Nightmares Before Thanksgiving: Medicos Warn of Holiday-Related Injuries, Celiac Disease, Etc.


Christ in Heaven, King Kong and the Rockettes have announced holiday Christmas season. So it’s time to start thinking about that cozy, mildly-patriotic warm-up event, Thanksgiving, and the turkey with which those of us who are not celebrity vegans celebrate.

Looking forward to it? Let us fix that for you. We’ve already started getting holiday mailers from publicists whose boundless hunger for press may ruin yours for turkey ‘n’ trimmings. We will share them with you here.

Here’s a holiday message from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine: “Don’t Add an ER Visit to Your Holiday Plans“…

At first it looks as if emergency medicine specialist Abhi Mehrotra is reaching: “Most people who come in [to the ER] over that four-day period are here for fever, back pain, abdominal pain and chest pain,” he says, which is “not unexpected because those are the most common complaints anyway.”

We were about to head over to the next tent when Mehrotra informed us that there are some complaints that spike at Thanksgiving, including lacerations (“keep knives and other sharp objects out of reach of children”), burns (“have a working fire extinguisher nearby at all times”), and overexertion, which can apparently occur even when you’re shopping online on Black Friday (“If you’re not careful, you could find muscle pain, stiffness and eye strain in your online shopping cart”).

He also mentions overeating, which is always a big concern. Houston Methodist Hospital is sensible, reminding us that Thanksgiving dinner is one meal, not three days of equally high-fat leftovers. Dietitian Linda Illingworth asks that you have a care for guests who may be suffering from celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. She suggests a “separate cutting board, a separate knife, separate serving spoon,” etc., as even a tiny particle of wheat “could mean a hospital trip.” (On second thought, don’t even invite those people. Think of the lawsuits!)

But marketing professors at the University of Utah refuse to help: “Pig Out More at Thanksgiving and You May Shop Less,” they say. “Our research shows that types of food, such as turkey, make people behave less impulsively.” They even did tests which showed that turkey eaters “displayed less willingness to buy deeply discounted products” than non-turkey eaters. Protein shakes also work, but try putting that one over on your guests.

Maybe the answer for weight-watchers is to make your turkey as unappealing as possible. If so, we have four words for you: White Castle Turkey Stuffing.