By Jimmy Tingle
We all know it’s a tough economy right now, with 9 percent unemployment, but at least we’re not the Pilgrims. They had it really tough.
The mighty Pilgrims. Persecuted in England for their Puritan beliefs, they left England and went to Holland. Persecuted in Holland, they quickly became disillusioned.
One night ,feeling ostracized and rejected by the entire world, they had a meeting.
“We’re persecuted in England. We are persecuted in Holland. Where in this world can we go to practice our religion freely?”
One said, "How about Cape Cod?"
“Could we get a place?” shouted one of the elders.
“It's the off-season,” declared the real estate agent, who was trying to redeem himself for convincing the group that Holland would be a good move, “and its1620.''
So the 100 mighty Pilgrims got into a boat the size of a school bus and set sail for the new world. They landed in Provincetown Bay during the winter of 1620.
Even in 1620 ,you couldn’t get a place for 100 people in Provincetown.They were offered a place on Route 6, but turned it down.
“We’re the Pilgrims,;we just came from Europe. We’re not staying on Route 6.
We just fled England and then Holland; we’re not staying in Hyannis.
“Get us a place in Provincetown proper or we’ll spend the entire winter on the boat.”
So the Mighty Pilgrims spent the entire first winter in the new world on the Mayflower in Provincetown bay. Imagine what that must have been like?
PTown is dead in the winter .
I think we all underestimate the hardships these poor people endured.
Obviously they didn't have the heat, electricity, running water, medicine or toiletries we all have now and take for granted. They were basically living outside, braving the elements and driven primarily by a dream for a better world. They were the original Occupy Wall Street.
It was about day-to-day, hour-to-hour, sometimes minute-to-minute stress about trying to survive.
Many of the Pilgrims had wooden shoes. Wooden shoes! It’s bad enough that you're lost. And your shoes are made of wood. Many of them had wooden teeth. Wooden teeth!
They also had big buckles on their shoes, big buckles on their belts, and big buckles on their hats. Let’s face it, the Pilgrims were a buckled-up people. As a matter of fact I believe they were the originators of the seat belt law.
"Where are thee going?"
"I am going into the woods to look for berries.''
You know you are stressed out when you need a buckle on your hat to keep your head together.
Initially the Pilgrims got along very well with the Native Americans. The Indians showed great compassion and empathy. If it were not for Squanto and Massasoit, the Pilgrims never would have made it through that first winter.
Squanto and Massasoit said to their fellow tribesmen: "Look at these poor people; we have to help them. They’re all buckled up.
"How are they going to catch a deer? You can hear them coming through the woods for miles.”
Squanto -- in an attempt to acclimate the Pilgrims to the new world -- said to Miles Standish, “Miles , lighten up! You’re on Cape Cod; it’s a new world! And, for the love of God, put on some sandals and unbuckle the hat!''
. Comedian Jimmy Tingle's New Film & Live Show "Jimmy Tingle's American Dream - Live on Stage & Screen" is playing Saturday 11/26 at Regent Theatre in Arlington