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The Holidays From Another Perspective...


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Table of Contents 1. Thanksgiving from the turkey's perspective. Over the river and through the woods, a nation's fowl behavior is noted, bemoaned, admonished, challenged. Timely commentary from the cutting edge. 2. 'This eager heart of mine was singing. Lover, where can you be?' Hostess Brands bites the dust... Twinkies on the block. 3. Christmas from another point of view. The Grinch has his day... astonishing revelations from his first-ever interview exclusive to me exclusively here.


The Holidays From Another Perspective...

Thanksgiving from the turkey's perspective. Over the river and through the woods, a nation's fowl behavior is noted, bemoaned, admonished, challenged. Timely commentary from the cutting edge. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. If you're a resident of these United States, the fourth Thursday of November will soon be upon us in all its excess, gluttony, and self-congratulation. We know this as Thanksgiving Day, but it most certainly is no day of glorious and heart felt thanksgiving for the crucial centerpiece of this annual event sacred to gourmandizing and loosened belts. In fact, for the family of the genus Meleagris, commonly called turkeys, this date is the darkest day of their lives, their history and their entire existence on this planet... but no longer. This year for the first time since their majestic ancestors graced the Early Miocene a long, long time ago and after nearly 400 years of unapologetic, systematic execution and intense gobbling launched by New England Pilgrims in the 1660s, turkeys are rallying for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In short, these ancient birds of unmitigated plumage and pluck now demand respect, restitution, and revolution. Due to a special arrangement with a band of their insurgents, I am able to take you inside their headquarters. Thus they acknowledge their need for world-wide recognition and your support for their pressing cause. Urgency in the air: my interview with the Young Turk leader called "Squawk", a bird of stark destiny and purpose. A Message from Squawk. I was not particularly surprised when I saw the note left under the door last night; indeed given my support over the course of many years for the God-given right to life of polar bears, eagles, monarch butterflies, African elephants and many others, I should have been chagrined not to have been contacted. I have my amor propre too after all. But there it was. "Be ready. Comrades will make contact precisely at midnight. No cameras. Nothing but pencil and paper." Then the bold, audacious, even grandiloquent mark already famous: "Squawk" and his proud sign, one blood-red claw print. So... they had chosen me... ... And then it occurred to me. When I booked my Thanksgiving Day reservation at the Sheraton Commander hotel right down the street, the young manager had asked me if I wanted turkey or ham for my main course. Without thinking, I told her that if the glaze would be as deep and resonant as last year's, my selection was certainly ham. Thus inadvertently by my choice of which dead animal I should feast upon, I became, if anathema to pigs, yet simpatico to turkeys. In this way I came to know that adherents of the turkeys' cause can be anywhere, even in the most unexpected of places. Ah, that is what the bright-eyed, chipper serving person meant when she said, "I'm so glad, Dr. Lant" in an especially insinuating manner. Old-goat that I am I thought her come-hither look was for my geriatric charms, and so I thought again "there's no fool like an old fool." Perforce, to my work. Understanding my task, I readied myself for what could only be a fateful encounter, its salient and urgent points to be brought to a world of the unenlightened. And so I regained myself. I was myself again for in such matters I remain a "Young Turk," too, deferring to no one, not even Squawk, http://www.LizsWorldprofit.com

Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... revolution's anvil though he be. The feathered comrades were as good as their word. At the stroke of midnight, I heard the fluttering of wing and heard the unmistakable sound emanating from the fleshy wattle or protuberance that hangs from the top of the beak. And thus I fell, through professional pride and recognized standing, into the hands of those who, without Squawk's laissez-passer, in an instant could blind me and shred my fragile flesh. I now felt as they had felt these thousands of years a prisoner, helpless, incarcerated, destined for premature death. Thus did the clan Meleagris signal the new order of their kind... and the resulting new order of mine. Of the next several minutes, I recall sensations only. Of feathers carefully positioned to extinguish all light; just a little showing, otherwise entirely dark. Of the occasional sharp claw prick, whether by accident or design, no less painful for that. It was an acute reminder that I was in their complete and utter power, perhaps the first man so rendered in the long relations of turkey and human. They said nothing. I said nothing. Where I was, who I was with, what they would do to me would become completely apparent soon enough... and was. Squawk's headquarters. We meet and "talk turkey". I never did discover just where I was and where we met. But even if I knew, I wouldn't say. I am a journalist and my sources sacred... So I shall simply say the place had a make shift aura about it, as if this were a temporary abode, one to be quickly occupied, quickly abandoned. "Good evening, Doctor Lant." It was Squawk, and I felt his power, strength, and authority at once. Here was a bird who meant business... and who saw me only as a tool to reach his objective. We understood each other, and so our business could proceed, briskly, for time was limited and we both had deadlines... He motioned me to a chair. He stood. And then he began, the words swift, lucid, hot, each a declaration etched in acid. He meant every one and every one came without difficulty. Here was a subject of paramount importance to every turkey. He knew he spoke for all his breed, was supremely confident of his position, of the need to speak out, of the full justice of his cause, and the need for action now, complete action, long overdue action, and of what would have to be done should this action be deferred by even a single moment. It was a clarion call... and Squawk looked through me and made me see what he saw... he was a bird transfigured... exactly what was required for this pivotal time in the long, one-sided relation of turkey and human. I knew as each word emerged that I was hearing history in the making. Like it or not, every clipped syllable was Important. Things would never be the same again. What Squawk said. Now each word came fast, irrefutable, beautiful in its delivery, purified by total belief and total commitment. Of the days before human came. Of a proud bird, great in size, majestic in movement, free ranging over the great land called by humans North America. These were the proud days, the glory days, when every bird knew the joy that is freedom. Of the days that brought the people called Pilgrims, people who fled tyranny and injustice only to bring a greater tyranny, more menacing and thorough injustice to the land called New England. These storm-tossed people came with only one thing in amplitude: arrogance, an arrogance that everything they saw was theirs and theirs alone. We did not understand these humans then. We saw them as poor, freedom-loving, in need of help we were ready to give in unstinting measure.

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Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... And so we accepted their invitation to the First Thanksgiving... where we were the guest of honor indeed: as food. We came in friendship. We found the cooking pot instead... and not merely the pot for some; the pot for all of us in our thousands, our tens of thousands, our millions. And so the Pilgrims grew fat upon the bounty of our trusting bodies. No wonder these humans gave thanks. They were triumphant over all, a revolution in every step they took. Against such God-believing people, forever certain in their cause what could be done except revolt, violent, intense, thorough, unceasing until the freedom of old becomes the order of the great new day. "Does this mean....?", I asked. He knew the question before I even finished it. "Yes, friend, it does. There are comrades who operate in the shady lanes of liberal Newton, of affluent Brookline, even one hero who patrols the grounds and harasses the privileged students of the Harvard Business School. And as our ranks grow, we shall expand... so that no pedestrian wherever can walk, no motorist drive without our calculated outrage made manifest, painful." He meant every word ... and from previous print reports I knew he would do it if he could. After all the population of wild turkeys has never been greater or demonstrated greater purpose and solidarity. Envoi With the briefest touch wing to hand, Squawk signalled that this unprecedented interview was over. Disciplined comrades were at the ready for my immediate departure, blocking my eyes, escorting me home to a world which suddenly seemed less equable than before. I turned on CNN which announced that the President would be exercising his powers of executive clemency at the White House today, live in just 15 minutes. The lucky spared turkey was called "Squawk". Now wasn't that cute? The Marine Corps band was on hand and was just now commencing "The President's Hymn" written in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the first official Thanksgiving holiday. Its authors were William Augustus Muhlenberg and Joseph W. Turner, spiritual descendants of the Pilgrims. "GIVE thanks, all ye people give thanks to the Lord, Alleluias of freedom, with joyful accord; Let the East and the West, North and South roll along, Sea, mountain, and prairie, one thanksgiving song." Now face to face, eye to eye, Squawk and the President were just a moment from destiny...

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Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective...

