Thanksgiving turkeys pardoned

Turkeys, stuffed or pardoned, are an American favorite.

I’ll be the first to admit that I appear to be easily impressed by turkey stories. In past years, I’ve pointed you to turkey pardons, here and here, and even just Turkey generally (see what I did there?)

But though we often are subjected to the annual ritual of public figures “pardoning” a select fortunate turkey (while its cousins end up on America’s dinner tables), we sometimes wonder if that is all for show. Does the gobbling poultry live out a happy life gobbling, or are they dispatched soon after the press conference?

One news story confronted that question head on and discovered that, at least in regard to last year, the turkey was living a life of ease. (And if you ever wondered why the White House always pardons white turkeys, well, there’s a news story that explains that too.)

turkey Thanksgiving I regret nothing gif

The message, I suppose: Enjoy life while you’ve got it.

But today is Thanksgiving Wednesday, which, in the world of my blog, means it must stand in for a lighter Change of Venue Friday. And to get you chuckling (before the gobbling), I take you to Seattle, Wash., where the Mayor has granted a pardon to … a tofurky.

Seattle Mayor grants pardon to Tofurky, to the acclaim of hipsters. (Source: NOT The Onion)

Seattle Mayor grants pardon to Tofurky, to the acclaim of hipsters. (Source: NOT The Onion)

Thank you to journalist and former Phoenician Jon Talton for pointing out this hilarious act of municipal largesse. I suppose if there is anything that will mock turkey pardons into history, it is the pardon of processed tofu in the shape of a turkey.

Whatever you plan to enjoy at your table, I wish you and yours the best.

turkey and girl

A girl and her turkey (meal)

A clean desk: Is that what we aspire to? Really?

A clean desk: Is that what we aspire to? Really?

On Friday last week, I posted a story about what the messiness of our desks may signify. In that post, I talked some trash about those people who have clean desks, but I also promised to come in over the weekend to clean my own.

I’m not sure I spotted the conceptual bind into which I was about to place myself.

Sure enough, last Saturday I cleaned my desk—quite well, I’ll add—and now I am in that category of folks I had belittled. Hmm. Bad planning.

Among my promises was this one: I would post a photo of my clean desk. First, here is the original version:

My current desk view (yes, there's a desk under there.) Here's my challenge: I'll post a clean one next week.

My current desk view (yes, there’s a desk under there.) Here’s my challenge: I’ll post a clean one next week.

And here is the new and clean version:

I've achieved desk cleanliness, but at what cost?

I’ve achieved desk cleanliness, but at what cost?

(Click to enlarge both of the panoramic photos.)

OK, I’ve fulfilled my promise to clean, but I feel pretty naked doing so. I just can’t get past my prejudice that a clean desk is an oddity, a tidy cry for help. Give me a little time, and I’m sure I’ll rectify this squeaky-clean problem sooner than you’d guess.

Have a great—and occasionally messy—Thanksgiving!

turkey: somebody call my lawyerDoes anyone (anyone?) read a law blog on that shorty-short day that blocks our glide-path to Thanksgiving?

I’m guessing not, so let me simply wish you all well. May your meal be hearty, your family and friends happy, and your Friday as shopping-filled or -free as you’d like it.

Because I will be engaged in festivities, this blog will go dark until next Monday, Nov. 26. But in the meantime, enjoy this essay from a favorite site, Bitter Lawyer. It’s called “5 Downsides to Thanksgiving Break.”

I also share this annual story of ridiculousness about the annual occasion of the U.S. President “pardoning” a turkey (or two) on the day before Thanksgiving. I understand President Obama is in Burma this week, but I’m confident that arrangements will be made to spare some poultry the chopping block.

turkey presidential pardon

As his daughters look on, President Obama spares a turkey’s life in 2011.

And, to demonstrate that I am exercising the legal muscle right up until giblet (or tofurky) day, here is a story that takes that “pardon” angle down a new path. In it, NPR’s Ari Shapiro tells us “Tough turkey: People have a harder time getting pardons under Obama.” (strikingly similar to an NPR story by Frank James from 2010 that covered the same subject; I guess the holidays aren’t the only things that recur).

There you go: Justice, of the courthouse and barnyard variety.

Happy Thanksgiving.

turkey and girl

A girl and her turkey (meal)

As an unending election season fosters a pretty rigid “tough on crime” stance in all candidates, today’s annual ritual—a presidential pardon of a turkey—begins to look odder and odder.

This past hour, President Barack Obama stood before a gathering of reporters and, with his daughters at his side, issued a life-saving pardon for Apple and his “understudy,” Cider.

Here is the complete video:

Off-camera, a representative of the National Turkey Federation (you read that right) gripped the near-meal named Apple, which (who?) appeared blissfully unaware of the fate he had narrowly escaped.

One correspondent, Colby Hall, described the festivities with what I think is the appropriate level of incredulity. As the account opens:

“The official pardoning of a turkey in celebration of Thanksgiving is perhaps the most absurd ritual in a year’s worth of White House events. That’s sort of why it’s so awesome. Earlier today, President Obama pardoned his third turkey (THAT WE KNOW OF) and had some fun with the goofy tradition by gesticulating towards the big bird in a papal fashion — that is certain to anger someone somewhere — before officially declaring ‘you are hereby pardoned.’”

Read the complete account here.

As if there is not enough surrealism surrounding this holiday (I mean, there’s a National Turkey Federation!), take a look at this poll from the Washington Post. They took the time and resources to poll Americans on—their attitude toward Thanksgiving!

Tongue at least slightly in cheek, the reporter described the “findings,” which are broken down by gender and party.

“Consensus at last: almost all Americans—from coast to coast and across stiffening party lines— have favorable views of Thanksgiving dinner, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

“Overall, 93 percent say they have positive views of the traditional meal, including 77 percent who say so ‘strongly.’”

“Strongly.” That one made me laugh. For added yuks, here’s their “data” in tabular form.Are we being punked?

Well, in any case, enjoy your Thanksgiving. The blog and I are taking the long weekend off. We will relax, eat too much, and return at least slightly refreshed next week. Here’s hoping Monday’s post won’t be too bloated.

I wish the same to you and yours. Happy Thanksgiving.