Thanksgiving 2018

John "Bridge" Martin

The Editor of ERBmania! sees all, knows all, or at least what those posts and comments our resident poet and scholar John "Bridge" Martin shares in the wilds of erb-list (an Edgar Rice Burroughs centric email listserve). Your editor has collected these deliciously absurd gems of Bridge's imagination and wit from the 2018 Thanksgiving season for your reading pleasure.

Two sparkling tales from the master poet.


By Edgar Rice Bridges

I was enjoying my solitary holiday getaway in my cabin on the Little Colorado. The night air was chilly but I stretched out my slippered feet toward the fire and placed them on the back on Ol' Shep, the Golden Retriever given me by Ugly Ursa, the great nephew of the Black Bear.

Shep groaned briefly, then adjusted his body and once again closed his eyes.

As I sat, enjoying the warmth, my Disney Tarzan quilt spread over my legs, I suddenly hear the sound of the wind and a chilling blast hit my back. I turned to see who had come in and immediately forgot my discomfort and annoyance at the intrusion.

"John Carter!" I smiled.

"Hello Uncle," he said. "I hope you don't mind. It's a little difficult to warn you in advance of my arrival times when you don't have the Gridley shortwave available. "But I miss America's Thanksgiving holiday. We don't have any such celebration on Barsoom and so I thought I'd drop in on you and join you for a meal."

"You're entirely welcome, anytime," I said. "But I'm afraid all I have in the cupboard is Pork 'n' Beans and hardtack. There might be a can or two of Spam in the lower cupboard."

"No problem at all," said Carter. "I brought the main dish myself! A couple of wings!

I grimaced. "That's very nice of you," I said, "But I don't think those will provide very much of a Thanksgiving meal."

"Oh," Carter grinned. "I think you'll find these equal every bit of a traditional turkey...and more. These are Malagor wings."


By Garcon Napkiner

It had been a good day. I had intimidated my guard, Yron, with my T-ray pistol after killing three of the guypals, and now it was nighttime, when guypals don't fly, and we were back in the slave compound enjoying roast guypal, which was quite a change from the slop we were usually fed.

"We can give thanks that you are among us," said Kandar, although it was difficult to look at him when he spoke as Amtorian manners are different from those of earthmen and he was talking with his mouth full.

"Speaking of giving thanks," I said, "In my native country we have a whole day devoted to this kind of feasting. We call it Thanksgiving."

"You have a whole day to eat guypal?" he asked, incredulous.

"Well, we don't have guypal, so we eat a different creature, called turkey. And we can eat it anytime but it's sort of a tradition to eat it at Thanksgiving."

"Well, if you can keep them from taking your gun away, we can have a steady diet of these guypal," said Kandar.

"It's nourishing," I agreed, "and provides a supply of most daily vitamins. But there's one thing I don't like about it."

I turned my head so I wouldn't have to see into Kandar's mouth when he answered. "What's that?" he asked.

"It has a distinctive polywog whang," I said.


From a previous Thanksgiving season Bridge sent the following. Included here just because it fits!

Thanksgiving on the Savannah

By John Martin

The lioness came with freshly killed turkey

She found on the grasslands (Now isn't that quirky!)


She came with its neck clamped tight in her jaws,

Planning to use it to fill hungry maws.


Numa the lion was watching the game,

As leopards stalked eland that weren't very tame.


The cubs were at play in a wrestling match,

Waiting for mom to say, "Eat! Down the hatch!"


She plopped the big bird in the midst of the pride.

It was turkey or nothing; no dish on the side.


She made sure the family was looking her way,

Then bowed her great head and said, "Let us prey."


Numa rose slowly from out of his lair,

And took a huge bite for his male lion's share.


Then mama and cubbies took turns at the rest,

The cubs winding up with a wishbone to test.


Then all hit the hay, from cubbies to Pap,

The tryptophan working to prompt them to nap.


But before drifting off, a roar from the king

Said "I wish everyone a Happy Fangsgiving."