The Next Big Thing

February 27, 2013

Authors Johnny Drago and EC Crandall were tagged by Troll Thread author Sarah Dowling (Birds & Bees) to talk about their first book, as part of The Next Big Thing.


What is the working title of the book?

Executive Privilege: An Erotic Satire by Dale Vigor and Teri Dee Strung

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea for this book sprang from our heads fully-formed, like Athena crawling out of Zeus’ skull, or Jane Fonda crawling out of a bottle of white table wine.

What genre does your book fall under?

Experimental Jazzaerobic Corporate Soap Opera

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Definitely Jane Lynch for Carolyne Feldencrest, done up in Ann Margaret corporate sleaze. Gay home fitness tycoon, Peter Mansfield, will be played by Anderson Cooper. Their respective lovers should be played by Tracy Chapman (Destiny) and, again, Anderson Cooper (Giles). A hologram of Jane Seberg, of course, will play administrative assistant Mipsy Mippenstein.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A no holds barred sexual romp through America’s gay and lesbian corporate elite, circa 1983, OR Capitalism kills, aerobics save lives.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Three months of writing four or five nights a week. Imagine the video for a Paula Abdul ballad with lots of paper flying from typewriters and red-faced arguments over scotch and Keanu Reeves looking stupefied and out of place.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Falcon Crest, Dynasty, the surrealist novels of Gore Vidal, 80s women’s sitcoms, pulp, feminism, F=I=T=N=E=S=S poetry, Kalup Linzy, and our mutual contempt for HRC power gays.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Executive Privilege is the first book in a series of genre experiments called the Feldenfield Saga. The second book is a Cannonball Run cross country, murder mystery psychological thriller featuring the same cast of characters. It’s called Big Rig to Nowhere, or Honk If You’re Guilty.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Executive Privilege is out now, published by Baby Robot Press out of Atlanta.

Our tagged writers for next Wednesday are:

Topside Press authors Imogen Binnie and Kelli Dunham

Check Out Our First Novel!

October 20, 2012

Click here to order!

If you hated 50 Shades of Grey, you’re gonna love (or hate)…  Executive Privilege!

From the creators of Breeder’s Digest comes a timeless tale of shoulderpads, oversized glasses, and monogrammed everything

Carolyne Feldencrest and Peter Mansfield have been sworn rivals since their business school days at Columbiard. Now corporate titans in Manhattan’s bustling fitness district, these two will stop at nothing until they crush any and all opposition standing between them and the good life—which, in 1983, is defined entirely by material possessions, hair-pulling catfights, and sexual abandon.

It’s like Falcon Crest, but somehow even gayer…

Delight at the gay and lesbian corporate gold status elite, as they jockey for power, descending into an underworld of tacky fabrics, shameful memories, and enough unspeakable sexual desires to make your eyes roll around like children at a fire drill.

Finally, an erotic soap opera your abuelita will want nothing to do with!

That’s right! Stop, drop, and roll your way over to, and invest in the only book that can ever truly save your life (also available in slightly less life-saving e-book format!).

Remember gang, a pull-up’s just a sit-up on your face!

Lesbians in the Mist: CSA Edition

July 19, 2011

As I’ve already explained in this blog and posted numerous times in the town square, lesbians are good friends to have. Doing neighborly favors comes just as naturally to lesbians as changing the course of Western literature came to famous lesbian authoress Marcel Proust. And just like Proust, we’re all too happy to assist in building multi-tiered decks, making Dolly Parton seem androgynous, and dog-sitting for entire lunar cycles—without losing a lick of temps! Sure, all of this sounds good but, you may find yourself asking, How do I meet these gentle, bighearted creatures? What do they look like? How can I make them notice me?

Well, Dear Breeder, for once you’re asking the straight kinds of right questions! And now it’s time to do what you really know how to do: HUNT.

A low-key, summertimery place to track industrious, useful lesbians is at your local community supported agriculture (CSA) project. I know you think you can smell a co-op or pyramid scheme from a mile away, but I swear it’s not like that this time. Just put your $40,000 baby back in that $300 stroller and look around you, Dear Breeder—look deeper into the mist! There, can you see it? Behind the barrels of organic, expensive but free-range agriculture and dairy products? Yes, an entire world of civic-minded, green-thumbed lesbians is right at your fingertips!

