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Toward A Unified Theory Of Tan Foods

A bunch of lemurs at the San Francisco zoo eat a version of Thanksgiving dinner at an actual table.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

You all know what time it is. The sun sets in the late afternoon; days are the annoying kind of cold that isn’t even really cold; the leaves have not just turned, but fallen. It is absolutely and positively tubers-and-cabbage season not just in terms of what is growing out of the earth at this moment but in a broader vibological sense. All of which makes it sound pretty grim, admittedly, and contextually—just in the immediate fact of another damn plague holiday, and the season and its shrinking days and the empty branches and all that—it is all, admittedly, decently grim. And yet: Thanksgiving is one of the very good holidays, and it is the holiday of this season, and it is here, and this is good.

This is not any kind of paradox, really. It is just a good thing to be able to get together with people you care about and eat too much, and that is true even if everyone is over-fed by the time the sun goes down and actively sleepy two hours later. Or, anyway, we like it. We like it a whole lot.

This episode of The Distraction went live just a few minutes into Thanksgiving, and Drew and I were both mentally and emotionally very much In Thanksgiving Mode when we recorded it on Wednesday. Astute listeners will have noticed as much by the time I (earnestly, and with great interest) ask Drew to explain his recipe for creamed leeks; every listener will have noticed it when, several minutes later, we are still talking about our favorite sides. Because we are The Thanksgiving Boys, it goes on like this for quite a bit—our various tables and menu plans, our aging parents and their strange secret longstanding feuds with various side dishes, a long and objectively heated appreciation of those crispy fried onions that you put on top of green bean casserole or, if you are Drew, just eat straight out of the container.

We do this episode or something like it every year (last year, Albert was involved) and I am not really sure it is in us to stop doing it. Given that the alternative is talking about one of the most dispiriting slates of Thanksgiving NFL games in recent memory, I don’t really feel compelled to apologize for any of this. One thing that was not mentioned in here, but has been pointed out to me by listeners on Twitter, is that there is in fact a very good reason why our parents hated Brussels sprouts, which is that they really did suck until being re-engineered fairly recently. That’s a good thing to know about. Isn’t that more fun than talking about the Lions?

In the back half of the show, we…talk about the Lions, a little bit, and also remembered Leon Lett, a little bit, and Drew continues to make his case for the Indianapolis Colts as a sleeper Super Bowl team. (The Colts are not playing on Thanksgiving but also yeesh, have you seen this damn slate.) The Funbag was, as ever, a simultaneous celebration and investigation of the outer limits of gluttony and domesticated idiocy and generally acceptable Thanksgiving misbehaviors. For Drew and I, who love those things and love this holiday very much, this was a delight. We know that we are lucky to be able to do this dumb stuff, and very grateful to all of you for making it possible for us to do it. On this day of happy, harmless bad decision-making, we hope that you will (safely, responsibly) make the bad choices that make you happiest. I want to make clear here that I am not referring to continuing to subscribe to this website.

While I’m listing the various things I’m thankful for, I might as well mention the live Distraction we’ll be doing at Caveat in Manhattan, on Dec. 8. I am very much looking forward to being in the same room with The Big Dog and however many listeners can make it out, and to doing our weird Shouting And Muttering thing with real people in the room. If you cannot get to that venue at that time, you can buy a livestream for a very reasonable price. Obviously right now you should focus on those more holiday-specific bad decisions, but when you are ready you can learn more about that here.

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