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Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone: Holidazed, #5

Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone: Holidazed, #5

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Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone: Holidazed, #5

262 pages
3 hours
Jun 22, 2022


When the doors to the North Columbus Wow-Mart open at midnight on Black Friday, ringing in the "Wowzathon" event of the century, chaos breaks out.

A rampaging mob threatens to tear the store apart. Santa Claus is drunk, and a washed-up Halloween diva takes his place. The store manager's daughter disappears. A turkey breaks loose. The security guards go into hiding. Somebody is giving out psychedelic brownies. Rookie undercover journalist Mazie Tuttle's boyfriend gets lost trying to rescue her. All the while, three very different shoppers battle to figure out the clues leading to a hidden treasure.

Then a shot rings out. Mazie has landed right in the middle of a major story... if she can survive to tell it.

EVOLVED PUBLISHING PRESENTS a satirical, down-right funny novel sure to keep a smile on your face. [DRM-Free]


  • "Fresh News Straight from Heaven"
  • Holidazed - Book 1: "Halloween from the Other Side"
  • Holidazed - Book 2: "The Christmas Donut Revolution"
  • Holidazed - Book 3: "Upside-Down Independence Day"
  • Holidazed - Book 4: "Murder by Valentine Candy"
  • Holidazed - Book 5: "Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone"
  • Holidazed - Book 6: "New Year's Eve, 1999"


  • "Hannah's Voice" by Robb Grindstaff
  • "The Colonel and the Bee" by Patrick Canning
  • "Deep Mud" by Ty Spencer Vossler
  • "Indivisible" by Julia Camp


Jun 22, 2022

About the author

Gregg Sapp, a native Ohioan, is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer, librarian, college teacher and academic administrator. He is the author of the “Holidazed” series of downright funny satires (Evolved Publishing), each of which is centered around a different holiday. Previous books include Dollarapalooza (Switchgrass Books, 2011) and Fresh News Straight from Heaven (Evolved Publishing, 2018), based upon the life and folklore of Johnny Appleseed. He has published humor, poetry, and short stories in Defenestration, Waypoints, Semaphore, Kestrel, Zodiac Review, Top Shelf, Marathon Review, and been a frequent contributor to Midwestern Gothic, and others. Gregg lives in Tumwater, WA.

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Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone - Gregg Sapp



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Holidazed – Book 5

Copyright © 2021 Gregg Sapp


ISBN (EPUB Version): 1622534999

ISBN-13 (EPUB Version): 978-1-62253-499-9


Editor: Brandon Sanford

Cover Artist: Kabir Shah

Interior Designer: Lane Diamond



At the end of this novel of approximately 51,962 words, you will find two Special Sneak Previews: 1) THE COLONEL AND THE BEE by Patrick Canning, an award-winning, critically-acclaimed literary/historical adventure filled with treasure hunts and vicious killers, and; 2) DEEP MUD by Ty Spencer Vossler, a literary/magical realism tale bringing murder, passion, unrequited love, and a connection to the strangest chain of events imaginable. We think you’ll enjoy these books, too, and provide these previews as a FREE extra service, which you should in no way consider a part of the price you paid for this book. We hope you will both appreciate and enjoy the opportunity. Thank you.


eBook License Notes:

You may not use, reproduce or transmit in any manner, any part of this book without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations used in critical articles and reviews, or in accordance with federal Fair Use laws. All rights are reserved.

This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only; it may not be resold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, please return to your eBook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.



This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or the author has used them fictitiously.

Books by Gregg Sapp


Book 1: Halloween from the Other Side

Book 2: The Christmas Donut Revolution

Book 3: Upside-Down Independence Day

Book 4: Murder by Valentine Candy

Book 5: Thanksgiving, Thanksgotten, Thanksgone

Book 6: New Year’s Eve, 1999 [Late 2022]


Fresh News Straight from Heaven


Dollarapalooza (or The Day Peace Broke Out in Columbus)



What Others Are Saying about Gregg Sapp’s Books


Gregg Sapp has done it again! He has authored another intense novel that is almost impossible to put down once you start reading it. Sapp creates characters with whom the reader closely identifies to the point of bonding. His description of surroundings and individuals is so precise that it is easy to form mental pictures placing yourself center stage in every aspect of the story. The plot is superbly crafted with enough excitement to enjoy the story and remember select minutia long after you have finished it. Halloween will never be the same. ~ Tim Terry



