Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Trytophanian Thanksgiving

Trytophan—an el camino acid found in turkey that purportedly makes people tired.

Scientists have repeatedly asserted that the drowsiness frequently experienced on Thanksgiving can be attributed to the eating of a big meal and not specifically to eating turkey. Still there are some who continue to believe that eating turkey makes you tired. (See wikopedia – trytophaniacs). I’m with them. It’s true. I’ve experienced it. I offer a summary of my day’s happenings as living proof.

This morning I was in bed dreaming about turkeys, and I didn’t fully wake up until all the cleaning around the house was done and the real turkey was prepared and in the oven.

And then the smell of the turkey cooking made me so tired that I couldn’t even help set the table and prepare the side dishes that I insisted that no one else make but me. (I found a secret recipe on the back of an instant mashed potatoes box. Hint—add extra butter.)

I took one look at the giant Turkey balloon in the parade, and my eyes instantly glazed over and I couldn’t hear a single word of the things people were asking me to do, especially about vacuuming the living room or answering the door. You’d think by the way she went on that Aunt Gilda had never waited out in the freezing rain for ten minutes before.

Then came actually eating the turkey. I was so sleepy during the meal that there was no way I could fight back the belching—let alone say “excuse me Pilgrim,” as is the custom of the day.

Then after the turkey dinner, I barely had enough energy to ask someone to bring me a turkey sandwich, while I sprawled out on the couch watching the game. Truth be told, I couldn’t even stand up when my team scored a touchdown. I had to just raise my two hands above my head, then fold them back behind my head. I was asleep by the time the extra point went through.

I probably should not have had that last turkey sandwich. My drowsiness got so bad that I could not even control what I was saying or doing. There’s no way that I normally would have kept asking Aunt Gilda to loan my thirty-five dollars. And I certainly wouldn’t have slipped her a note that read: put the cash in my pie or a Pilgrim gets it. I had ancestors who were Pilgrims (or maybe it was pilferers—whichever is the one where they were the big hats with buckles on them and steal packs of gum from stores).

I was so tired from all that turkey that there was no way I could help with the dishes or even tell anyone that I had put my dirty plate under the couch because I was too sleepy to take it to the sink. It took all my energy to keep yelling to my wife from the kitchen to come join me and I would do the dishes later. Although, I think that last part was the turkey talking. I meant to say the dishes would get done later.

I usually stay too sleepy to help with the dishes for several months.

At one point my mother pulled me aside and said she needed to talk to me about something really important. Tears rolled down her cheeks and she drew me close. I could smell the turkey on her breath, and I was asleep by the time she could control her tears enough to start talking.

When saying goodbye to all of our guests I would have loved to have zipped up my fly, which I just noticed was down, but by then I was totally exhausted. All I could muster to do was give a half wave and mumble “gobble gobble.”

I didn’t even have the ambition to tell them to come again sometime or even to give Uncle John his coat back—even after he asked for it a couple of times. Give it a rest John. Man, give that guy some more turkey.

Before dozing off for my third nap, I thought about all the pilgrims and why they were so set on eating turkey all the time. Were they having trouble sleeping? Did they want their Native American guests to do the dishes? Was that really “so rude and embarrassing?”

Before crashing for the evening, I complained to my wife about the effects of all this turkey on my system. She said that she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary in my behavior today. I guess maybe she wasn’t quite as sharp as usual; she did have a little turkey herself.

Well, when all is said and done, maybe I still haven’t convinced you of the effects of tryptophan. But at least, I can leave you all with this—the pilgrim’s Thanksgiving prayer:

A happy turkey to all, and to all a good gizzard. Gobble, gobble. Amen.


Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Thank you for giving our family a great Thanksgiving story to read! So funny! Reading this might just turn into our Thanksgiving tradition.

April said...

Do you know a good attorney? I need to sue someone for plagerism.

Jared and Melissa said...

Really April?? You wrote a story about being too tired to zip up your fly? I'm not buying that for a minute. If you're looking for some attention in the blog world, try updating your own blog... it's about time you do!

Chad, turkey makes you very tired.

ronandlindahatfield said...

Get this published. It's really good -- unless April is right and you copied it out of Readers Digest.

Chad and Amy said...

I think the trytophan syndrome extends to other stimulators like messy diapers, yard work, back massages...really just about anything. You must have chronic fatigue.