Random trans-Atlantic claptrap

Britain just doesn’t get Thanksgiving

Dear Britain,

Thanksgiving is a big meal where you eat turkey with your family and think about what you’re thankful for. It’s not complicated. But you just don’t seem to get it. I tried explaining it to you. Last year, I wrote a comprehensive, day by day, moment by moment guide to Thanksgiving for British people. I went over the food, the traditions, the dos and don’ts, everything you need. But somehow you still don’t understand.

Here’s Proof:

Asda, the country’s 2nd largest supermarket chain has offered a Thanksgiving promotion targeting Americans. It is rather unsuccessful at capturing the spirit of the holiday, to say the least. It’s actually pretty remarkable how clueless this promotion is, since Asda is a British-based, wholly-owned subsidiary of the most ‘Murican company of them all – Walmart.

From this promotion though, it’s perfectly clear that Asda does not have a single American employee. No it’s worse than that. From this promotion, it’s clear that no one at Asda has ever even met an American.

Here’s what British people think Americans want to buy for Thanksgiving:

First on the menu: Reese’s peanut butter cups- the miniature kind. 

Now you won’t ever hear me say a negative word about Reese’s peanut butter cups. There is nothing better than a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Every real American would agree with me. In fact, any American who doesn’t like Reese’s peanut butter cups is a goddamned communist as far as I’m concerned. But as great as Reese’s are, WE DON’T EAT THEM AT THANKSGIVING DINNER!

Pies. American eat pies for “pudding” after Thanksgiving meals. Not mince pies, not pork pies, not steak and ale pies. Real pies. Sweet apple and rich pumpkin and glorious pecan pies. Not Reese’s peanut butter cups. Those are for Halloween. You know, HALL – O – WEEN. That other holiday that you British people just can’t seem to get right. The one before Thanksgiving with the ghosts and ghouls, goblins and sweet candy treats. Yes, I know, you hate that holiday too. But you’re missing out on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Maybe you’re all communists.

Next on the Asda Thanksgiving promotion list are some American beers, including Budweiser and Coors Light.

I was aware that Budweiser is popular in the UK, but I had no idea that Coors Light, “the worst beer in America™” was available in the UK. It’s true that many Americans enjoy these beers, particularly Americans who wear their hair short in the front and long in the back. But there ain’t no Americans who drink Coors friggin’ Light out of cans at the Thanksgiving dinner table! Even the family of Sarah Palin wouldn’t sink that low. Bad beer in cans is for the 4th of July, which is yet another American holiday that for some reason you don’t celebrate. Maybe you’ve also confused it with Thanksgiving? If only there were some way for y’all Brits to remember exactly when America’s Independence Day happens every year, you could somehow avoid this kind of mistake in the future.

Also on the menu: Buffalo chicken wings.

Oh for the love of little baby Jesus… These are for the SUPER-BOWL! How many holidays and special events are you going to screw up? Doesn’t anyone in this country have a calendar. Or Google?  But what makes this a real faux pas, is that for some unfathomable reason, you’ve decided that the key ingredient, the thing that makes Buffalo chicken wings really special, is that they should be accompanied by a lime. Look closely- there’s a lime in the photograph on the box. To go with Buffalo chicken wings. Not the traditional blue cheese. Not the celery sticks that are an essential part of Buffalo chicken wings…. Instead, you offer a wedge of…. lime. And then you ask me to pay money this. Because it’s on sale, and I’m an American. And it’s Thanksgiving, and as far as you know, this is the crap we probably eat for Thanksgiving.  I mean, who knows, right? There’s really no way at all to find out about these things, because you’re British, and you don’t want to admit to a bloody American that you don’t know the first goddamned thing about their culture. So you don’t ask us Yanks, and you go ahead and offer us Buffalo chicken wings for Thanksgiving, accompanied by a goddamned wedge of green citrus. Lime not included in the box of course- it’s just a serving suggestion. Hey I’ve got a suggestion for you Asda, how about you go **** yourselves?

And the pièce de résistance: 

Finally, the last thing that really caught my eye was this: “Princes American Hot Dogs” in a can.  Now I don’t know what dumb mofo advised Asda’s management that hot dogs were an American Thanskgiving treat. Maybe they were pranked. But I’ve spent more than my fair share of years living in America. I’m not a young man. And in all those years, not once have I ever seen hot dogs in a can. Let me clarify this even further. I’m no food snob, just last week I blogged about spray cheese, and how it still can be found on American supermarket shelves. But I’ve never seen, never heard of, and could never imagine, an American citizen who would buy or consume hot dogs from a can. Ever. This is one of those things you British people just made up entirely on your own, and it’s not American and you can’t pin it on us.  It’s your thing, not ours. You eat hot dogs from cans, not us, and you can’t make us eat these monstrosities on Thanksgiving, or any other day of the year.  In fact, I looked it up and it’s not just one – you have at least a half dozen varieties of “American” hot dogs in cans. See for yourself on the stupid Asda website. You can’t pin this one on us. How would you feel if you visited America, and we sold some food item that you really like in a tin and tried to pass it off as a real thing. Something you really care about, like custard, or spotted dick. Wait. I just realised that’s how you people actually prefer those things. Er, never mind about the whole thing.

There’s just one other thing.

If you look closely at Asda’s promo, you’ll notice something missing. Out of all the items Asda is offering as a special Thanksgiving holiday promotion to their many American loyal customers, you’ll see that there isn’t a single goddamned Turkey.

You’d be far better off letting Charlie Brown and Snoopy prepare your Thanksgiving meal. 

UPDATE 20 November: Apparently someone at Asda has finally met an American, who has told them that Thanksgiving involves turkey, and not lime-flavoured buffalo chicken wings. Turkeys have now been added to the promotion. But for some reason, Reese’s peanut butter cups are still the headline items. Progress, I suppose.

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9 thoughts on “Britain just doesn’t get Thanksgiving

  1. Course there isn’t a turkey…whoever heard of eating turkey before Christmas Day. It’s obvious if Asda out Turkey on the Thanksgiving menu then they wouldn’t have enough for Christmas :))

  2. I’m more disturbed by the idea that store bought chicken wings have “10+ days” of freshness, or “life,” according to the Brits, a rather scary bar-lowering term that pretty much explains why they boil the fuck out of everything.

  3. I just visited Asda’s website and I have to say, the author of this blog is on to something significant. This could actually be the germ of a great book, entitled something like What Silly Europeans Think Is American, or How I Learned Be A Yank Thru Pulled Pork In a Can. Or tin, whatever. I happen to love pulled pork, done right, but perhaps I was just pantomiming the American experience by not buying the delicious and “savoury” canned version, packed and prepared in the UK. Which by the way is not available at any grocery store in this country, and never will be. (Thank you, George Washington) He’s right, this is an entirely British thing, which they try to pin on us. It won’t work! Happy Thanksgiving.

  4. This is hilarious!! I don’t think any self respecting American would eat a hot dog out of a tin (but those plastic packs that last forever are A-OK!). Love it.
    On a slightly more serious note, I wrote a recent blog post for Brits about what Thanksgiving is actually all about – bit.ly/thankslolo Check it out!

  5. I’m an American expat in Glasgow and this made me laugh. I love living in the UK, but I am continuously blown away by the “American” section at retailers over here. Twinkies, giant marshmallows, and Lucky Charms. And, yeah, we don’t typically eat jarred hot dogs. At least, nobody I know ever has! I don’t take any of it too seriously, though – it’s all about the experience! I was seeking out a chuckle to ward off my homesickness, so, thanks!

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