In case you did not know me then or were not fortunate enough to have been on my email list, these are my previous Thanksgiving messages. Perhaps you will find them amusing. Alternatively, perhaps you will find me obnoxious for having saved them. Either way, victory!

November 28, 2002

Subject: And, lo, the turkeys shall sacrifice themselves for the bounty of our feast...

Hello, pals, friends, blood relatives, payees, confidantes, dopplegangers, naysayers, backpatters, employers, employees, the rest of you:

I just wanted to take a moment to say the usual saccharine crap about how thankful I am to have all of you in my life. You're very important. Blah di blah di blah.

Eat heartily and guiltlessly. Those turkeys had it coming. Just like the Indians.

Mary Forrest, stress seems to cancel out sincerity -- interesting

November 26, 2003

Subject: Hey, look! -- the leaves are turning! (Ha ha. I stole your wallet.)

Here you are, the usual list of seldom-do-wells, waiting anxiously for the annual breath of gravy-covered inspiration that comes from my keyboard, piping hot and with all the fixins. Friends -- those who know me, like me, love me, loathe me, saw me once, heard of me, received a check from me, owe me money, found one of my hairs in your socks, opened my mail by accident, kept me awake, put me to sleep, opened my eyes, or punched me in the face -- I heap my sentiment on you, because I will feel guilty later for not having done it.

Once the table has been laden with delicious victuals (and let's hope you're smart enough to have made sure someone else had to do all the work), gorge yourselves without shame! If you were falling under the shadow of guilt about murdering a gobbler this year, remember these important facts:

1. Turkeys have been scientifically proven not to have dreams or feelings.
2. A turkey has never saved anyone's life.
3. Turkeys are dishonest and prone to falling behind in their payments.
4. Turkeys talk trash about humans on a daily basis. Especially you.
5. Turkeys are willing to die for your feast. They like it, actually.
6. Turkeys are delicious.

I hope I have been helpful. And that you are thankful for me. I am thankful that I know you, and that you have allowed me to have your email address. May the blessings and bounty of this holiday season keep you tingling long into the less autumn-colored months.

Mary Forrest, devourer of turkeys and souls

P.S. If you are vegan, you have nothing to be thankful for.

November 24, 2004

Subject: "Harvest" is just another word for "picking crap up off the ground."

Well, hello. You haven't heard from me in a while. Or you have just heard from me recently. Or you were hoping to never hear from me again. Whichever of those categories applies to you, you are now hearing from me because I would like to insist that you have a perfectly marvelous Thanksgiving. I'm probably not going to be doing much to secure this bounty for you, unless you are in my immediate family (in which case -- kudos!), but I still want to heap upon you the burden of my demand, which is fivefold:

1. I hope you eat like a king. King of the turkeys. A glorious king who eats his subjects, laughs about it briefly, and then falls into a tryptophan-induced coma while someone else does the washing up.

2. I hope you have a fond nostalgic interlude about a previous Thanksgiving, and I hope you don't have to reach all the way back to the days when you celebrated it by cutting turkeys and horns o' plenty out of autumn-colored construction paper. I hope you've had a nice Thanksgiving at least once since then. And if you haven't, maybe when you finish reading this email, you will be fond of it and can remember it as if it happened a long time ago.

3. I hope you don't gain a considerable amount of weight. No one likes a fatty in a sweater. Too bulky!

4. I hope you are surrounded by those you love. And if you are not surrounded by them, I hope you are at least contacted by them in the form of some personal message (texting is okay).

5. I hope you don't get murdered. And I mean that sincerely.

There. As long as you make good on all of these things, I will be satisfied and will not rain down my fury on your upcoming Christmas. If you did not take time out to specially wish me a nice holiday, you are a jerk. God bless you.

Mary Forrest, angel of the shopping season