This book pokes fun at both redneck conservatives and liberal academics. This is the first book by this author I have read but won’t be the last. ~ Dan Smith



Johnny Appleseed told many a good yarn about his life and times. He would like this book. ~ Howard Means, Author of Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, the American Story (S&S 2011)


"Fresh News is as fresh as today, filled with the flavor and plain frontier talk of the Western Reserve. It’s unmissable." ~ The Akron Beacon Journal (Book Talk, August 2, 2018)


This narrative begins at Owl Creek in 1801 and immediately I am captured not only by the description of America’s western frontier but by this gangly and cheerfully unconcerned barefoot backwoodsman who made walking sticks fashionable. Against a lush and fragrant backdrop, Sapp provides an array of multidimensional characters in an unpolished landscape that is researched and executed so well, it is difficult to tell that which is invented and that which is historically accurate. ~ Lori’s Book Loft


Gregg Sapp presents a superbly researched, highly entertaining, and thoroughly enjoyable historically based novel surrounding the exploits of Johnny Appleseed; intertwined with some of the most noteworthy persons and events of the time period. If your initial reaction to the topic is that it may be rather trite—I assure you it is NOT. The historical references and characterizations are intricately researched, creating an exceptional description of lifestyles and living conditions in the cruel harsh frontier at the onset of the nineteenth century. Sapp is a professional researcher with prominent academic credentials who knows how to evaluate the authenticity of primary and secondary sources of information and then craft them into a highly readable and truly exciting adventure. In addition to being a truly exciting story, this book gives the reader a fascinating prospective of frontier living not previously available in other novels. ~ Tim Terry


We’re pleased to offer you not one, but two Special Sneak Previews at the end of this book.


In the first preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of Patrick Canning’s THE COLONEL AND THE BEE, an award-winning, critically-acclaimed literary/historical adventure filled with treasure hunts and vicious killers.





PATRICK CANNING’S Books at Evolved Publishing

In the second preview, you’ll enjoy the First 2 Chapters of Ty Spencer Vossler’s DEEP MUD, a literary/magical realism tale bringing murder, passion, unrequited love, and a connection to the strangest chain of events imaginable.





TY SPENCER VOSSLER’S Books at Evolved Publishing

Table of Contents


Books by Gregg Sapp

What Others Are Saying


Table of Contents




Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9


Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

About the Author

More from Gregg Sapp

What’s Next?

More from Evolved Publishing

Special Sneak Preview: THE COLONEL AND THE BEE by Patrick Canning

Special Sneak Preview: DEEP MUD by Ty Spencer Vossler


For Shirley,

please pass the gravy.


Chapter 1

6:00 a.m. on the Morning after Thanksgiving—aka BLACK FRIDAY

Think very carefully about what you say next, Detective Sally Witt advised. Because you’re in heap of trouble, Santa.

Ho, ho, fuckin’ ho, Santa sneered in reply.

That attitude will get you on my naughty list. The detective unlatched a chain from her belt and dangled a set of keys in front of Santa’s nose. If you want me to unlock those handcuffs, you’ll have to cooperate.

Somebody’s getting a chunk of coal black as shit in their stocking for fuckin’ Christmas this year.

This was far from the first time that Tank Turner had worn the cop bracelet, but it was the first time he’d been arrested while portraying Santa Claus. In the spirit of the season, Tank felt he deserved more respect, even as a suspect in a homicide. After all, he was Santa Claus, Father Christmas, Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, a right jolly ol’ elf, whose sacred mission was to spread seasonal cheer and goodwill among the children of Columbus and its suburbs. He took this role seriously. While in real life he was, admittedly, sometimes an asshole, Tank tried his best as Santa Claus to act like a gentleman. Assuming he got out of jail in time, Santa still intended to report for work at Snowflake Castle at noon, where hundreds of doting parents would scream bloody murder if their precious little brats missed a chance to be photographed sitting on his lap. The least Santa Claus had to do was show up, lest the children of Central Ohio question his existence. The cops needed to release him on his own recognizance ASAP pronto, because without Santa Claus, Snowflake Castle might as well be White Castle.

