Every Thanks-giving Day, the Zweibel clan gathers at the estate to enjoy a magnificent feast of turkey-fowl, listen to the footballing matches upon the wireless-radio, and create a great bonfire out of dead leaves and kerosene-fuel in the court-yard.

This year, however, I will not be permitted to participate in the festivities. Doc McGillicuddy says I will catch my death of croup if I do and that I should remain sealed in my bed-chamber. No gravy-flavored pablum for me! And I was so looking forward to my yearly tradition of playing Squanto in the Zweibel family Thanks-giving Day pageant. In years past, not even my missing fore-arms and near-deafness has prevented me from teaching the Pilgrims to plant corn!

But I suspect Doc McGillicuddy was in no small measure influenced by the wishes of my family, who have no respect for the fact that I am the paterfamilias of the Zweibels, and that, without me, they would not be alive. (With the exception of the bastard D. Manfred, who, as I have mentioned in this space many times before, is the illegitimate result of a torrid union between my late wife and the coal-hauler.)

I suppose I'm still paying for an incident that occurred last Thanks-giving Day. Shortly after dinner, as I was being wheeled through the smoking-parlor, I over-heard some whorishly dressed great-great-great grand-relative of mine say to her rheumy-eyed brat, "That old man in the wheel-chair is one of your ancestors!" Incensed, I barked, "What do I look like to you, George Washington's mother, you slack-teated Gorgon?" Every-one groaned and gasped as though I had just urinated on a church. Before I could add any-thing, a servant came forth and strapped a leather gag over my mouth, and I was shunted away to my bed-chamber.

Despite my grievous treatment at the hands of my ungrateful off-spring, I remain thankful for many, many things. After all, Providence has been very kind to us Zweibels, in big and small ways alike.

Among the things I wish to give thanks unto Lord Our God On High:

Patent-leather spats.

The Gadsden Purchase.

That droll little "Wheezer" fellow in the Our Gang comedies.

Shawls.

And, of course, last but not least, black-strap molasses.