The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

November 30, 2013

Filled to the brim: Another Thanksgiving goes belly up

By Lynn Saternow

- — THANKSGIVING is over ... Black Friday is over ... the Steelers’ and  Browns’ seasons are over. Life is good!

Many people, including me, consider Thanksgiving the best holiday of all. Let’s face it, there’s no pressure to buy presents. There’s no major decorating to worry about. And you can eat until you burst. If gluttony is a sin, then there’s only one thing to say at Thanksgiving: “Bless me Father, for I have sinned.”

There’s no such thing as a diet on Thanksgiving. Everyone gets a break on that day. Well, everyone but turkeys, but somebody has to sacrifice.

One of the strangest traditions we have in this country is that every year, the president pardons one turkey that won’t have its head removed for Thanksgiving. But I wonder how many of those birds end up a week later in a supermarket freezer anyhow. Maybe the White House freezer.

And of course there was football. It was especially fun this year because we had a chance to see Pittsburgh and Baltimore play. That was great because for far too many years we only had Detroit and Dallas hosting games on Thanksgiving.


Unfortunately the Pittsburgh-Baltimore game didn’t start until 8:30 at night and many of us were comatose from eating too much turkey. Blame it on the tryptophan (or the beer and wine for some people).

Then came Black Friday. While I worked that morning, many people were out there looking for bargains at every store imaginable. I am not a shopper. When I need something I go out and buy it. Well, actually my wife goes out and buys it. If I had to shop I would be walking around dressed in rags with holes in my shoes. Quite a fashion plate.

My mum used to say: “Make sure you don’t have holes in your underwear in case you have to go the hospital.” If I had to go the hospital, having holes in my underwear would be the last of my worries.

“Dad, I broke my arm. Please get me a clean pair of underwear from the drawer so I can look good at the hospital.”

Then again younger people actually pay for jeans that already have holes in them. So maybe it’s OK for underwear too!

Still, I would rather pay double for something than have to go out on Black Friday in those ridiculous crowds. How bad do you really need something?

I did see a statistic in a medical magazine that one in 10 people is a shopaholic. That seems a little high to me, but I’m not sure what the symptoms are that qualify one to be labeled as a habitual shopper.

Just imagine what they go through on that day as they fight with other shopaholics over a scarf or a shirt or a purse. There are probably more concussions that day than in the NFL on Sunday. People are actually killed some years in crowds that rush into stores.

And don’t forget: We can look forward to participating in Cyber Monday, the biggest day of the year for online buying. Why is that? Is that for people still suffering from a shopping letdown from Black Friday?

Then again, it’s also probably the biggest day of the year for people returning stuff they decided they don’t need after all — like that half-price electric toothbrush that also can be used as a toilet cleaner.

The Herald’s Lynn Saternow writes this column each Saturday for the Opinion Page. He can be reached at