I’ve got three cards that seem like part of a longer story about “Thanksgiving Town.” They’re just odd and unsettling in a way I can’t quite put my finger on.
The cards themselves are simple enough. Well, I guess the first one is the most blatantly “weird.”
Two kids on a wagon being pulled by two turkeys is a bit off. But, as I’ve said before, riding turkeys and using them as pack animals is one of the biggest trends of Thanksgiving cards and even some Christmas ones, too.
The “story,” such as it is, is that kids come to Thanksgiving Town(e), line up to eat, and then file out again. That’s it.
Now the first question is if the turkey wagon card is connected to the other two. Two of these definitely belong to a longer series, but I’m not sure about the first.
(This is normal for vintage postcards, btw. Back when there were fewer to choose from, the idea was that a lot of your friends would buy the set, and you’d hope to get different ones from different people to have a set of your own. And people kept the cards for a long time, sometimes forever, as visual distractions. No TV, Instagram, etc., it’s nice to have stuff to look at.)
So it calls this “Thanksgiving Towne” which is definitely an “olde worlde” spelling. It’s also just weird because since Thanksgiving is a specifically American (and Canadian, yes) holiday, why use “olde English” spelling? [I know it’s nothing connected to actual “Old English,” and that’s a very pedantic pet peeve of mine, so I won’t get mad at imagined people making that mistake right now…although it’s tempting because that’s how my mind works.]
Also, why is there a period? Who puts a period at the end on a title or a sign? That’s definitely not American or even a UK custom. I’ve seen it on some French things, but once we get deeper into Europe like that, aren’t we far away from the good ole USA where we can be “a-comin'” for Thanksgiving dinner? (Or, now that I think about it, that’s weird, too. There’s NO punctuation there where there should be: a dash and an apostrophe. It’s like some esoteric form of upside down punctuation notation. Just feels…occult somehow.)
The other thing is that the town(e) itself looks different. On the first one above, the style is a bit more “realistic.” A bit. But in the other two, the town is definitely leaning to more storybook type buildings.
So are there two series about a Thanksgiving Town(e)? Is this the tip of the iceberg of a hidden Thanksgiving mythology we never knew about?
Also, just…why the medieval walled town for an American holiday? I mean, we don’t have medieval architecture here because we hadn’t decided to destroy Native American culture yet.
I still want to know what goes on in Thanksgiving Town(e). What activities do you have? Cooking and eating, sure. But are there massive turkey farms and horrific slaughtering and fowl processing facilities? (Are the roofs painted red with turkey blood? I mean, you’ve got a lot of waste material to use, I’d think.)
But what else is there? Maybe a football field? I don’t see any stadium lights. Otherwise, Thanksgiving is just about family, right? And these kids are conspicuously on their own, which is another thing that just makes this not make sense to me.
But that caption is also ominous. “I wish it might be granted…”? Is there some mysterious Thanksgiving Town(e) Board of Admissions all these kids had to apply to first? Seems ungenerous or ungrateful somehow — not in the Thanksgiving spirit.
I also feel scared of this Board, like they’re big into efficiency optimization. I mean, even the line to get in has a specific name: “Turkey Line.” It’s Thanksgiving. You’d think that would go without saying, but, no we must be official and meticulous.
At least the kids seem satisfied when they leave:
They come out stuffed and sleepy. But no one took their bibs off. Were they rushed out? Like, to make room for the next round of kids? Is Thanksgiving Town(e) some giant cafeteria or dining hall? It’s gotta be, right? But if it has to be “granted” to get in, it’s not for everyone.
They look, I guess… reasonably satisfied in that image. Not exactly full to brim with happiness. But then they’ve just had Thanksgiving dinner away from their family in what seems like a giant assembly-line process. So, you get fed well, but it’s kinda heartless. The town looks empty now that we can actually see inside. Kinda drab and even like the shrubbery isn’t all that well-kept. Maybe you can have fun exploring those towers (if they let you), but you’d probably just find old rusted slaughtering tools.
At least in the first card, you had people coming out to greet you. Not here.
So… yeah. I don’t know what to make of these. Maybe I’m overthinking them, but I feel like they were so poorly thought out that I have to fill in any gaps with wild speculation. And maybe seeing some other cards in the series would make me less afraid of this place. But right now, whenever these cards come up in the queue, I get this totally foreboding sense of danger.
There’s nothing objectively creepy about them, but my gut is always screaming “DO NOT LIKE” when they come up. They might even bug me more than the turkey eye cards, to be honest. Sometimes mystery can be a beautiful, wonder-making thing. But in this case, my intuition tells me there’s something truly sinister going on behind Thanksgiving Town(e). And I’m not sure I want to find out what it is.
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