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The offbeat side of the news

Annual anniversary

With its impressive assortment of hardy runners – many in out-there costumes – trudging from North Buffalo to downtown under remarkably mild weather conditions for mid-fall, the 120th annual YMCA Turkey Trot is now consigned to the dustbin of history.

However, there is one thing about which we at Off Main Street remained curious: Why was it billed as the 120th annual celebration of the event when the very first incarnation of the Turkey Trot goes back only to 1896? Wouldn’t that be just 119 annual celebrations of the Thanksgiving Day foot race to have taken place through last Thursday?

Well, not if you count the very first year the event was run which, according to Kathy Romanski, communications director for the YMCA Buffalo Niagara, the organizers do.

Each year, it is a celebration of the annual event, not the anniversary of the event.

Nothing to sniff at

Now that Thanksgiving 2015, too, has past, the remnants of Thursday’s carved turkey will have to take a backseat to bacon.

At least, that appeared to be the urging of a missive from J&D Foods, makers of Bacon Salt, that appeared in our email queue this week announcing the company’s launch of bacon-scented underwear. “Yes, this is real,” the email assured us.

The questionable taste of such a sales pitch aside, we were, nonetheless, intrigued by the accompanying product warnings. The manufacturer claims it was advised by its legal counsel to caution against use by “people in the following professions: mail carriers, zookeepers, veterinarians, dog catchers and walkers, and circus performers (especially lion tamers).”

An online search for information about the eight-year-old Seattle-based company reveals that provocative marketing of its unusual products is customary, but the veracity of this pitch, indeed, passes the smell test. The item can be found on the company’s website.

Jive turkey

After Thursday’s carved turkey, it’s time to recall the ubiquitous “jive turkey” and all other things hopelessly 1970s as thousands queue up Saturday night at Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for the World’s Largest Disco.

The annual post-Thanksgiving party has become a regular part of the holiday season over the past couple of decades for those who are really into a four-beat percussive rhythm, 40-year-old threads acquired from local thrift stores and, of course, a good time.

About 7,000 folks are expected to attend the retro party sponsored by Univera, which organizers boast will have “the largest dance floor in New York State, with 500,000 watts of sound and lights.” A secret celebrity guest star from the disco era is expected to be announced at the sold-out event.

Last year’s party featured Henry Winkler, “the Fonz” of “Happy Days” fame, and Cindy Williams of “Laverne & Shirley.”

A piece of pie cake

Still digesting the remains of Thanksgiving Day feasts past, we wonder if anybody in our neck of the woods dared to try the outrageously decadent and, no doubt, gastronomically challenging pastry dish featured this week in the New York Times called piecaken ?

It is described as pound cake with three different kinds of pie layered inside. Talk about your unusual stuffings. But this one was meant to be the dessert to end all desserts.

Who would be brave enough to try it, particularly after an unusually heavy meal? According to the article, just one slice is estimated at more than 1,200 calories, which is more than should be consumed in an entire normal meal.

Off Main Street is written by Harold McNeil.