Thanksgiving 2020 Jams: Pass The Gravy with Keller

by Keller // David and Keller

I started working on a Thanksgiving playlist and managed to put together a pretty remarkable set of songs about nudity, stabbing and hot dogs, but after sharing the awesome mix with David, it was pointed out to me that I was confusing Thanksgiving with Christmas. A classic 2020 move. Up is down and down is blue. The good news is I have a pretty sweet playlist ready for Christmas. The bad news is it’s still 2020. 

Thanksgiving, as David reminded me, is the one where, as a college kid, you swagger back to your old stomping grounds as if you were returning on Apollo 11. You couldn’t be more proud of yourself. You’ve accomplished so much, after all! You live on your own now! I mean, you don’t pay any bills or do your laundry or make your bed or clean your room or fix anything that breaks or make your own meals, but other than that, you are Mr. (or Ms.) Independent! And, lest anyone forget where you went off to school three months ago, you dress like you won a shopping spree at your college’s bookstore. I totally forgot you go to Brown! But, thankfully, your hat, t-shirt and socks are there to remind me!

Here’s some more bad news about 2020, though: It’s likely you won’t have a mini-reunion at your local watering hole, as most bars are closed or have reduced their capacity to midnight-screening-at-the-retirement-home levels. So, sadly, there may be nowhere to strut your slightly longer hair or neck scruff. You could start jogging, I suppose. You can don that long-sleeved Super Rad University athletic top and run by your ex-girlfriend’s house and stretch on some busy corner in town while you wait through five red lights (they’ll never know!). Or, better yet, you could do some grocery shopping. It doesn’t require sweating and, with all the bright lights, there’s no chance they’ll miss your Financially Exclusive College sweatshirt. And though they won’t be able to make out that ‘stache you’ve been working on behind the required mask, trust me when I say it’s for the best. 

Oh, who am I kidding? You guys in college don’t care about viruses. You can drive through 5 Points on a Friday night and see that. So I have faith you will find a place to congregate and humble brag in what the CDC would call an “unsafe number.” You’ll be fine and that’s all that matters. #grateful. 

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel days of the year for a reason. For many of us, even those of us not in college, we love going home. Perhaps we don’t go back to strut anymore, but we go back with just as much excitement. Maybe it’s nervous energy for some, but the emotions are spilling over like the green beans and sweet potato casserole on that first plate you make on the fourth Thursday each November. We have FDR to thank for that date, by the way. And, as with most things in America, money played a pretty big role.

At any rate, there’s a reason there are hundreds of movies featuring pivotal scenes at the Thanksgiving table. These are your people. This is the table, the walls, the street, the park and the minds that made you. This is why so many of us crowd onto our criminally undersized highways — I’m looking at you I-26 — it’s why we fold our legs to squeeze onto airplanes and why we bust out our gravy boats and polish silver and finally use our fine china. For better or worse, this is who we are. These people know the insecure kid under that sweatshirt, they know you almost left your husband two years ago, that your job is unfulfilling, that you’re actually leasing that BMW and that your oldest kid didn’t get into his first choice. Or his second choice. That your colonoscopy could have gone better. That you confuse condone and condemn. That you still make a Christmas list and cried watching last season’s Dancing With the Stars. Twice. That you like Billy Joel, damnit. That you don’t like watching football. That you believe in ghosts. That you don’t believe in God. That, despite your yelling, you would almost always flee instead of fight. Sitting at that table, in each and every chair, is a bathroom mirror. There’s no hiding and there’s no use pretending. 

So maybe Thanksgiving will be Thanksgiving, after all. Even if the numbers are reduced, even if you cut out the uncles, aunts and cousins, you can still fry turkeys and overeat and fall asleep on the sofa and stab naked people with hot – oh yeah, wrong holiday. Look, the hope is maybe you tone it down a bit this year to slow the spread of COVID. There’s a vaccine on the horizon, but a vaccine won’t help treat the granddad you infect next week. So, you know, be aware of that. Maybe fry a smaller turkey. Maybe eat on the porch. Maybe pick up a few extra Top Shelf University facemasks for the grocery store or something.

And one final note: the actual busiest travel day of the year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving. We may love our families, but it seems we love our independence just as much. #mymomevenfoldedmylaundry


We at WUSC miss David and Keller’s show terribly. Be smart, wear a mask, and take care of yourself so the station can once again expand its broadcasting roster to include our beloved alumni and community friends.