I want to take a poll among my readers: Who has experienced the state of post Thanksgiving Dinner Turkey Lethargy? I used to think it was an urban legend ( being tired was just a result of eating too much food, I thought)...until yesterday when I fell prey to its undeniable power.
It being the day of Thanksgiving, I partook of a great feast around one in the afternoon. The thing was, my plate wasn't particularly piled high with food. I took moderate portions of most things on the table, and yet, I experienced an overwhelming feeling of acute drowsiness throughout the afternoon. It's a family joke that I always have to seek refuge on the couch and lie down near the end of a long meal. But eventually, as time wears on, I generally perk up again. This time, I felt droopier and loopier throughout the day. The only thing that kept me awake was the knowledge that I shouldn't sleep with my contacts in my eyes, and I had no way to remove them, my solution and case being at home. Ah well. It wasn't an awful thing; it was actually kind of pleasant to be groggy. Being tired makes funny things even funnier.
Brad and Nate were talking about L- tryptophan, the chemical thing in turkey that makes one feel sleepy. ( For pictures of their carcass picking prowess, visit Penny's blog.) I thought about it and wondered if perhaps the Indians used to have some sort of explanation for this phenomenon in the form of a tale about the Revenge of the Turkey. I imagine it would go something like this... Turkeys are sacred birds and should not be eaten. ( Who knows? Maybe this is the reason for the later conflict between the natives and the settlers. Although, I suppose the natives never would have consented to eating that dinner in the first place if they had known it was turkey...But then, I am totally making this up... Sigh. The pitfalls of historical revisionism...But BACK to the fake legend at hand...) If a turkey is killed, the spirit of the butchered turkey ( that sounds funny- I think of only cows and pigs as being butchered- but why shouldn't it apply to poultry as well?) comes back to haunt the eater and afflicts him by causing him to sink into a state of severe sleepiness, thus exacting revenge upon his predator. Hmmm...Kind of a wimpy revenge, I guess, but then, the Turkey doesn't strike me as a particularly powerful or valiant creature. Ben Franklin and I are in sharp disagreement there. I believe I have mentioned before on this blog how he wanted to make the Turkey our national bird. Well, I guess, in a backwards kind of way, it kind of has become our national bird. I mean, practically the whole nation eats it on the same day of the year. How much more unifying can a bird be?
Somehow, I don't think bald eagle would taste as good...but that is neither here nor there...