I’ve always loathed end-of-the-year holidays because of that awful flatline feeling . Every city becomes a version of San Francisco as seen by Gregory Peck though his submarine periscope in On The Beach. Everyone stops creating and endeavoring and running around and settles into eating and drinking and zoning out in front of LCDs and LEDs. There’s no joy in lying around like lazy seals. I remember feeling this way when I was eight.

But there’s nothing to be done about it. Every time a four-day Thanksgiving is about to begin I say to myself, “Okay, here it comes…the world is going to slip into downshift and nod-off mode, but the holiday is not going to get me. I’m going to live through it and when it’s all over and I’ve capitulated and done the lazy sit-down thing, I’ll never stuff myself with heaping portions of heavy food again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill…as God is my witness, I’ll never eat anything but fruit again.”