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Davis, California

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Column: A Persian Tanks-geeving

I don’t care what you say. Persian parents have no idea how to celebrate American holidays.

This past Thanksgiving was the biggest farce I’ve ever seen. Over the course of a few days, my parents and their Persian ilk single-handedly caused me to go Britney Spears circa the 2007 VMAs: I had no idea where I was, I was strung out on Ecstasy, I was stumbling over myself and I gained like 15 pounds.

(Now, for all you Britney lovers out there, I’m not bashing on her. Listen to “3” – that shit blew my mind. The first time I heard her say “or four / on the floor” I started having a seizure. I LOVE BRITNEY, BITCH!!!)

“Get up Dave! Vat are you doing? You-eh sleep all-eh day?!” My dad rips off the warm blanket on me, and chastises me in Pidgin English for growing out my beard: “Vy did you grow out-eh deh beard?! Do you vant to look-eh like a terrorist all deh time?!”

I roll out of bed and mumble to myself, “You know why I look like a terrorist? It’s the same reason why Asians can’t grow out beards. We have no choice.” My mom walks over and hands me my usual beard-trimming equipment: several nine-bladed razors, a full-blown beard-trimming kit, talcum powder, a boar brush, aloe-infused shaving cream and a mini beard comb. It was enough to make any fully bearded lumberjack cry tears of pure agony.

“NO MOM, I’m not shaving my beard this time. EVERY TIME I COME OVER YOU MAKE ME SHAVE. NOT THIS TIME.” My dad chimes in from the kitchen: “Do you know vy? Because every time you come over, you embarrass us vith your new crazy beard. Vy do you kids look like-eh dis? Back in-eh my day, ve used to shave and look-eh nice!”

I imagine my dad in the 70s – bell-bottoms, ABBA blasting in the background, chest hair peeking out of every hole and a fat, delicious mustache. I describe to them my frightening image, and they back off.

“Fine Dave, you vin dis-eh time, but only because your dad really did look-eh like-eh dat,” my mom says. “But he vas vay more attractive.”

Even my parents think I’m ugly. Fuck my life.

All of their pressure for beard-genocide arose from their desire to make me look good at the Persian Thanksgiving party being held later that day at some house in Burbank. What the fuck? I’m like some homeless dude who visits every now and then, eats all their food and is forced to tend to his hygiene. But I digress.

At the party there are, as I predicted, a bunch of old men gathered in a circle in the living room discussing politics and religion REALLY LOUDLY. In the kitchen are all the women, including my mom, who are frantically preparing the shitty, pseudo-Thanksgiving food. Now, before you judge me about the food comment, let me warn you: Persian “Thanksgiving food” is not actual Thanksgiving food. Let me break this down for you:

Ali Baba-joon’s Irooni Tanks-geeving Menu

Turkey: A mangled, tasteless, dry and fruit-littered piece of foul fowl. Why they decided to garnish the fucking thing with apricots is BEYOND me.

Stuffing: What’s stuffing? Non-existent. Guess what’s in its place? Yogurt and cucumber mix. If you can see the connection between these two foods, then you’re either from Mars or Eastern Tehran.

Mashed potatoes: A dry, celery-filled concoction that seems to have been made by a toddler on shrooms. Guess what the gravy is? Turkey juice poured into a measuring cup. Are you fucking kidding me? How much further can you get from the concept of gravy? Is it that fucking hard to understand?!

Biscuits/corn bread: Normally replaced with a heaping side of Persian rice. How the FUCK can you put rice on the table?! THE PILGRIMS AND INDIANS DIDN’T EVEN HAVE RICE! THEY DIDN’T EVEN KNOW WHAT RICE WAS!!! CAN YOU IMAGINE THE PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY GETTING POKED OVER RICE?!

We ended up leaving the party early because my father was screaming at a 70-year-old man over the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I could hear my Dad screaming, “You need-eh to watch-eh YOU MOUTH! YOU DON’T KNOW-EH DEH HEESTORY! DEH MULLAHS ARE KILLING EVERYBADY YOU STUPID COW!”

I love the Persian language. Calling someone a cow is the best insult they have.

Fuck KetMoRee. DAVE KARIMI thinks we poor students can’t afford an expensive-ass cover charge for a cheap DJ, creepy people who grind on strangers like they’re a piece of Limburger cheese, nausea-inducing smoke machines and blinding laser pointers. He can be reached at dkarimi@ucdavis.edu.


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