Supermarket Schlep

Here are a few things you’ll want to check off your grocery list if you want to get a lesbian in your crosshairs in time to let her carry your groceries out to the car for you.

Marking Your Territory: Open Season
If your CSA offers a choice of days to pick up your bounty of fresh, locally grown produce, trust me: Choose the weekend not the weekday date. Choosing the right hunting season will magnify your chances of casually encountering a casually-dressed lesbian by about 400%. The reason for this is that locally-grown lesbians, like American Black Bears, are a hibernating species. Lesbians lie dormant during the week (apart from their tireless work at the non-profits that make your city worth living in) so that they may rise again, well-rested, for their weekend-long pursuits: like hiking the Appalachian Trail in a few days, feeding the homeless the food you don’t eat, or hosting weekend-long BBQ binges that make your college Greek life look like naptime at the lesbian-run charter school up the street.

Baiting the Trap: Pattypan Squash
Have you ever heard of this varietal of squash before, Dear Breeder? Do you know sixteen different ways to make this into a delectable side dish (or chilled wine) that will make your neighbor, boss, or high school crush willing to do anything (and I do mean anything) to get invited to the Labor Day party that your soon-to-be lesbian bestie is going to plan for you and then not attend? I didn’t think so. Pay attention.

“I never knew anal could be so…comfortable!”

Proper Hunting Attire: Take Off That Visor
You may be surprised to know that the only thing lesbians like to see visors on are LPGA golfers—and even then only during televised tournaments. You hear me? Do NOT wear a visor when trying to lure a lesbian into your “kill zone.” No visors are allowed on strollers, heads, or strapped to your hip like those straight cell phone holsters you carry around with you everywhere. To the lesbian tribe, straight people wearing headgear is weak and lazy. Once confronted with tacky shade, we will retract and fly away like a flock of demented birds, after a Hitchcockian fashion.

Going in for the Kill: Your Go-To Conversation Line
Next time you bump elbows with a hungry-eyed lesbian of the wild in front of the cheese-choosing fridge, go ahead, ask her what she thinks of a Palestinian embargo. Ask her about Hillary Clinton. Seriously, break the ice with an enticing question about the evolution of American folk music. I guarantee she’ll have you laughing all the way to the bank—by which I mean your cheesy, undomesticated Lexus—with promises of giving you clippings from her award-winning garden, or teaching your kid how to read any number of romance, or lost, languages. For FREE.

Hemingway: Professional Lesbian Hunter

Before long, you’ll have a stable of reliable, hard-working lesbians mounting tofu on your wall, providing you with the kind of backyard, emotional support you really need. And by the end of the day, you’ll realize that friendships with lesbians are like investment strategies that you’ll never have to shell out for, wild adventures akin to unaccompanied safari in foreign lands. We will give and give, just out of the kindness of our well-worn hearts. All we ask in return is for you to stop referring to our significant others as our “friends.” And maybe for that extra basil puree/rack of ribs it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to eat, anyway.

How to Talk to Homosexuals

July 6, 2011

How many times have you found yourself at the florist, Dear Breeder, or the fabric store or off-track betting parlour, and wished you could communicate more effectively with the obvious homosexual working behind the counter? You’ve seen him give vigorous, award-winning customer service to other floral enthusiasts/stay-at-home seamstresses/gambling addicts. What’s so wrong with you?

You and millions of clueless heterosexuals just like you are not alone, Dear Breeder. That’s why I’ve drawn up a few handy tips, to help you get the service you’ve come to expect from the minority group you’ve come to despise. Once you’ve got the hang of these basic guidelines, I guarantee you’ll be thinking, talking, and acting like a homosexual in no time!

Without any of that sinful wriggling around in feces your religious leaders and congresswomen can’t help but picture us engaged in, of course…

“Wait a minute, you mean most nights you guys just
make dinner and argue about what’s on tv?”

First, take a deep breath and picture yourself in the homosexual’s shoes, platform boots, or gardening clogs, as the case may be. To demonstrate your newly-feigned sense of empathy, you should begin the conversation with a simple, yet heartfelt apology. It doesn’t matter what for, just make something up. Remember, it’s not a lie if you yourself don’t believe it. This may seem counterintuitive, Dear Breeder, but once you too have spent an entire shared cultural history diminishing and making amends for your very existence, I think you’ll find that the words “I’m sorry” roll right off the tongue.

