Al Batt: I’ll let the moon shine down my throat after Thanksgiving

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tales from Exit 22 by Al Batt

That’s what I’ll do if I ever get hungry again after Thanksgiving. Instead of eating, I’ll let the moon shine down my throat.

Al Batt

I hope the Doppler weather radar gave you perfect Thanksgiving meteorological conditions for someone to guard the food while the rest gave thanks.

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Hope looks to the future, gratitude to the past. My mother was up early before anyone in a house of early birds. She soft-shut doors and drawers, eschewing sleep because it’s as easy as pie when you’re eating it, but not when you’re baking it. She taught us to be as thankful for a little as we were for a lot. Thanksgiving blessed us with such an abundance of food that, each year, one dish sat forgotten and forlorn in a corner of the kitchen.

Tecumseh said, “When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.” 

In his book, “Born for Love: Reflections on Loving,” Leo Buscaglia wrote, “Years ago I had a Buddhist teacher in Thailand who would remind all his students that there was always something to be thankful for. He’d say, “Let’s rise and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we may have learned a little. And if we didn’t learn even a little, at least we didn’t get sick. And if we did get sick, at least we didn’t die. So let us all be thankful.”

I’m no Magellan and I’ve been lost many times and I’ve been found each time. I’m thankful for that. Somewhere, a skunk sprayed today. It didn’t spray me. I’m thankful for that.

I’m neither a gourmet nor gourmand and I admit to not cherishing the turkey part of the meal as much as I should. To me, the turkey is a cardboard box carrying the good stuff. A neighbor eats as if he’s in a holiday contest and threatened to get an earring so something would still fit him the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, he contemplated putting leftover stuffing into his pillow in place of the lumpy foam. On Black Friday, he’ll be lucky to have room for toaster crumbs. He’ll wear sweatpants until he quits cold turkey cold turkey.

Thanksgiving takes a lot out of us by putting a lot into us. It’s a free pass to gluttony. If you need anything, reach. If it’s out of reach, ask another to reach for you. I said to a nephew, “Is your passport in order? If it is, pass the mashed potatoes.”

We eat as if it doesn’t matter, but if we dare stand in front of a TV showing an exciting 43-0 football game, we’ll hear, “Step aside, you make a better door than a window.” Turkey meat isn’t transparent. Family members add weight. It’s the plump kin pie.

One dropped plate can cause an international incident — the overthrow of grease, the downfall of turkey, and the destruction of china.

We gobble until we wobble, the kitchen looks as if a mob hit had occurred, and we set our bathroom scales to cheat. We eat until we can’t eat another single thing, but pie, mashed potatoes, gravy and rice pudding aren’t a single thing. We follow the meal with a Lipitor chaser.

Benjamin Disraeli said, “I feel a very unusual sensation — if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” I’m thankful for each moment — some more than others.

It’s good to pause each day and ruminate on your blessings, but not when you’re at a green light. When you count your blessings, make it a huge number because of the good things coming your way and the things you worried about that didn’t happen.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.” I know being you can be a thankless job, but I’m grateful for your company. Thank you for being you.

We’re given many moments each day. We need to use some to say, “Thank you.”

Have high hopes. It’s a great day. May your beautiful moments linger.

Al Batt’s columns appear in the Tribune every Wednesday.