The day after Thanksgiving is filled with regrets for many. Most of the regrets are related to eating too much; some are related to having to go back to work. However, I must say that I love the Friday after Thanksgiving. This year it came on November 23rd.

Why do I love this day?

It has nothing to do with leftovers, the Battle of Chattanooga (1863), the first all female expedition to the South Pole (1990) or Roy Acuff’s death in 1992. I did like Roy Acuff a lot. I ran into him in a parking lot in Nashville, Tennessee in the late 1970’s. When I say, “I ran into him,” I don’t mean I hit him, I mean I met him.

There was nothing like seeing the King of Country Music get out of his Mercedes Benz coupe in the parking lot of an “all you can eat” feeding trough in Nashville. There was a gold plate on the dash with his name engraved. Roy let us admire it.

The reason I love working on the day after Thanksgiving is because no one else comes to work. It makes for a nice quiet day to get things done.

Being a true Southerner, I decided to brine my turkey in a mixture of sweet tea and apple cider (with a few other things). It was divine and we ate too much. I took a long nap on Thanksgiving afternoon, something I rarely do.

I was “double sleepy” by early Friday afternoon at work.

All of this sleepiness caused me to think of “tryptophan” and turkey and if what they say is really true (about it making you sleepy). So, I did a little research.

The science part is not too hard to understand. Tryptophan is an amino acid that the body needs. Tryptophan can be found in meat, cheese, yogurt, fish, eggs over easy (and in general) and also poultry, like turkey.

The reason our bodies need tryptophan is that it helps produce serotonin, which makes melatonin, a hormone that helps you know when to sleep and wake up.

So, turkey may not help you sleep or make you want to take a nap anymore than a grilled cheese sandwich or fried catfish.

However, I did find a nutritionist’s explanation on how the turkey could make you sleepy. The nutritionist noted that the stored turkey in your body could be boosted by a “serotonin snack” such as Fig Newtons, half a small wheat bagel with honey dripped on it, or a few cups of “air-popped” popcorn.

Who in their right mind would eat any of that right after Thanksgiving dinner?

I can hear them now, “I just ate half a turkey, a plate of dressing smothered in gravy, seven rolls, some peas, potatoes and four slices of pie. Would someone please get the Presto Popcorn Popper out of the garage so we can have a few cups of air popped popcorn now?”

Honestly, I’m from the other school of thought.

The other school of thought being that we eat so doggone much that we are tired. When you eat a lot, blood rushes to your gut, robbing your body of oxygen and stuff, making you not want to eat for a while. Then it hits you again – you want to eat a whole lot causing the gut blood rushing thing. It’s a vicious cycle and there is a danger of getting stuck on this feast or famine seesaw. All this seesawing wears you out.

My cycle goes from Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving, so I think I will be able to recover.

Forgetting to bring leftovers for lunch on this Friday, I went to the shelf of food in my office. I keep things there in the event of emergencies, kind of like those Doomsday Preppers on television who are saving stuff up for a disaster. I generally go for foods with a shelf life of at least a decade.

On this Friday, it was a cardboard bowl labeled “Souper Meal.” I got it for a dollar at the drugstore. It comes with three little packets and what looks like freeze dried noodles. You open two of the packets and pour them over the freeze dried looking noodles, fill it up to the line with water from the bathroom sink and microwave it.

I use water from the bathroom sink because my office is right by the bathroom. It’s usually nice being so close, but it seems like a lot of the folks who do come to work on the Friday after Thanksgiving stay in the bathroom all day.

The third packet?

It was labeled “Finishing Touch” and you weren't supposed to put it in until after you microwaved the cardboard bowl of other stuff.  It looked like soy sauce, but it could have been liquefied tryptophan or something. I put it in and mixed it up with my fork.

When I was finished with the noodles, having only a fork, I had to drink the bathroom water turned soup right out of the cardboard board bowl.

It was good.

Then, I got sleepy again.

Some folks might say that’s what happens, “When the Tryp hits the Phan.”

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