A Thanksgiving Playlist

Nov. 21, 2018

A few stories for the kitchen, or the long drive.

The History
Story: Turkeys In Pilgrim Clothing
Episode 328: What I Learned From Television
Sarah Vowell examines what happens when TV takes on a subject it really has no business exploring at all, but seems fairly obsessed with nonetheless: The Pilgrims.

The Meal
Story: Squashing the Creative Spirit
Episode 311: A Better Mousetrap
Andy Raskin tells a story about the spirit of invention, and the forces that want to stop it...at the dinner table. Any of this sound familiar?

Story: Oily Potter and the Gobble of Fire
Episode: Say Yes to Christmas
Stephanie Foo fell hard for a new holiday tradition – Turkey Fryer PSAs created by fire departments across the country. (Check out Stephanie’s blog post, where you can watch some of the best videos she found.)

Credit: YouTube


In 1995, we ran our first “Poultry Slam,” a play on Chicago’s Poetry Slam, to commemorate the time of year when poultry consumption is highest. It was the first of many over the next 15 years. From why a family calls all poultry “fish” to one woman’s opera about Chicken Little, and many more stories: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2011.


The Family
Story: Pilgrim's Progress
Episode 174: Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Milestones
Sarah Vowell takes over the family Thanksgiving dinner by bringing everyone to New York. What results is a series of milestones and family firsts.

The Shopping
Episode 371: Scenes From a Mall
In 2008, we spent several days in a mall in suburban Tennessee, documenting life during the run-up to Christmas.

Photo: flickr/01steven