Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Danger! An Idle Mind at Work ...

A new word for us - dox. 

Verb "doxing;" past tense "doxed" as in "I doxed him, so hah!"  This sounded rather sinister to me albeit at least bloodless.  As opposed to "I offed him."  The Sopranos taught me all I want to know about that.  Off topic, the bathtub beheading did it for me; I never believed in the show after that.

Dox means:  document tracing.  An opponent finds you despite your having a stage name (so to speak.)  Example:  you sign yourself "Squeaky Wheel" and thinking you are perfectly anonymous, write extremely rude comments online.  If you have offended another commenter sufficiently, they may be inspired enough to find out who you really are as in legal name, address, city, country.  And then to tell the online world.   

Why turkey?

Turkey became our national Thanksgiving meat almost by default.  The Pilgrims were by no means well-to-do.  They wanted a celebration, but they didn't want it to be so lavish that they had to eat corn cobs all winter.  Worriedly, they cast their eyes around their barnyards for a suitable meat.  (Vegetarianism was unknown at this point.) 

Cows were immediately out of the running because they were much more useful alive than dead.
Roosters are famously tough eating and prep time did little to, er, soften them up.
Hens laid eggs and were productive on very little feed.
Venison was too time consuming - first find a deer (plentiful, it must be said) kill it and peel or skin it.  The hides were useful, but the few wives who were fashionistas, were tired of "Always buckskin?  Can't you find some minks?"
There were tons of hams and pork, but they weren't considered chic enough for a holiday meal.  (Clearly they'd changed their tune by the time Easter rolled around.)

Turkeys won by default.  They spent the first seven months of their doomed lives eating the insects and worms that plagued the farmer and by the time T-Day rolled around, they were usually a convenient size for the oven and then dinner. 

Another factor that may have contributed to their demise was Charles Dickens.  His book "A Christmas Carol" was published in 1843 and much was made of Scrooge's gift to the Cratchit family of a big fat turkey.  As the book was widely read in America, one thing led to another.

COMMENTS RE THE ABOVE - One critique pointed out that a deer is time intensive as it takes a long time to stuff one.  Another reminded me that it was a GOOSE for the Cratchit family, not a turkey.  Both are right.  For any confusion arising from this column, I apologize.   

Speaking, however vaguely of the Brits, swan used to be on the holiday menu, but it, too, was labor intense and time consuming.  Swan au naturale  was fishy tasting.  The swans had to be fed a grain diet for quite some time to get rid of it. 

Speaking of the Brits

However peripherally ... during the recent onrush of various Americans to Canada, I ran across a handbook on how to behave in London, specifically. 

The winners in the Do Not List were - do not talk to us on the Tube.  We don't want to hear it.  We are not interested in making friends on the Tube.  Do not ever stop and block sidewalk traffic.  We are not tourists; we have already seen multiple times whatever you are gaping at and we have places to go and specific times to be there.  So herd your group off to a side, and gawp as much as you want to - just not in our way, thenk you.

Some comments:  In defense of the charge that Bad Teeth dominate, comes this reply:  The U.S. has the highest rate of toothless people in the developed world. 

Aussies are the biggest wusses at drinking, but I would say from personal observation that they are the farthest thing from wusses.  They can swill down gallons of beer and remain relatively upright.  Americans fall like autumn leaves in comparison. 

To a wanna-be visitor vis-à-vis the numerous bad-tempered Muslims, "Why the death wish?"

But the winnah!  from an American to a wanna be Brit visitor:  "Come to the South, we don't like the rest of the country either."

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