On Nov. 9, Gov. Kay Ivey wielded the extraordinary power of the executive branch, as some say she has become quite good at this year, and pardoned two Thanksgiving turkeys.
“By the power vested in me, I hereby pardon you from the Thanksgiving dinner table and hope that you will spend the rest of your days together in happiness and peace on the Bates Family Farm,” she said.
The “lucky” turkeys are named Clyde and Henrietta and were saved by the gov from being the victims of the carving knives of drunken uncles across the state for their “beauty.”
But back on Bates Farm, Clyde and Henrietta weren’t feeling lucking or beautiful at all. They were downright crestfallen, or rather, breastfallen.
“Why do you think that lady won’t let us be stars on Thanksgiving like the rest of our friends, Clyde?” asked Henrietta, in a sugary sweet voice made up of equal parts Southern drawl and old Hollywood starlet. “I mean, we are clearly the best-looking birds on this farm. And yet, every year that Ivey woman keeps us from reaching our true potential, our destiny!”
“I know, Henrietta. I don’t get it,” Clyde said. “I hear she said you and I weren’t nothin’ but a couple of high-steppin’ turkeys, and you know what they say about a high-steppuh? Ain’t no step too high for a high-steppuh!’”
“Are you sure she was talking about us when she said that?” Henrietta asked.
“I don’t know. That’s just what I heard,” Clyde said.
“Whatever. I don’t even know what that means. But I am certainly no ‘high-steppuh’, for I am an artist,” Henrietta said indignantly, as she gazed off into the distance.
“I get it, Hen, I had this whole riff on ‘Hamilton’ I had planned to perform for my Thanksgiving dinner theater audience. I was going to call it ‘Turk-ilton’ because obviously, no one likes ham on Thanksgiving.”
“Well, that is true,” Henrietta giggled. “If they could only see how disgusting those pigs are around here, they’d never eat another bite of ham in their lives. I wonder what they do eat while the turkeys are performing. Hmmmm ….”
“Probably fish,” Clyde said confidently. Henrietta nodded in agreement.
“I had been working in this whole Taylor Swift montage. Listen to my remake of ‘Mirrorball,’ Clyde. ‘Hush, hush, I want you to know, I am your Butterball, you’ll find me with my tallest feathers, preening just for you,’” Henrietta sang.
“I do believe I just heard an angel sing,” Clyde said.
“Oh, Clyde, you are too perfect,” Henrietta said as she lightly kissed him on the side of the beak.
“You know, being the star of Thanksgiving is probably not all it’s cracked up to be,” Clyde said. “I’ve heard some people don’t even pay attention to the turkey, which is clearly the star of the show, only ‘the sides.’”
“What do you mean — like the opening acts or sideshows? Oh, Clyde, that just can’t be true. No one even shows up for them. It’s all about the main event, baby!” Henrietta said.
“No, no, I hear it’s true,” Clyde said. “And what’s worse, I hear some people even throw some sort of brown or yellow liquid at the turkeys, or red JELL-O-like stuff out of a can. It sounds disgusting and downright humiliating.”
“Jesus, Clyde. You have got to stop watching Turk News — you know they only peddle a bunch of conspiracy theories. Think about it. Why would people dream all year long about seeing turkeys on their tables at Thanksgiving and then do something like that to them? Fake news!”
“I guess you are probably right, Heni. But I did hear some of the other turkeys talking that this year is definitely not the year you want to headline your own show,” Clyde said.
“Oh, yeah, why’s that?” asked Heni.
“Apparently, the crowds are going to be down. Some people are going to only be ‘Zooming’ with their friends and families, whatever that is. And apparently, there could be drunken, angry yelling about either the ‘turkey-elect’ or the ‘lame duck.’”
“That’s really weird. Why would anyone want to yell about birds, lame, elected or otherwise, on Thanksgiving?” Heni asked. “I always thought it was the holiday about appreciating the ones who love you and who raised you and who made you the special being you are today?”
“Yes, it is about that,” Clyde assured. “But it’s also about feelings getting hurt, passive-aggressive comments, your mom rearranging the dishwasher you just loaded, surprise pregnancies, your mother-in-law STILL not thinking you are good enough for her baby, cousins who ‘fly in’ and think they are better than you and who can barely hide their disdain, stupid arguments about football rivalries and/or politics, relitigating fights from 25 years ago, and reminding other family members who were ‘really there’ while Grandma was dying even though someone else apparently paid for it because ‘well, someone had to write the check!’ But yes, it’s seemingly also about being with the ones you love.”
Henrietta winced in disgust.
“You know, Clyde, maybe it’s a good thing that governor person wouldn’t let us participate in Thanksgiving again. It really sounds like the crowds are made up of people who are kind of crazy and unpredictable,” Heni said. “They don’t deserve a performance from the great Turkey Swift!”
“Yeah,” Clyde said as he took Heni’s claw in his own. “I guess it’s a good thing we are nuthin’ but a couple of high-steppuhs. Why don’t we high-step it on over to the corn feeder and have our own little Thanksgiving feast, just you and me, kid.”
“Gobble, gobble, Clyde,” Henrietta said with a wink.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
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