Turkey is not the only thing that gets stuffed during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Our email inboxes, like yours, have been in Operation Overload this week, glutted with sweet potato souffle recipes, deals of the day, countdowns to Black Friday with BIG SAVINGS and FREE SHIPPING, doorbuster coupons, notices of Santa bar crawls, and more directions for the use of cream cheese than an old Paula Deen cookbook.
But we here at NPR are also inundated with some very special Thanksgiving pitches: those from public relations pros — and a few amateurs — looking to leverage the holiday for their own purposes, from the political to the preposterous.
We thought we'd share some of our favorites, and encourage you to use the comments section to tell us yours.
Health Tips (For Dummies)
- Did you know that this week is, by design, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Awareness Week? We didn't either, until the folks at a digestive care group emailed with the following suggestion for Turkey Day: "Wear Loose Clothing — Tight-fitting clothing can squeeze your stomach and lead to food coming back up the esophagus."
We lay people have a word for that, but Miss Manners would not approve. Consider advice taken.
- Holiday health hazards apparently also extend to pets. Dog lovers that we are, we shuddered at this email subject line: "A Recipe for Thanksgiving Disaster — Turkey + Your Dog."
Imagine our relief when we discovered it wasn't an actual recipe on the order of turducken -- turdogen? — but a book pitch warning against feeding Fido fatty leftovers. The moral offered by the author: "Sharing is definitely not caring."
Surviving Family (Including FASHION TIPS)
- We got a lot of email from psychologists and life consultants with advice for navigating the stress of communing with extended family during the holidays. Here's our favorite bit of sagacity that a Dallas-based life consultant included in her "Five Tips How to Manage and Survive Your Annoying Relatives At Thanksgiving:" Don't sit next to them.
In fact, she says, "avoid engagements and confrontations at all costs." In other words, celebrate the good times! (By isolating yourself.)
- Here's one for the truly insecure. You know who you are. You're a young "lady" and can't even pick out an outfit for a "Meet the Parents" holiday without a fabulous new smartphone app that allows you to crowdsource your choices.
"You must find the perfect look to impress his mom and sisters," the app publicist informs. Her guidance? Pack For Every Occasion. And send "fashion selfies" to friends for advice. Thanks, we think.
- Democrats have launched a website with talking points on everything from the Affordable Care Act to immigration in an effort to arm the hapless liberal engaged in conversation with YourRepublicanUncle during the big dinner. We've been waiting for Republican holiday counterprogramming, but the GOP remains laser-focused on Obamacare. Apparently there's been some problems with its rollout? Paging YourRepublicanUncle!
Random Piggyback Promos
- "Invisalign Also Braces For Thanksgiving"
- "Wild Turkey Bourbon Invites President Obama to Give 'Em The Bird"
- "Turkey Day Tips From Nation's Top Plumbing and Drain Service Specialists: Roto-Rooter braces for their busiest time of the year"
- "Native American Comedian Offers Humorous Perspective On Thanksgiving, Redskins & Walmart" (Comedian Marc Yafee promises to "leave a trail of laughs that is funny, not filthy.")
Finally, The Black Friday Jingle
- Cue electronic "music," and listen to the lyrics: "Black Friday ... ho ho ho ... it's Christmas time for sure ... fighting in the lot for the parking spot ...go get that space ... don't want to be late ..."
It's as awful as you would imagine.
Yes, we know this is silly, and, no, it doesn't mean we're not covering other, more important issues. Just take a spin around the rest of our site.
So lighten up, take the advice of the gastroesophageal folks and loosen your belt — and have a Happy Thanksgiving!