HAAS-TA LA VISTA: Thanks for the memories

November 19, 2012

I find the idea of Thanksgiving needs to go beyond Black Friday sales and stuffing oneself with turkey.

The original idea was for pilgrims to give thanks for surviving harsh ordeals.

Werner Haas is a West Hollywood writer whose latest novel is named "Wasps."

I have not Googled it, but I wonder who came up with the name “turkey” which, to most around the world still means Constantinople or Istanbul or even Lawrence of Arabia.

Anyway, I need to give voice to my thanks.

I am thankful that I may never have to see or hear about or from Mitt Romney again.

I have always considered myself a sore loser, but I generally do not go public about it.

I am thankful about a long and, so far, relatively healthy life.

I still wake up every morning and check the Obituary column to see if my name appears there.

I am secretly thankful that, unlike some my age and even younger, I have my wits (and half-wits) my memories and all my faculties in good order.

I can remember things, good and slights.

I can be thankful that while I have not achieved all my dreams, I have not suffered all my nightmares.

I am thankful for so many memories, some of which I have shared in these columns- people I have known and/or met, performers I have seen and enjoyed.

I am thankful for friends who allow me to get pissed off at relatively minor things.

I am thankful that I have a place here to vent.

So, perhaps uncharacteristically, I wish all who read (or have this column read to) a holiday season free from worry and fear.

Editor’s Note: We did Google the word’s origin for Werner, and found out that a recently coined usage sometimes even applies to us ;-}

Here’s what we found…

turkey (n.) 

"Guinea fowl" (Numida meleagris), imported from Madagascar via Turkey, by Near East traders known as turkey merchants.

The larger North American bird (Meleagris gallopavo) was domesticated by the Aztecs, introduced to Spain by conquistadors (1523) and thence to wider Europe, by way of North Africa (then under Ottoman rule) and Turkey (Indian corn was originally turkey corn or turkey wheat in English for the same reason). 

The word turkey was first applied to it in English 1550s because it was identified with or treated as a species of the guinea fowl.

By 1575, turkey was becoming the usual main course at an English Christmas.

That more recent meanin?  "Iinferior show or failure," is 1927 in show business slang, probably from the bird's reputation for stupidity. It came to be applied to individuals in the 1950s, when Werner was still a whipper-snapper.



Werner Haas is a West Hollywood writer whose latest novel is named "Wasps." Summary: Long Island is no longer a place for complacent suburbanites. It is now a festering ground for anti-social activity by bored or power-hungry teens.

The Wasps is a story of such a neo-Nazi gang made up of otherwise "ordinary" middle-class young people.

Get "Wasps" here.