Pumpkin Pie, Thaddeus Green, and the Origin of the Kiddie Table

Pumpkin Pie, Thaddeus Green, and the Origin of the Kiddie Table

2112894143_288eae1a3fYou’re probably going to be offended by this (Especially if you are a pumpkin pie fan). But the truth must be shared to the masses. And that truth is this: pumpkin pie was a compromise. Pumpkin pie made it into our Thanksgiving tradition only as a measure of last resort. It’s not what was meant to be.

“You had one job to do!”

It all began at the first Thanksgiving. Thaddeus Green and his family will not show up on any list of the Mayflower passengers in any history book or a museum. There is a reason for that. Thaddeus was the most hated man in the New World. You see it was Green’s singular task to make sure the boat had chocolate on it. Instead, the night before the Puritans sailed to the New World and said goodbye to the sin and debauchery of merry Old England, Green decided to have one last evening of sin and debauchery. Green was much more committed to the sin and debauchery than the loading of the chocolate.

“There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.”

So, when the Pilgrims got to Plymouth and unloaded, there was no chocolate. No chocolate for pie, for cake, for smores, and cookies. The Pilgrims were devastated. So, when Thanksgiving rolled around, they had to improvise. And that’s how we got pumpkin pie. They also decided to use pumpkin as a compromise with other things like pumpkin bread for chocolate cake, pumpkin spice latte for hot chocolate, etc. There is no pumpkin recipe that wasn’t born out of a want for chocolate.

The Pilgrims were so mad at Green and his family, they wouldn’t let them sit at the large banquet table for that first Thanksgiving. Instead, they had to sit at a small table that was half as high as the rest. When the Native American Chief inquired about the strange family that was being shamed at the small table, William Bradford replied, “They are the reason we only have pumpkin pie for desert.”

The Chief pondered this for a moment, called for his bow, and fired an arrow through the heart of Green. The Chief really had his heart set on chocolate pie. The Pilgrims cheered the death of Green but immediately sent a boat back to England to get chocolate before the next Thanksgiving. That boat sank and Native/Pilgrim relations were never the same.

So, when you reach for the pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving, remember it was a compromise. It is a lesser pie. Be sure to offer a chocolate or pecan pie as an alternative. Or make sure none of your guests are packing a bow.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Carry on, Citizens!

photo credit: pumpkin pie via photopin (license)

The Fungo Society is available now!

Click here to order. 

Click here to download the first 3 Chapters for FREE!


Geographic Oddities

Geographic Oddities

I live in a geographic oddity. A baseball Bermuda Triangle if you will. Indianapolis does not have a Major League Baseball team and hasn’t had one since pre-television. The closest teams are in Cincinnati, Chicago, and St. Louis. That’s two, three, and four hours away, respectively. And that’s what makes this a geographic oddity: Cubs, Reds, and some Cardinals games are regularly blacked out by MLB.TV. It doesn’t matter that I have paid $130 for their premium package. It doesn’t matter that these three teams are hours away.

This doesn’t impact me as much as the rest of my family. I see almost all the Padres games I want. But every time their Cardinals play the Cubs or Reds, they are out of luck. What’s more ridiculous, is that we often can’t get any of these games on cable. Of course, I have a solution to this. If MLB teams want to claim the viewing rights to a city that is more than an hour’s drive from their location, they should be forced to play at least three games per year in that city! Think about that: the Cubs, Reds, and Cardinals playing games in Indianapolis!

Here are a few other geographic oddities for you to ponder:

El Paso, TX is closer to San Diego, CA than it is to Houston, TX.

From City Hall in Samford, CT, you can go due East, due West, due North, or due South, and eventually reach New York.

If you go far enough due South of Buffalo, NY, you will reach the Pacific Ocean.

The “Northwest Angle” of Minnesota can only be reached by land via Canada.

Bolivia maintains a navy, despite having no coastline.

The hotel Arbez Franco Suisse sits directly on the border of Switzerland and France. The line runs through the kitchen, dining room, gift shop, and some of the guest rooms. Pick the right room, and when you go to bed your feet will be in France while your head will be in Switzerland.

Carry on, Citizens!

Crossing Japan Off My List

Crossing Japan Off My List

Do you have a list on countries you would like to visit before you die? You might want to cross Japan off your list. I just did. I can handle the crowds. I can navigate around my dislike of sushi. I can adapt to the customs of the Japanese people.

Except one.

The one I discovered within the last hour.

And it’s a thing. A real thing. Confirmed by literally minutes of internet research.

The name of this bizarre custom is Kancho.

Kancho is the practice of making your hand into the shape of a gun (see above) and then poking it into someone’s bum. The booty. The butt. The derriere.  Apparently it is a common practice in Japanese schools —sometimes as old as middle school! And it’s perfectly normal and acceptable!

Now, I don’t know about you, but I can probably name off a half dozen people I went to school with that never quite grew out of childhood. It happens in every culture. So, I’m pretty certain that there are more than a few people running around an island of 127.3 million people that are still not out of their Kancho phase. Don’t believe me? Japan’s version of ComicCon attracts over a half million attendees! If you’re still dressing up as your favorite comic book player (not that there is anything wrong with that), you might still be attached to some other things you learned to love as a child.

So go to Japan if you must. Just beware of people making their hands into a gun shape. They’re not playing cops and robbers…

Carry on, Citizens!