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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

The Ambassador from Turkey

I watched Bush pardon the presidential turkey today. Here we have dodged another bullet, for this would have been a prime opportunity for a suicide turkey terrorist to blow itself up, taking Bush, some schoolkids, and various turkey-wranglers with it. In fact, today Bush grabbed some other guy's hand and made him pet the bird first, because last year he got nipped by an obvious Al Qaeda-sympathizing bird. Wonder if the Prez can immediately revoke a pardon?

[Prediction: accusations of cowardice will be made by the "chickenheart" crowd.]

This year's turkey was the first female to be so honored. We have broken through the straw ceiling, my sisters!

You have to admit, this is a dumb tradition. One turkey is pardoned---two turkeys, what with the emergency backup turkey (the Vice Turkey)---but you know the Bushes aren't going to be eating tofu on Thursday. What a waste, considering the amount of paperwork that goes into it, the fifteen minutes or so the President wastes on it, the extra security, etc. There's a war on, and the President has better things to think about! Heck, that'd be true even if there wasn't a war on.

Before I went to Australia, I might have agreed with this assessment. Might have, because every culture has its silly traditions, and railing against such a harmless one is a waste of energy.

But that was before. I remember watching last year's turkey pardoning ceremony (watching Bush get nipped) and getting a warm and fuzzy feeling about our national traditions, even the goofier ones. It was especially poignant after September 11, to know that important things like petting turkeys in a Rose Garden ceremony would still go on. Sniff.

Today I was watching it on Fox News, and the anchors were saying things like, "Katy [the turkey] will spend her days on a petting farm..." But those aren't very many days, as this story reports. Too bad! Especially after all the rigorous training the Presidential candidate turkeys go through.

Note that the park the petting zoo is in is Frying Pan Park---tsk, tsk, out of the oven and into the frying pan (bet no one's ever made that joke before).

For you foreigners who are completely lost, here's a silly site with a dancing turkey graphic, which explains things (not updated since 2000!).

LATE ADDITION: We have returned from the triumphant procurement of the main course for Thursday's feast. I'm excited, because this is the first proper Thanksgiving I'll have had in four years. This year we opted for a fresh turkey breast, since I only like white meat and Niles doesn't care. Niles---whose job it is to roast the carcasses of animals, since the gene for that sort of thing is carried on the Y chromosome, or some damned thing---is somewhat relieved not to have to perform his usual turkey spelunking operations.

LATER ADDITION: Drunken sot Juan Gato disparages our fine American traditions. Infidel! But what do you expect. He absorbs the wisdom of cubes. Cubes tell him what (not) to buy. God only knows what the spheres, the cones, and the (shudder) rhomboids are telling him to do.