'This eager heart of mine was singing. Lover, where can you be?' Hostess Brands bites the dust... Twinkies on the block. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. It's my fault... I loved Twinkies once upon a time. Yes, when I was young and innocent, so long ago I can hardly imagine, Twinkies and I were an item, a couple, just the two of us, no need for anyone else. We had everything we needed in one neat little package. I was complete, satisfied, blissful. However the road of love is a rocky road. My mother disapproved of you, Twink... and there was that fateful day she found you in my Howdy Doody lunch box, dumped you unceremoniously on the ground and crushed you beneath her adamant shoe. I wanted to rescue you, hold you, bring you to my ardent lips and tell you how much I still cared... but the woman was obstinate, stubborn, determined to have her way, as I have long since discovered women can be. Something changed in our perfect relationship that day... I loved you... but she was the one who must be obeyed... But there's something else, something I must tell you now; something that's been on my conscience for over 50 years. I was unfaithful to you, Twink. There was the delectable affair I had with... and the delicious one with... and of course that wild and crazy thing, that fabulous fling in chocolate with... but why humiliate myself further? I loved you in my way; gave myself to you; you were always there for me... and I cheated. You would have forgiven me, I know... you always forgave me... but I couldn't forgive myself. And so guilt entered and tainted our perfect relationship. When we met in ways secret and clandestine I felt ashamed about the lies and deceptions... and I couldn't, just couldn't, meet you in the open, anywhere. What would have happened if she had found out causes me to quake and tremble to this very day. I was a lover, not a fighter. Besides, Twink, and I must be severely honest and candid here, as we said we'd always be with each other; by then your pristine reputation was tainted. People were saying terrible things about you, awful, horrid, things I couldn't bear. And it hurt, Twink, and made me doubt you and whether our love was pure and healthy, not stale with a passed shelf life. Detectives, gum shoes, sleuths. With so much negativity, with so many doubts now circulating, I was frantic. I loved you, despite my infidelities, how I loved you. But how could I not doubt you with so much said against you? It was driving me crazy... and so I went undercover with the hope that nothing I was hearing, nothing that was eating at me was true... and profoundly fearful that it was. My work was long, arduous, exhaustive. This is what my agile search assistants and I discovered... The truth, the whole truth. First of all, you were a lot older than you let me believe. You came from Schiller Park, Illinois, not so far from where we met, in Downers Grove. You were born in 1930 and given your peppy name by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company. He named you after "Twinkle Toe Shoes". I wanted to believe your age didn't matter, but it did. You treated me like Norma Desmond did her boy toys; like Blanche DuBois treated hers. You said you'd last forever; love me forever; feed and comfort me forever. You were a panther like Circe, Morgan le Fay, Omphale combined ... ageless you said, cleverer than me, that was certain, for you had never said more than necessary, whilst never disclosing a single extra word or fact. Bravissisma! http://www.LizsWorldprofit.com

Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... These reports, so detailed, made it clear that you were always the "hostess with the mostest," a crowd pleaser, making millions smile from your protected formula of wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening, and... partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed and canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, corn flour, solids, mono diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow No. 5, red No. 40, and... one or two secret ingredients even my highly capable spies could not discern, plus la piece de resistance, vanilla cream filling, literally la creme de la creme. But you liked being unpredictable, experimenting with other cream flavors, particularly banana. I always thought we had chemistry, Twink... but it was you. More that I learned about the Twink of my life. I was obsessed with you, Twink. And the fact that she kept me from you, only made me want you more. I had to know about you; everything about you. Nothing was too small or insignificant. Like I said, I had to learn everything... and so much truly shocked me. Like this... just one Twinkie, a single one, contains 2.5 grams of saturated fat, representing 13% of the recommended daily intake of saturated fat based on a 2,000 calorie diet. It is 42% sugar, 21% complex carbohydrates and 11% fat by weight. No wonder every time I nibbled on your delectable ear I felt like flying. And I thought it was love... Rumors, misinformation, lies, humbug, distortions... oh, Twink!!! I am at the tail end of the last generation to believe a lady only appears in the newspapers 3 times... when she is born, when she marries, and when she dies. But Twink I found page after page of the most lurid information about you... About how cute young gay boys, boys noted for living on the edge, are called Twinks... after you,Twink, you. And how good people worldwide have been duped into believing that you are infinite, immortal, as eternal as the Eternal City itself; that you don't age, can be eaten with confidence and joy dozens, even hundreds of years after creation; the common and widespread belief that Twinkies are forever, a belief put to the test by the 1988 film, "Die Hard", where John McClane gets sick after eating a "thousand year old Twinkie" found in an under-construction floor of the Nakatomi Plaza building. Twink, my once honored and profoundly cherished, revered partner, where were you when these hideous charges, falsehoods, these deceits, deceptions and lies were disseminated? Have you no shame, no desire to stand tall as a truth teller. Is filthy lucre your only objective? Where did you go so very wrong? When did your very name conjure the shameful and disreputable... as in... The Twinkie Defense. The expression derives from the 1979 trial of Dan White, a former San Francisco, California police officer, fire fighter and city district Supervisor. On November 27, 1978, White assassinated Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk. A significant element raised by the defense was White's consumption before the incident of junk food and sugar- laden soft drinks. So low had your reputation sunk by then,Twink, that when this was dubbed "The Twinkie Defense", the name stuck and your stock fell further still. Many people, former advocates for Twinkies now believed you could and should be held responsible for most any social problem or outrage. Sales, of course, took a http://www.LizsWorldprofit.com

Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... beating... I was one of the disenchanted who left, walking out on you, loving elsewhere. Crisis at Hostess Brands. Thus matters rested for a long chain of years. Though I had loved you once with fervid adolescent passion, I loved you no longer and scarcely ever thought of you and your sorcery and taste. Then just the other day, I heard that Hostess Brands, your home, was in bankruptcy, its assets including you to be sold to the highest bidder. Every kind of "reason" was advanced for this sad state of affairs, changing taste, a more heath conscious society and consumer, greedy employees whose recent strike crippled the company, clueless but egregiously overpaid executives. Perhaps. Now, Twink, I give you my explanation, and it's simply this: you didn't love me as deeply and profoundly as I loved you... and so you broke my heart. But, Twink, here's the punch line: I miss you; have missed you for years and want you back. Wherever you end up, Twink, I'll be the first in line. In the meantime, let me sing this tune for you: "Lover, Come Back to Me", music written by Sigmund Romberg with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II for the 1928 Broadway show "The New Moon". I like the versions by Billie Holiday and Barbra Streisand you can find in any search engine. "The moon was new/ And so was love/ This eager heart of mine was singing/ Lover where can you be/ You came at last/ Love had its day/ That day is past/ You've gone away/ This aching heart of mine is singing/ Lover come back to me Forgive me, Twink! Come into my home and heart again! Don't leave me when I love you so!

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Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective...

Christmas from another point of view. The Grinch has his day... astonishing revelations from his first-ever interview exclusive to me exclusively here. by Dr. Jeffrey Lant. Author's program note. You just never know what impact the printed word is going to have, and this tale of The Grinch proves the point. Thanksgiving Day, The Grinch (he insists upon the use of the capital "T" ) was sitting at home having polished off last year's holiday left-overs as his wont, when his eye happened to see a corner of an article used to wrap the garbage. It was my report on "Squawk", the valiant leader of the "Young Turks" fighting for the freedom of turkeys everywhere. The paper was greasy, ripped, noisome from the remainder of The Grinch's favorite morsels which stank to high heaven.... in fact, he could only finish the article by searching online for it at jeffreylantarticles.com. He liked what he read... and at that moment (as he later told me) he determined to break his lifetime of media silence. He wanted his story to be told, and he wanted me to tell it. Within the hour, his invitation was en route to me, never mind that it was the middle of the night, 3:22 a.m. Eastern. The Grinch knew his man. You can sleep anytime; but such an interview comes but once in a lifetime. The letter to me from The Grinch. There was a sharp knock at the door, the kind of knock that summons you to Destiny. I couldn't immediately tell if it were real or a dream but its insistence made the point. There was a note under the door. It said, "Open the door!", nothing more. So more irritated than apprehensive, I did. There was a Christmas bouquet on the welcome mat, wilted, one half- eaten candy-cane alone amongst the dying foliage. And there was a message, too, on stationery engraved with this motto, "After me, you are the most important person on Earth." The message couldn't have been clearer: "You have 10.5 minutes to get dressed and leave for your Exclusive Interview With The Grinch. Be sure to brush your teeth. Don't keep your car and driver waiting!" I'm proud to tell you, nearly 66 that I am, that I was ready with a minute to spare, though there was, I confess, stubble on my noble chin. A black limousine was waiting, sleek, important looking... and clearly in need of a good wash. The night was chill, the breeze off the snow piecing and unremitting. The door to my car was open, and I could hear rock music from within. It was Eric Clapton singing "After Midnight" where "we're gonna let it all hang out", where "we're gonna find out what it's all about." It was astonishingly apt music.... I slid into the back seat, where my full attention was immediately arrested by a pair of creme colored eyes looking directly into mine. At the same moment he merely brushed my hand by way of greeting. It was fur, not flesh, and it was a shade of green I had never seen before. Then right beside a dog, his dog Max, a half-breed rumored to be The Grinch's only friend, faithful to his Master, his aspect anything but welcoming. Throughout our interview The Grinch idly stroked his hide. I liked him the better for it. "Well, get in, Mack, it's cold out there," a directive swiftly followed by a short, sharp nudge to my rib cage. My encounter with The Grinch was well and truly underway. http://www.LizsWorldprofit.com

Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... "Ask me anything....", and he grinned broadly, the kind of grin of ribald remarks, very dry martinis perfectly made, and bottoms pinched just so. Thus I learned that The Grinch liked the good life. "Cookie, Mack?" He offered a box of demolished Christmas cookies with the air of a prince. There were dog hairs in the mix. I declined the dainty. "Your loss, Mack. Now what do you want to know?", and he told his driver to "get the lead out." The Grinch's personal history. "Tell me about yourself, Mr. Grinch," I asked. "Nothing I'd rather do, Mack. For as you know, I am a most interesting fellow". Max's tail wagged as if in confirmation. And so in a voice that mixed insinuation, wisecracks, and sweet self satisfaction, he laid out the broad outlines of his unlikely life, the life that made him one of the handful of the immediately recognized. He laid back, lit a stoggie (whether I liked it or not) and readied himself for his favorite story... his, at which there came into his eyes a look of reverie, fond remembrance, and Olde Lang Syne. He smiled the smile of those who love themselves to distraction, not wisely but too well. Yes, there he was, the creature of the hour, the creature the world loved to revile, sitting back, oozing self satisfaction, toodling through the darkness of the night, going nowhere in particular, loving the high life. It was all so wicked cool... and then he remembered this all had a purpose. "Now, Mack, what is it you wanted to know?" The facts. "What started it off, sir?" And darned if The Grinch didn't shake his tambourine and so begin his tale. "Mack, it all happened a very long time ago, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was near Christmas. I was a shy kid and had only a small role in the school pageant. I played one of the extra shepherds who get put in the back because they have to be put somewhere. It was not my finest hour." "It so happened that from the time I was a nipper I had a beard, full, rich, patriarchal. The day of the pageant, my mother decided her shepherd needed a freshly shaved look. But she was terrible, absolutely awful at what she was doing and cut me to ribbons. I was in despair knowing what the other kids would say." "Mom, was horrified by what she had done. She took some ointment from the cabinet and applied it liberally. Then she kissed me and sent me on my way." At this point he closed his eyes, the better to recall his affecting story. "I thought the matter was closed, but as I got closer to school, the kids started pointing at me, using some pretty strong words I can tell you. To a certain extent I was used to them; after all I was a kid with a beard. But these remarks were nothing compared to what they were calling me this day. It was the worst ever and every single one of them was pointing at my face." "As soon as I could I went to the boys' room to see what I could see. And what I saw horrified me. My whole face was green, I mean every single inch. It had to be that ointment." "I wanted to run away." The hot words came thick and fast, every aspect of the incident at his fingertips. He decided to run home and hide. But he was grabbed by a teacher who thought he was trying to escape from the pageant, something boys did. He was deposited on stage... and then it happened. The Grinch explodes. http://www.LizsWorldprofit.com

Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective... "I couldn't stay on that stage. I couldn't face the teachers and all the kids who started to snigger and point the minute they saw me. I just had to get out of there." He turned. He tripped. He fell on a pile of boxes wrapped like Christmas presents under the tree. He crushed the boxes. The tree fell. The crowd roared. The kids jumped all over the place pointing at me and shouting. There was the pop, pop, pop as incriminating photos were snapped in their hundreds. And then The Grinch heard himself shout in a voice not his own... "I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it," sing song like a chant. "I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it. I hate Christmas. I hate everything about it." The crowd went bananas. Dr. Seuss heard it all, too, because he was in the audience that fateful day. And he knew a great story when he heard one. He went home and started work on the book which after many drafts and edits became in 1957, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". "Mack, I get a nice fat royalty check every Christmas, which enables me to live in the manner to which I've become accustomed." The car was just pulling up to my house. The dawn was just about to break. I had just one more question to ask, but when we arrived, the door opened as if by magic. The Grinch poked my rib cage again, Max glowered at me. "It's been real, Mack. Write me a good story." He told the driver to "put pedal to the metal". And he turned his head in my direction and seemed to say something. But Max was barking, while the car shot away and I couldn't be sure. I thought I heard him say something like "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night". But I can't be sure... it's so unGrinch-like. And then I heard one more line from Clapton in The Grinch's unmistable voice: "We're gonna cause talk and suspicion"...... and he was laughing, Mack, he was laughing....

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Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective...

Resource About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home business training, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting, hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 online Home Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today. Republished with author's permission by Elizabeth English http://LizsWorldprofit.com.

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Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012

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The Holidays From Another Perspective...