160 | Pardon This Turkey, Please

November 29, 2010
Monday, 6:30 p.m.
Letter #160: Pardon This Turkey, Please


Dear Family,

Happy Thanksgiving! Yes, I realize it is already past Thanksgiving and I was passed over for a pardon—again!—in favor of two turkeys named Punkin’ and Spice or some such stupidity I don’t recall. (Hey, you can Google, Yahoo, or Bing it, if you care. Not only do I not care, I couldn’t do anything but Scratch n’ Search at this point in my internet connectivity.)

The point being, why give a turkey a pardon, once you’ve fattened him up for the big moment of Thanksgiving Dinner at your place? What a sick let-down that must be for him: “Hey, we would like to have you for dinner Thursday night, if you’re fat and available,” then, with no explanation, “Eh, we’re good withoutcha.” Crushing.

But you’re not done with the Bad News, yet. Oh, no. You’ve got something of Biblical proportions for him—you’re sending him into exile for the rest of his life. You think the Israelites liked the whole Babylon experience? Thanksgiving Dinner is the Super Bowl, the World Series of turkeydom. You’ve gotta play your star. You can’t sit him out the Big Game! Would you fatten up, pump up, and juice up your best player ever and then play the World Series without him? Yes, Barry Bonds, we would.

But you’re still not done insulting the poor bird. You bestow upon him a name. As if you’re gonna call him up someday with a friendly chat: “Hey, Spice! What’s shakin’, baby?” You know that’s not gonna happen.

So, who are we kidding, really? And whatever happened to the Prez pardoning one bird, then sending his able replacement bird to the White House kitchen, like in old times? But, oh, no! We couldn’t have Death on Thanksgiving, could we? Nope! So, we pardon both clueless hens while the Secret Service hacks the head off a third, unnamed bird, which soon graces the White House Thanksgiving Dinner Table. Nicely done, boys. That big ugly white thing didn’t look like a turkey anyway. I can draw a better-looking turkey by tracing my hand. (That’s not all, of course. I add an eyeball, those hangy-down chin things, and some feet. Sometimes a Pilgrim hat, if I’m feelin’ it.)

But, pardon or not, I’m grateful I didn’t have to travel this Thanksgiving. What a pain to have those airport full-body scanners or invasive pat downs. The airport is the most inconvenient place to have those! Here you are, trying to make it to your flight on time, dragging half your closet and office and family with you just in case you need them (the closet and office, that is; need them or not, you’re stuck with the fam), and some people in Washington D.C., who have just decided on the names Punkin’ and Spice for dinner fowl, decide that this is the perfect time and place to take revealing photos and get handsy with you. This is crazy! Anyone knows that outside church is far more convenient. That’s why, for all 19 services I’ve attended this month, I’m thankful to have effortlessly passed through a scanner and get the Frisky Feely before leisurely attending church. With all the recent waves of church bombings, burnings, and vandalism, there’s nothing quite like arriving at your place of worship and stating a clear message: “I’m here, but obviously I’m not bringing anything dangerous with me.”

Thankfully, I never have a full day of travel on top of that experience! I can’t imagine what it would be like to be locked inside of a confined space for hours at a time, unable to do anything but read, sleep, or use the restroom, after going through the full-body scan or invasive pat down. At least I get to play the piano and listen to an enlightening message before I go back to my locked-in confined space for hours. You should be so blessed.

I really am thankful for all the luxuries I enjoy—I have a laundry porter who provides me with fresh clothes every day, an ice porter who makes sure my ice chest is adequately supplied, a chemical porter who keeps the cleaning supplies stocked, shower porters who daily scrub down my bathing area, plus cooks, servers, dishwashers, and garbage people to handle my food from raw to trash. Come to think of it, living here is very similar to having a mother. I have much to be thankful for!

And, even though I couldn’t be with my family this Thanksgiving for the first time in my life, I called them and received cards and letters from so many of you. The best thing is, of course, that whether or not the President of the United States bestows a pardon on me, the Lord of Heavens Armies, who is King of Kings, has granted me an everlasting pardon based on the blood of His Son. For that, this turkey’s thankful.