite of seemingly insurmountable difficulties.  Take a few moments during this hectic weekend and sit alone in order to appreciate the abundant harvest in your own lives in spite of your own seemingly insurmountable difficulties.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.

Thanks for continuing to stick around.  I'll post as often as I can.  Enjoy your weekend.  In the meantime, if you need me, I'll be hanging out in the back of the classroom with the fat kid eating a snack. 




  1. Welcome back! I'm glad that even though your work life has been very hectic, that at least it's been for a worthwhile cause. Thanks for the Thanksgiving laughs. So true about the awful things we lie to children about. I think kids can take the true version of the holiday and then maybe they will have one less thing to be angry with their parents about when they get older (following Santa Claus & the Easter Bunny of course) :)

    To me Thanksgiving is trying to be thankful for all I have while trying to forget how awkward sharing a meal with family and in-laws can be before venturing out into the insaneness that is Black Friday.

    Happy Turkey Day!

  2. One comment. Whew. I'm thankful I have one reader left! Enjoy your holiday, RLS

  3. Missed you!! Your wit brings such insight to unusual things - love it. Enjoy your Turkey Day and cold Lone Star.....that's what I'm having

  4. Hey Some Guy-You are a real jive turkey!! Sing along with me won't you? Ja ja ja jive talking! Oh my Lord your job sounds so stressful and your posts are so funny, I can only imagine you hitting the point of writing because you need to make yourself laugh. How the Bee Gees made it into this post is surely a gift from above bc that pic is riot-ous! I need to frame it and keep it by my desk.

    Thankful for you and this holiday laugh. Wishing you safe travels from your Sharpstoned friend in north ATX.

  5. Dear Some glad to have you back! Happy Thanksgiving

  6. Good that you can take a break from what sounds like some horrific lawyering (is that a word?)
    Growing up when I did, the sales on Black Friday actually meant something cause there were big winter sales twice-once after Thanksgiving and once after Christmas. This has become such a joke with the biggest sale of the year ads every week. The whole spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas have been squashed. But such is life.
    Good to see you back in form.
    Sal In Utah

  7. Salutations DP!
    I giggled at your poem.

    I copied and pasted the nursery rhyme, and affectionatley sent it to a friend of mine who is a transplanted Canadian living in the Sunny South of Florida. Its her first US thanksgiving, and being a new mom, I thought she'd love to teach her baby boy this saucy little "number". hehe. as ever you are a slice of sarcasm and wisdom. much enjoyed.
    L, in Ontario

  8. I'm still an international blogger! Good to know. Stay warm up there in Canada. Thanks for writing. DP

  9. So happy to see a new post. Always great to read your thoughts, glad you were able to set aside a bit of time to share.

    Ann in Denver

  10. Great post! As someone who is in education, I am always perplexed by the Pilgrim and Indian dress up day. I'm also annoyed by the mounds of attention showered on Christopher Columbus. Are there no other people to highlight in the fall? Well, now I'm off topic!
    Hope you've had a great Thanksgiving and best of luck on your case! Happy Holidays :)

  11. Good to have the regulars chiming in. I hope all of you had a good holiday. I'm traveling AGAIN this week but perhaps I'll find time to write. DP

  12. Great Holiday post (although I read it today). Hope you had a wonderful time before going back to lawyering (if it isn't a word, it is now). I always look forward to your posts.
    Paula In Sacramento

  13. DP, We're grateful to have you back. I hope the holiday break helped lower the temperature of all the parties involved in your intense case and that you, SLF, and all your readers had a great Thanksgiving.

    Btw, I can't for the life of me figure out how the Brothers Gibb popped up during your Google search. Perhaps our friends down under don gold lame disco outfits to celebrate their version of Thanksgiving?

  14. I don't know about everyone else, but I am definitely buying a "kids pilgrim costume" for Halloween next year. It is spot on.

    Welcome back, dude(for the moment). Hope your life calms down soon.


  15. Glad you're back, even if just for a little while. I hope everything goes well in your case. While we miss you when you're gone, it's completely understandable that this case is much more important. Just proves that you are one of the good guys!

    Loved your song verses! I hope you and your family had a lovely Thanksgiving.

    Denise in Alabama

  16. Enjoyed your comments as usual, haven't had a chance to catch up until today (Nov. 29th) See even your loyal followers have to do that work thing!
    Soon I will have more time since I'm retiring, come December 21st!!!! If you need a ghost writer, give a holler-I'll never tell!
    While your life is so much more interesing, mine will be all mine - can't wait!!!
    B in NY