For once, we're on Hearne Christopher Jr.'s side. His editor never should have prevented The Kansas City Star's gossip columnist from publishing his REAL Thanksgiving column, which we found, mysteriously, tucked under our windshield wiper this morning, written in Hearne's own hand on a piece of spinach-stained parchment. Go to the Star's site to read the original column, in which he quotes the owners of Lew's Tavern in Waldo, a season-one Bachelor contestant, and Roger Naber -- the latter of whom being the only one who remained from Hearne's original, though in the original, published after the jump, he says something completely different.
Thu, Nov. 15, 2007
THANKSGIVING: THE SAILOR MAN'S DELIGHT
By Hearne Christopher Jr.
Forget the war on Christmas ...
How about a little hand-wringing for Thanksgiving? Some say it’s losing its luster, trapped between the glam and commercial holidays of Halloween and Christmas.
Even Seattle’s trendy Jones Soda Co. is axing its turkey and gravy seasonal bottled beverage for limited-edition Christmas and Hanukkah theme packs.
In our modern material world, social sentiment takes a backseat to retail sales. But not for one hardy seaman and his pals.
“I don’t think people eats enough spinach on T’angsgiving," says Popeye the Sailor Man. "Jonesies oughta make a spinach sodie, don’tcha think? Or just bottle my fist! Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh!”
“All dese palookas wants to do is eats the turkey! Turkeys makes ya go to sleep. I’m strong to the finich ‘cause I eats my spinach. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!”
I joined Popeye for a cup of grog at Lew’s bar and grill in Waldo, a favorite hangout of the one-eyed mariner and his crew -- including his nemesis, local nightlife marauder Bluto “the Terrible.”
“Blaaaaaaaar! Have a cigar, Hearne!” says Bluto, offering me a cigar box that contains a spring-loaded boxing glove. “Happy ThanksGIVINNNNG! Bwahhahahah!”
That son of a bitch is paying for my latest facelift.
“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday on which to eat a hamburger,” chimes in J. Wellington Wimpy, who has been a Lew’s regular for decades. “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger on Thanksgiving. Or, if you prefer, you can come over to my house for a duck dinner. You bring the ducks!”
“This Thanksgiving, why, I’d be thankful for a clean-shaven man,” says Lew’s server Olive Oyl. “And that kinda fella's sure hard to come by this time of year. Why is it men grow their beards out in cold weather? Nyyyeaah. Do they think it actually makes them warmer? Not at bedtime it doesn’t!”
“Blow me down!!!” says Popeye.
One Kansas City Thanksgiving tradition still going strong: The Thanksgiving Day Breakfast Dance at the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kan.
“It’s the longest-running music tradition in Kansas City, to my knowledge,” says promoter Roger Naber. “I’ve been going to breakfast dances for 31 years now. And so have these two sailors, vagina sailors, I like to call them! One of 'em’s a real big, musclebound fucker, kind of has this tiny head and big scraggly goatee. The other’s this bald runty guy with forearms the size of turkeys but thin biceps. Big butt-chin. Always chewing on a corncob pipe and muttering. Sashaying in on one of these guys’ arms, every year, is this skinny little broad with batty lashes and her hair in a bun. Inevitably, this bitch gets the two sailor guys fighting over her. I don’t know how she does it -- no stuffing up on her table, in my opinion. But these two bastards are crazy about her. Usually, the big guy starts off with the upper hand, but every time – it’s insane, Hearne – the little guy gets his hands on a can of spinach. He busts it right open with his fist, downs the thing, juice and all, then turns around and kicks the big dude’s ass and leaves with the broad! Man, you gotta see it. I swear, they’re on drugs. By the way, we’re expecting nearly 1,000 people this year. … Johnnie Taylor’s sons are opening the show for Millie Jackson.”
I asked Popeye for comment on his and Bluto's alleged antics at the dance each year. "I yam what I yam," he solemly replied.
-- Jason Harper