Next up, try lightening the mood with a joke. We gays spend a lot of time brooding about all the many ways we’ve been wronged, and love nothing more than a hearty chuckle at the end of a long, humiliating day of public visibility. And don’t worry about bringing your A game! We gays will laugh at almost anything, even if your material is as tired as Dan Choi’s Grindr profile.

Pushy activist seeks same for steamy equal rights fantasy play.

Finally, take every opportunity to pepper your language with what little gay slang you’ve managed to cobble together over the years. I’m not asking you to become fluent in Polari overnight, simply suggesting that, under the right circumstances, a well-timed “Queen, please!” will go a very long way toward getting what you want. (As may a casual reference to hot yoga and butternut squash, depending on the gender aspect of the listener.) Best case scenario, you’ve cracked the code and made yourself a new friend! Worst case scenario, you’ll come across as the incoherent, babbling member of the general public we’ve already pegged you to be. Either way, it’s another victory for modern gay rights!

If, after several attempts, none of these techniques has proven effective, Dear Breeder—take heart. It’s not your fault. Like Navajo, ours is a language impossible to master unless you were born into it. We gay people communicate through a finely-woven tapestry of verbal and nonverbal cues: elaborate series of low-frequency throttles and rumblings, high-pitched buzzings and hisses, pheremonal signals and glandular secretions. And of course, our patented Ojos Brillanticos™ Technology.

Our eyes are the windows to the closed doors of our parents’ souls.

When all else fails, just keep on grumbling, pointing at things, and sweating all over the counter. The gay-in-charge will eventually figure out what you want—most likely by rolling his eyes and deciding for you. And when you get home and find you have to explain to your wife why the minivan is stuffed with lemon yellow crinoline or silk magnolias or losing pull-tabs, I strongly suggest you take a reflective moment, look into her eyes, and tell her you’re sorry.

Just like I taught you.

The Froth of July

July 1, 2011

As every red-fearing, god-blooded American knows, there’s nothing gay about the Fourth of July. Nothing at all. In fact, the only thing more heteronormative than the largely incoherent celebration of our own oblivious patriotism is the landscape of Matthew McConaughey’s dreams. Yep, we’re sure you’ve got everything covered for the long weekend: a twelve-pack of Corona Light (with matching board shorts), hamburger patties that have been frozen since the Bush Administration, and a sneaking suspicion that you may in fact be The World’s Greatest Dad.

But there’s one item we hope you haven’t left behind in the garage, Dear Breeder: your unassailable heterosexuality. The last thing you want at the family barbecue/shooting range/racist block party is for someone to think you’re of the violet persuasion!

“Can you believe how much fudge I packed into this cake?”
“I know, and just look how everyone’s weenies plumped up!”

In the spirit of totally-Platonic brotherly camaraderie, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you and your loved ones avoid any embarrassing sexual orientation mix-ups during this weekend’s inescapable pageant of frustrated masculinities!

  • Don’t look too longingly at the franks but also try not to stare at the buns.
  • Always demand to see the boat first, before accepting invitations to participate in group watersports.
  • When sampling deviled eggs from a lesbian aunt or cousin, don’t make a dumb comment about her smart pantsuit. Just trust us on this one.
  • Never allow your sparklers—not even for a moment!—to twinkle. The trick is to deaden your eyes.
  • Why mock a toddler when you can punch a bald eagle?
  • Bocce balls are for Europeans, wimps, European wimps, and people who refer to themselves as “European-Americans” (read: wimps). Stick to horseshoes, the less intellectual choice this Fourth of July.

So, fire up the grill, unfold your canvas folding chair, and kick off this Fourth with a frothy fifth of Seagram’s Seven! Now you can really cut loose, knowing that the homophobic panic and unshakable paranoia of American manhood will be kept firmly in check through yet another family holiday. And don’t forget to bring along a designated driver, or at least keep some bail money in the glovebox, while you’re celebrating the many freedoms this great land of ours promises to someday promise us!

