I want to get in the spirit of Thanksgiving.
I really do.
But there is something bugging the heck out me as I try to digest the endless amounts of blatant Turkey Day propaganda floating around the media outlets.
The biggest is all the fuss being made over a protein that apparently has been linked to causing throngs of turkey eaters to drop into deep slumbers shortly following Thanksgiving dinner.
That’s right. The turkey is feeling the sting of being the culprit in after-dinner lethargy everywhere -?as if it is just the turkey causing what I like to call post-festivity heavy-gut syndrome. True, it does contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which has a sleep-inducing effect, according to About.com.
It works like this: you eat the L-tryptophan-laced bird, which contains the B-Vitamin, niacin. Niacin then produces serotonin, a neurotransmitter that exerts a calming effect and regulates sleep. Did you get all that?
Because I didn’t. And I really don’t want to.
Fact is, I don’t care that turkey apparently has some “stuff” in it that may make me a little sleepy if I eat a certain amount of it. Unless I have missed the gravy boat the past 21 years of my life, eating too much and rubbing your tummy while you sleep on your mom’s sofa is what this holiday is all about.
That, and being thankful for what you have and remembering those less fortunate than yourself. Do you think there is a homeless person or other less-fortunate person that would refuse a chance to eat some turkey and dressing because it might make them sleep?
The correct answer is no.
I’m not calling anybody out, but I also heard a friend of mine talk about using low-fat bread in their stuffing this year. Huh. Might as well serve tofu and rice cakes. I understand that just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there with health issues or that you can’t watch your diet come Thursday.
But I, for one, don’t think it is possible to have a truly unique Thanksgiving experience without for at least one day just making a complete glutton of yourself in some capacity. It means different things for different people. But in the case of the food, the message should be universal.
There is so much in this world of ours to worry about. For all those who love late night turkey sandwiches, deviled eggs, pie, cakes and whatever else you crave, don’t let science get in the way of one of the few uniquely American traditions left out there.
Enjoy your turkey and put your good sense on the shelf at least for this day. I know I plan to.
Kyle Hightower is a senior print journalism major from Paducah.
This commentary does not represent the view of the Herald, Western or its administration.