Gut Check: Making simple sense out of life
By Lenore Skomal Erie Times-News staff blogger
Lenore Skomal is an award-winning author and veteran journalist in all forms of media. She is a weekly columnist and daily blogger for the Erie Times-News. She’s authored 17 published books, including an anthology of her columns, Burnt Toast available on her website   Read more about this blog.
Posted: November 24th, 2011
Take a break from holiday festivities

Obviously, you are hiding from relatives if you are online right now and reading this. Here’s something to keep your brain alert if you just ate turkey and the tryptophans are setting in.

1) Thanksgiving originated in:
A) America B) Canada C) Toledo

2) Which American tribe did the Pilgrims share Thanksgiving with?
A) Wampanoag B) Iroquois C) Mohican D) Mitsubishi (Hint: Not this.)

3) How many feathers does a mature turkey have?
A) 3500 B) 35,000 C) 35 million D) None of the preceding

4) What percentage of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
A) 88 percent B) 39 percent C) 76 percent  D) who cares?

5) What historical figure wanted the turkey to be our national bird?
A) John Adams B) Ben Franklin C) Millard Fillmore D) Barack Obama

Answer key:

1) Trick question. It depends on who you ask. Canadians claim rights to the holiday because they say their’s dates back to 1578 while America’s first Thanksgiving wasn’t until 43 years later in 1621 at Plymouth Rock. Historians have argued about this but the general consensus is the actual concept of a holiday dedicated to giving thanks (versus simply a tradition) goes to the Americans. However, the idea of giving thanks for the harvest has been around since man tilled this earth.

2) The Wampanoag. Algonquian-speaking North American Indians who formerly occupied parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts and were almost completely wiped out after their chief died by the same people they celebrated Thanksgiving with.

3) 3500. But who’s counting?

4) I would say, who cares? But apparently the answer is 88 percent. I am in the 12 percent minority.

5) Ben Franklin. Good with lightning and setting up governments; bad with marketing.

I hope you scored well. Now it’s time to go back and visit with your sister-in-law. Pass the red wine, please.

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