The Truth About Gender-Neutral Parenting

June 28, 2011

We here at Breeder’s Digest have been nothing short of frazzled by the rising trend in gender-neutral parenting. In fact, we’ve been so stirred up about it that we decided to read. From what little actual information we could glean from NPR’s bewildered hallucination of an article “The End of Gender?,” we now know we are definitely headed for this summer’s second man-made apocalypse: A gender apocalypse!

I’m so glad we had this hastily-assembled “article” (complete with a dictionary definition of gender) to warn us about the four horsepersons of the apocalypse: a hot androgynous model who walks both male and female runways, a blogger mom who posts about her “boychick” child, another kid who got hir hair braided, and these gender-neutral parents who haven’t a clue in the world of what they’re not doing. Obviously, once again straight people have saved the world by ending it, destroying the gender binary once and for all!

America’s Next Top Hangover

But before you go getting any big ideas, Dear Breeder, think just for a second about what your gender-free future might look like. Are you really so sure you’re going to be able to survive this dreadful apocalypse of doom?

We know, for instance, that behind all of your “clever,” “non-gendered” baby names (Parker, Ashley, Octavia Butler) and “gender-free” toys you’re espousing with big shit-eating grins on your faces, there’s a creeping low-level anxiety that haunts your every gender-neutral move–some sense that THIS is not really, truly how the world should be. We know you’ve thought it, and we certainly know Grandpa has come right out and said it on at least two occasions, one of which involved him holding a loaded rifle in what he normally refers to as his “vodka hand.” That was scary for all of us, Dear Breeder, and was just one of many warning signs that come with this media frenzy known as “gender-neutral parenting.”

Parent-free parenting

The problem with gender-neutral parenting, Dear Breeder, is this: You have churned out sissies and tomboys, butches and femmes, twinks and leather daddies like baby factories since the beginning of time, and we really don’t want you to stop now. Unlike you, we queers like gender and still continue to do interesting things with it. But lately it’s starting to feel like we’re the only people on Earth who don’t want gender to end! Just because you and your wife can wear each others’ jeans and still find each other attractive doesn’t mean we can.

The truth is, Dear Breeder, that for all of your heterosexual showboating you are about as gender-neutral as they come. We understand that it’s a lifestyle choice but why impose such bland nonsense on your innocent, perverted children? Doesn’t every child deserve the right to become a piss-guzzling, moustacheod cartoon of the gender of his/her/hir choice? We damn well thought so.

RIP Grandpa.

Listen, what we may have never confessed in family therapy sessions (or while prying the bottles out of grandpa’s cold, dead vodka hand), is that your good old-fashioned fucked-up parenting is what makes for the best queers. My parents let me play on all-boys sports teams as a child–and my father even called me “Luke” at certain hardware stores–and take a look at me now! I’m just your run-of-the-mill mannish queer blogger who still has no idea what shiz my gender is. As usual, your self-congratulatory efforts help no one but yourselves (and burned-out NPR bloggers).

So please, if you know which goose is good for the gander, discontinue your hair-braided schemes of bleeding heart progress and return to your more terrifying, baldly narcissistic brand of parenting.

Sure, we’ll hate you for it then, but we’ll love you for it now.

Stockhomo Syndrome

June 22, 2011

Dear Breeder,

You may have noticed, over the past year and a half, our conspicuous absence from the gay lifestyle advice for straight people blogosphere. We’re sure our separation hurt you just as much as it did us. But we promise—this isn’t like the time we didn’t blog for two months because we discovered what a dick Marc Jacobs had become. We really have been through quite an ordeal!


Shortly after we uploaded our last blog entry—a highly-public, poststructuralist critique of Meredith Baxter’s deeply-personal journey toward lesbian enlightenment—we heard a strange knock at the doorbell. Trembling with fear, we reached out to open the door…much like Meredith Baxter had just opened her life—and her bedroom—to People Magazine.

If these lips could talk…

John: I was knocked unconscious in the ensuing kerfuffle, so I don’t remember too much after that. I do recall the sound of my own sobbing, and the luxurious taste of diamonds upon my tongue. At least, I assume they were diamonds.

Emma: We were blindfolded and thrown into a vehicle. Based on the particular crank of the engine, I deduced that we had been packed like fudge into the rear of an ‘86 Dodge Grand Caravan, headed due east toward the great Guadalupe Mountains. Even robbed of my most basic senses, I could tell the carburetor needed replacing, and that the beast could use a good wax.