You ain’t no Santa Claus, Detective Witt scoffed. This ain’t your first rodeo. You’re Tank Turner, so cut the crap.

Tank bristled, for in his experience someone calling out his name was invariably followed by trouble. The sudden rush of adrenaline triggered waves of nausea, which throbbed downward from Tank’s brain and simultaneously gurgled upward from his bowels, meeting as a toxic bubble of acid reflux in his mouth.

Look out, Tank yowled. I’m gonna hurl.

Detective Witt pushed back her chair and groaned, Again? Really?

Yes, amazingly, Tank impressed himself by puking for the third time that night—a new personal record. The first time he’d vomited, a baker’s dozen of Magical Mystical Brownies came back up in roughly the same shape, consistency, and even taste as when he first swallowed them, like a second helping. The second time he expelled brownie crumbs in a blended effluent that included the dregs of a digested Thanksgiving dinner; it was the color of yams, the texture of dark meat, and the stench of moldy potatoes. Afterwards, he felt as empty as a drum, so he naturally assumed the malaise had passed. Puking a third time was unprecedented, for Tank had a cast-iron stomach, hardened by his diet of pork rinds, loaded nachos, jalapeno poppers, five-alarm chili, and spicy garlic buffalo wings, all washed down with Genesee Cream Ale and grain alcohol. He began the barf trifecta by dry heaving, until something from the abdominal depths slowly clawed its way up his esophagus. It felt like giving birth via his mouth. Tank tried to brace himself on the corners of the table, but the handcuffs restrained him, so when he heaved, the force lashed his head from left to right. In the ensuing eruption, he regurgitated a plume of glutinous green liquid.

Detective Witt waved at the two-way mirror behind Tank. Cleanup in the interrogation room. Chop, chop, people.

When Tank finished, he had sprayed puke across the table, and a bilious broth sloshed in his lap; he held two handfuls of it, like gravy boats, which he poured into the half-empty cup of water he’d been given.

I don’t know what was in those brownies, Tank said, but something gnarly is churning in my guts.

Detective Witt brushed flecks of vomit off her flannel shirt. Did you enjoy that?

Tank wiped his mouth on the fluffy collar of his Santa coat. Not as much as you’d think.

I pity any child sitting on your lap.

Hey. Being Santa Claus ain’t as easy as it’s made up to be. It’s hard to act jolly when you’ve got a bad case of the runny shits.

That must be tough for you, Detective Witt commiserated. I’m almost afraid to ask, but—how in the hell did you get this gig? Did you lose a bet?

Last year I disappeared off the grid for a while, he said. I find that it cleanses the mind and spirit.

You ditched town because you owed somebody money, Detective Witt translated.

Well, that too, Tank admitted. While I was away, I didn’t bother to shower or shave. By the time I felt safe to return, I had a full beard. People told me I looked like Santa Claus. At first, that bothered me. Santa ain’t exactly a flattering look for a bouncer. Then, one day while I was in Home Depot buying sandpaper, some kid pointed at me and said, Look Mommy; it’s Santa Claus." The kid’s mother was hot, so I played along. The next thing I knew, she offered $500 for me to play Santa Claus at her office Christmas party. Turns out that Santa Clauses with real beards, real red cheeks, and real bellies like a bowlful of jelly get top dollar. A month of being Santa is worth six months of bouncing drunks out of the Booti Tooti Club. And it sure beats kicking the shit out of perverts for getting handsy during lap dances."

C’mon, Tank. You get off on dressing up like Santa Claus. Isn’t that why you were at Wow-Mart on Black Friday?

I was working, Tank insisted.

So, you weren’t just impersonating Santa to crash Black Friday? You were actually being paid to be there? Detective Witt aimed her index finger at Tank. Then why were you carrying a concealed weapon?

Even Santa has a right to defend himself. You never know what kind of freak might want to take him out. Second Amendment!

Why did your fire your weapon?

Self-defense. It’s my right to stand my ground.

