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The Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving because, few of them having been to sea before, they had suffered the curse of seasickness during the 66-day voyage. The "Mayflower" had been built for the wine trade, and the smell of wine was still strong, filling the Pilgrims with terrible temptations. They swore never to go to sea again. They gave thanks when they set foot on terra firma, which the ocean definitely was not.
This has been my Thanksgiving, the computer being my Mayflower. I thought I would escape from the tyranny of my old PC by boarding an HP Pentium III Vectra to a brave New World. Alas! The rudder, i.e. the keyboard was not compatible with the new computer, so Steve Jones told me my problems would be solved if I bought a new keyboard. I called up HP to buy a Spanish keyboard. The first question always was "What is your (given) name?" "Ronald". "Well, Ronald, how can the excellent HP service help you today?" The excellent, but baffled salesmen told me that I should address my crazy request to another HP branch, so for about three hours I was on the phone to HP offices around the country. Finally, one man said he had one in stock and would ship it to me if I gave him my VISA card number, which I did. I relaxed after a rough day at sea.
The next day the keyboard arrived. It was just a good, or rather bad old gringo keyboard. The telephone marathon began again. I spoke to one mystified salesman after another, who kept asking "What was the name of the salesman you spoke to?" Of course, I did not know. I was so sea-sick by this time that I began using unWAIS language, scaring the last salesman, who forwarded by call to the HP President's office, near here. This sumiteer finally understood my problem and told me whom to call; I should say that I had talked with Joe in the HP president's office. I asked Joe his last name, and he acted offended. "I am the only Joe here!" I called the office he designated and again gave my VISA number, which I now know by heart. While I wait for the new keyboard, I resorted to the old keyboard, which now works splendidly. A Thanksgiving miracle! Well, sort of. Now the computer has gone crazy. If I do not reply to your messages, it is because they have disappeared like turkey into the bowels of the computer, which refuses to regurgitate them. Please try again.
I have splendid relations with Jaqui White, but we fought once when I said I agreed with Ben Franklin who wanted the turkey to be the American national bird. Jaqui patriotically and heatedly defended the bald eagle. I thought it silly to have a bald bird as a national symbol. I apologize to Jaqui. "Bald" in this case means "pie-bald", i.e. black and white. Incidentally, "pie" comes from "magpie." This is all for the birds.
However, I remain firm in my defense of the turkey. The amiable American turkey was a symbol of cooperation, and what better symbol on this feast day? However, it was not tasty. Hence the typical American expression "That play is a turkey." The turkey which cooperated with you today was the Mexican turkey, guaxolote. It would not have set out on its long roundabout pilgrimage to this country if it had realized how miserable its first winter would be. I hear them muttering "We should have stood home!". Too late.
The Mexican guaxolote is now consumed throughout North America. I therefore propose that it be the symbol of NAFTA. Jaqui can keep her bald eagle-
Ronald Hilton - 11/23/00