John: Once we arrived at our destination—a kind of commune in the middle of an asphalt dustbowl, which Emma later described as a “strip mall”—we were shown our meager accommodations and powdered down for lice. Life among the straights was unbearable at first—a seemingly endless parade of misheard song lyrics, awkward silences, and Old Navy fashions. I attempted no fewer than three times to make it look like I had attempted to take my own life!

John’s latest performance piece: Death By Luxurious Bath

Emma: After a year in captivity, things didn’t seem so bad. We ate three square meals a day, which for us was a first. I even got friendly with the female captor, helping her process through her body shame and deep-seated issues with male authority figures. As I felt my own own free will begin to diminish, I noticed myself starting to admire her drop earrings and flagrant misuse of the word “ironically.”

John: Over time, we began to earn their trust, and they ours. But soon that trust we earned made us bored–you know, mean bored. As gays with intense superiority complexes, our competitive edge became our best defense. Or is it offense? We started playing reverse psychological games with them, slipping subtle suggestions into their mashed potatoes, hoping desperately that we could out-kidnap our stupid straight kidnappers…

Emma: A little strap-on talk here, a fisting workshop and body healing demo there…

John: In no time, we had those straights eating out of our proverbial hands, as well as our literal ones on evenings when we hand-fed them fresh lesbian grains from the heartland of America.

Emma: And, of course, on peel and eat shrimp night.

John: If not then, then when?

Emma: As soon as they began requesting hits from Cher’s back catalog, we knew their total transformation was complete. Our heterosexual captors had succumbed to that most terrifying of afflictions:


Patty Hearst, shown to scale.

Stockhomo Syndrome is a rare psychological “superstorm” of symptoms, which tends to flare up whenever straight people spend too much time surrounded by homosexuals—for instance at day spa retreats, amusement park Gay Days, or fitting rooms at The Gap. Mild to moderate symptoms of Stockhomo Syndrome include:

– The ability to name two Kylie Minogue albums at a moment’s notice.
– Laughs when most straight people might cry.
– An inexplicable aversion to the word “beige.”
– Irresistible urges to “gallery hop” or “ground oneself.”
– A strong sense of self; limited interest in others.

Of course, as with any full-blown medical crisis, Stockhomo Syndrome isn’t all just fun n’ games n’ iron lungs. In some extreme cases, straight people may become inexplicably brainwashed into actually empathizing with gay people. Quelle horreur!

As always, Dear Breeder, this blog isn’t about us—it’s about you. In the immortal words of Joni Mitchell, we’ve seen something something both sides now, and we’ve returned to save you from yourselves. Let’s face it, we wouldn’t be who we are today without you constantly voting on and legislating our very existence. In the spirit of lesbian reciprocity, you can rest assured that we’ve rededicated ourselves to our singular purpose as homosexuals: Making straight people’s lives better.

Helping you help yourselves since 2008
(not counting our two year sabbatical),

Classic Gay Sitcoms: Meredith Baxter’s Journey

December 4, 2009

What began as a dare between two bored hippies suddenly became more than she could handle. Alex’s politics. Mallory’s slutty outfits. Tina Yothers. Still, she thought to herself, if living a lie is what keeps this family together, I guess I’ll just have to roll up my flannel sleeves, trim my nails with a pocketknife, and start that women’s-only storytelling collective I’ve always dreamed of…

The Four Stages of Gay Sleep

December 1, 2009

Although blacking out in a heap on the living room floor has its merits, nothing feels better than crawling into bed for a good night’s sleep at the end of a long, hard day at the office or bathhouse. Unlike you straight people, however, who do everything as efficiently and ruthlessly as possible (and frequently, while wearing sweatpants), gay men have turned the basic physiological act of sleeping into an elaborate and baroque process, complete with all the bells, whistles, and high-pitched screeching noises you’ve come to know and expect from us.

