Thanksgiving is known for leftovers, so allow me to share a few with you.
Literal leftovers first. The smart celebrator expects to have leftover turkey and plans accordingly. At this point, we have it down to a science. On the day after Thanksgiving, we have cold turkey and use up the leftover gravy, stuffing, and any other sides that didn’t get done in on Thursday. Saturday is turkey sandwiches for dinner. The next week, turkey sandwiches for lunch. Any remaining turkey goes into the freezer with the bones for use in soup.
Those of you who don’t eat meat may not be aware that there is a religious war over the proper semi-liquid for a turkey sandwich. Below is a poll to see how many sides of the war my readership represents. We’ll check in on the poll results next week, and I’ll let you all know just how misguided you are.
Thanksgiving’s post mentioned plans to watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 marathon. As it turned out, we never quite managed to turn on the marathon, so we fell back on our own collection of shows.
MST3K, for anyone who doesn’t know, was the show that popularized the concept of actors heckling a bad movie for the entertainment of all. Just as The Daily Show carried on under the guidance of Jon Stewart when original host Craig Kilborn left, MST3K had multiple leads. The show began in 1988 with creator Joel Hodgson in the leading role; he left in 1993, and Mike Nelson took over until the show’s end in 1999. Joel/Mike arguments continue to this day. Not to fan the flames of that war, it should be noted that Mike was the head writer for the show, meaning he was responsible for many of the jokes during Joel’s tenure.
We watched two shows, one each from the Joel and Mike eras. “Master Ninja I“, a “movie” created by splicing together two episodes of a short-lived TV show starring Lee Van Cleef, Tim Van Patten, and a gerbil, came from season 3. It’s perhaps best remembered for it’s contribution to musical culture: a stirring rendition of “Master Ninja Theme Song” by Joel and the Bots.
Season 6’s “Girls Town” is a stunning mish-mash of date rape, stalking, bad girls, and nuns starring Mamie Van Doren, Mel Torme, Paul Anka, and The Platters. Unfortunately, the MST3K version isn’t commercially available (the link leads to Amazon’s page for the VHS release of the original film), but if you’re OK with downloading a copy from the Internet, your effort will be rewarded. Mamie’s Van Dorens try to dominate the show, but Gigi Perreau’s crazed stalker Serafina steals the show, clearly scaring the heck out of Paul Anka who struggles in the role of Jimmy, the object of Serafina’s unnatural affection. The MST3K crew is in top form and the jokes fly furiously. This episode ranks high on my list as it even includes a Seattle Mariners joke.
Interestingly enough, Kaja, our own bad girl, seemed fascinated with Girls Town. She sat up with her eyes on the screen for most of the show; the other cats slept through it.
Finally, reports are coming in that this year’s expanded Black Friday was a resounding failure. Purchases were down almost 3% compared to last year. Analysts expect panic sales over the next few weeks as stores try to make up the shortfall.
I’m inclined to regard this as a good sign. Not that I think it will cause retailers to rethink this year’s “Black Thursday” approach that caused so much protest, but I do think it will result in next year’s starting even sooner.
“Wait,” I hear you ask. “Why is that a good thing?”
Simple. History shows us that retailers are blind to the notion of diminishing returns when it comes to advertising. Black Friday will stretch earlier and earlier until it takes over the entire month, smashes into Halloween, and collapses into disorganized mass mess indistinguishable from regular advertising.
And, as a special bonus, advertisers will be so busy pushing “Black November”, that they won’t have time to start the Christmas advertisements until December. Anything that saves us from a whole month of Christmas carols is an enormous win for our sanity.