Detective Witt went hmm and fanned herself with a thick file folder inscribed with Tank’s name. This was a purely theatrical gesture, intended to make him think they possessed a considerable dossier of evidence against him, even though Tank was willing to bet the file was full of junk mail and takeout menus. He knew every trick in the law enforcement playbook. On TV shows, the interrogator often offered the interrogee a cigarette in an overture designed to earn their trust. Even though Tank didn’t trust Witt any farther than he could throw her—about ten feet; she was a bit chunky—he figured asking was worth a shot.

Can I get a cigarette? he asked.

Maybe, if you cooperate. Detective Witt leaned so close that Tank could see her nostrils pinch when she got a whiff of him. Even though she was a cop, he had to admit he liked being within kissing distance of her. Then, she ruined the moment by asking, You liked Delphyne, didn’t you?

Huh? Tank shook his head so hard the little ball on the end of his Santa hat slapped his cheeks. I only just met her last night.

I know. But you must have known her schtick. Delphyne has been the harlot queen of Halloween in Central Ohio for—what’s it been—thirty something years? She glosses herself the Mistress of the Other Side. Every August she reappears, all vamped out in her dominatrix evening gown with the side slit and the plunging cleavage. You had to have seen her on those annoying TV commercials pitching everything from beer to fried chicken, French lingerie to erectile dysfunction medicine. Nobody sells sex, sin, and guilty pleasures better than Delphyne Shadow.

When he was a younger man, Tank had tacked Delphyne’s totally nude 1999 I Dare You calendar above the toilet in the bathroom of his mobile home, so he could look at it while pissing. It was a convenient location. Tank fondly recalled her upside-down vampire bat come hither look for the merry month of May.

I ain’t saying that I’d kick her out of bed, he admitted. But she’s gotten chubby. Her hooters are headin’ south, and no amount of eye black can hide those crow’s-feet. Professionally speaking, these days she couldn’t even get a job dancing in the Booti Tooti Club, and our standards aren’t exactly swimsuit model quality. Delphyne used to jiggle when she walked. Now, she flops. Put her in a red coat with white trim, and she could play Mrs. Santa Claus.

That’s my point, Detective Witt pounced. As Santa, you resented her being there, didn’t you? She was butting in on your show. That made you angry. Am I right?

I didn’t touch her, and that’s that. Since, in her own words, this was not Tank’s first rodeo, he knew when to shut up. Now, I want my phone call.

Tank half expected Detective Witt to slap his face. He kind of hoped she would so he could scream, Police brutality! He’d always wanted to do that. Instead, she rose from her seat, interlocked her fingers, and cracked all her knuckles at once.

A uniformed cop with a roll of paper towels, a bucket, and a mop entered the interrogation room. "Eeeeyyyyoooowwww," he moaned.

Clean him up. Detective Witt dropped the keys to the handcuffs on the table. And unlock him when you leave.

Merry Christmas, she said to Tank, then shook herself off and left the room.

Popular lore held that Black Friday was so named because the day after Thanksgiving launched the holiday buying season, which put merchants’ profits in the black on their balance sheets. Detective Sally Witt believed this to be untrue. Every law enforcement officer in the Sixth Columbus Division Precinct knew that crime ran rampant on Black Friday. Its blackness referred, not to positive revenue, but to the animus wrought in peoples’ hearts by aggressively competitive shopping. Detective Witt’s theorized that after having glutted themselves on family and feasting, ordinary citizens needed to purge themselves of forced conviviality, which they did by getting drunk and disorderly on shopping. Every year, Black Friday engendered havoc and pandemonium that resulted in fights, assaults, drunkenness, vandalism, property crimes, and every kind of disturbance to the peace imaginable. Sadly, nothing surprised Detective Sally anymore; she despaired she’d seen it all, and none of it was pretty.

As soon as the detective closed the door behind herself, the captain called to her from the observation room, I told you so.

I didn’t say I would get him to confess, she snapped back. I just said if either of us could, it would be me.

Tank Turner is a lying redneck who’d sooner eat nails than come clean to a cop. The captain sidled next to Sally and looked down at her, like the patronizing dick she knew him to be. You’re a decent detective, Witt. But you’re a woman—

Detective Witt jabbed the air with her finger. Stop right there before you say another word!

The captain clamped his mouth shut. He pushed his glasses, which had slipped to the tip of his nose, back

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