In an attempt to demystify the process for once and for all, scientists at the Breeder’s Digest Institute of Gay Sleep Technology have recently classified the four stages of gay sleep:

1. Tossing and Turning
During this initial stage of sleep, the gay man settles into his nocturnal environment, languishing in alternating currents of comfort and misery. This stage is accompanied by a series of world-weary groans, dainty coughing fits, and deep sighing. As he reflects on the events of his day, the gay is likely to make his greatest verbal triumphs, crafting all the perfectly-timed, witty retorts he should have said in the moment. By the end of this stage, he has determined to compose, first thing in the morning, a restrained yet incisive letter to a father figure, ex-lover, or Ann Landers. But don’t worry, Dear Breeder: most gays can barely hold a pen, much less remember bedtime promises.

“I played Betty White in my own autobiographical mini-series!”

2. Astral Journeys
Having finally achieved a state of natural unconsciousness, the gay man’s soul breaks free from its earthly shackles and hovers near the ceiling of his bedroom or men’s shelter. From this vantage point, the gay man is truly able to admire—from within his soul—the beauty and rapture of his very existence. The gay soul whispers things like, “You really came out of your shell today, kiddo,” “You’ve got the chiseled physique of a male reality show contestant,” and, “Shh-shh, sister-soul star-child,” to its physical counterpart.

Stage 2.5: The Choreographed Ghost Ballet.

3. R.E.M. Sleep
During this most restful period of gay slumber, the sleeper is met by the ghost of still-alive singer, Michael Stipe who, having crawled in through an open window, forces the gay to account for all the music he listened to in college. “Really?” Michael Stipe has often asked, “Was Lisa Loeb ever all that good?” “No,” I explain again and again. “It was the mid-to-late 90’s! I was so confused!” Michael Stipe shakes his head in disgust, opens his mouth as if to say something, then sits on the edge of my bed and weeps. Only after coaxing him outside with the promise of soy protein and bus fare, does he actually leave. At least, I think that was Michael Stipe. . .

He sure did suck dick like Michael Stipe. . .

4. Dream State
At last, the gay has unlocked the door to his own subconscious, and is flooded with a steady stream of images, sounds, and scents—all of which hold important clues to the inner workings of the gay mind. Common themes for gay dreams include: public nudity/private dressing rooms; making love to an early-career Ted Danson; writing genre fiction; ladies’ fashion for men; improbably oversized genitalia; The Cosby Show, seasons 1-3; Classical themes; mastery of the sports metaphor; animal husbandry; dystopian societies in world literature; riding a unicorn; riding Lady Gaga through a field of unicorns; full equality in the eyes of our families, and the federal government.

“No, you can’t read my ponyface.”

As you’re sleeping soundly tonight, Dear Breeder, dreaming about real or fantasy football, try to remember the plight of the homosexual sleeper. Next time you’re going on and on about your toddler’s dance recital, don’t take it so personally when I stretch my arms wide, yawn loudly, and stumble from the room in search of the perfect place to nap. I’m not bored, just exhausted. After all, I haven’t slept properly since my own gayness first began keeping me up all night. Wait, what was that you said about your wife’s cousin’s mobile home park?

Zzz. . .

Leave it to Breeders: Thanksgiving Edition

November 26, 2009

Straight people love a good charity case. They love to put on their finest buckles, armor, and smug expressions and spend all afternoon feeling sorry for those they deem less fortunate than themselves. Never mind that the Native Americans—like the homosexuals before them—were doing pretty well in the first place, without the help of a bunch of straight, white people zooming around Plymouth Rock in their gas-guzzling buggies and building thatched-roof McMansions as far as the eye can see. “Oh, if I could only help them in some way,” Sally Farthington thinks to herself, “If only my fried chicken were good enough—maybe they’d learn to be more like us…” Thanks but no thanks, Dear Breeder.

Oh please, painter of group nationalistic portraits foregrounded by fuzzy buildings and trees: We know this representation is a bold-faced lie. We know, for instance, that chocolate chip cookies were not served to a seated crowd of Native Americans by a Jane Austen character. We know that it would not become fashionable to wear electric blue stockings with green velvet pants (and to cross your legs in such a manner) until 1885, the year of Boy George’s birth. And we also know that Shirley Temple and her dog Sparky most certainly were not the guests of honor at what you so artlessly hail as “The First Thanksgiving.”

I will, however, compliment you, Painter of a Thousand Inaccurate Details, on your fine rendering of male facial hair. The drag kings who read our blog are going to be ecstatic.

And isn’t that, after all, what Thanksgiving is really about?