The Worst Pardon Since Nixon


turkey article.jpg

It’s no secret that most turkeys are dyed-in-the-wool Republicans, toeing the party line on nearly all issues except animal rights and, for those fortunate enough to be wild, the environment. I’ll admit it, I too was one of those hardcore Bush supporters until recently. I thought the President demonstrated shrewd farsightedness with his decision to take out Saddam, believed he struck a Solomonic compromise on stem cells, and as for Social Security reform… well, let’s just see if people thirty years from now are still saying there’s “no crisis.” Please. All that said, Bush lost one of his most vocal supporters last week by committing the greatest blunder of his presidency yet: pardoning that no-good, undeserving wretch “Marshmallow.” I should know – I used to date him. Marshmallow that is, not Bush.

First of all, let’s be honest about this name Marshmallow. Everybody knows it’s a stage name. But what you’re not reading on AP News is that Marshmallow’s real name is Murray… Murray Wattlestein. That’s right. Marshmallow was ashamed of his Jewish heritage, afraid it would interfere with his aspirations for presidential pardon. Well, you’re not fooling anyone with your new goyshe moniker, you coward. You’re killing your mother, Murray, you know that? What a shandeh.

I first met Marshmallow… screw it, Murray, when I was just a young poult. He seemed so much different from everyone else. At feeding time he always waited until all the scrappier hens and poults had eaten before taking a single bite. His snood was the longest and fleshiest of all the turkeys, but he never acted like it was a big deal or anything. One time a fellow hen knew she was going to be slaughtered, and Murray just spent every last minute by her side, reading her Yeats and cheering her up with catty comments about the ranch hands. That was just the way he was. That was Murray.

It was that gentle giant quality that drew me to him instantly. Of course I always figured he was out of my league until one day during mating season. We were alone by the southern fence, just sort of chatting about the weather and how annoyingly high the new feeding trough was when I noticed Murray’s carbuncle was shining a bright red. At first I thought it was just the light, but no – that carbuncle was redder than a baboon’s ass. That night we did every dirty deed in the book: reverse cowgirl, rusty gizzard, the pearl wattle, you name it. The whole year was just one romantic whirlwind for both of us. We’d crack on the chickens for their anemic plumage, get wasted on the ethanol we managed to smuggle inside, or sometimes just cuddle up under the covers and watch Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle on DVD (worth the purchase for the deleted scenes alone!). It was a dream come true.

When Thanksgiving came around next year, Murray came terrifyingly close to being selected for slaughter. I thought the whole experience would bring us closer together, but Murray grew distant after that. He stopped saving all the choice seeds and insects for me, and I increasingly saw him flirting with the young poults. I like to think of our eventual breakup as mutual, though Murray would probably tell you that it was he who dumped me. Yeah, as if! After the split, Murray changed; it was like he was a completely different turkey. He always ignored me at feeding time and then, to add insult to injury, would put up all these passive-aggressive away messages, knowing full well that I would check them. Um, hello, when you write “Ugh, when will this loser frickin’ leave me alone already, LOL” it’s no mystery whom you’re talking about. How transparent can you get?! And who uses “LOL” anymore, what are you in ninth grade?

Unfortunately, things didn’t stop there. Murray would throw parties where he invited every hen but me, then blast his shitty Coldplay mp3s (could you be more mainstream?) all night long when he knew I was trying to sleep. One day I couldn’t finish all my dehydrated fruit so I wrapped it up and put it in the fridge, clearly labeled. The next day I caught him eating it, and when I called him out on it he lied and said he couldn’t read the label, which is pure BS because I wrote it in all caps with a brand new red Sharpie. “Why you all up in my grill, shorty?” he would always say to me. Hey, Murray, have you checked your feathers lately? You’re white, stop trying to be something you’re not.

The last straw for me was the time I was TiVoing Grey’s Anatomy and he purposefully changed it to record Curb when he knew I had all my friends coming over the next night to watch the episode. Seriously, what a dick move. Yet despite his sordid history (I’d mention the poult-molestation incident but my lawyer said it could pose some defamation issues,) Murray is nonetheless receiving a presidential pardon and being sent off to nowhere other than Disneyland. Could life be more unfair? It should be me having the time of my life on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. I should be the one overpaying for Incredibles plush toys and a hilarious picture of myself looking totally freaked out during that sick drop on Tower of Terror. But in Mr. Bush’s world, fair is fowl, and fowl is fair. (I know, I know. But you can’t talk about poultry without the obligatory foul/fowl pun. An oldie but goodie.)

As we head into this holiday season, I wonder to myself, where is the outrage? When Harriet Miers was selected there was rioting in the streets. But the most reprehensible animal has been chosen for pardon and not a soul seems to care. You disgust me, you humans. All content and sated after feeding upon the flesh of my kin this past holiday, fat still glistening on your maws which open only to eat, not to speak in the name of justice. You’re too distracted by the Brangelinas and TomKats of the world to pay attention to what’s really going on, too stupefied by a vapid consumer culture to care about turkey issues. Fine, be that way. But before you go to sleep tonight, I hope you remember a line from that famous poem by Pastor Niemöller: “First they came for the turkeys, and I did not speak out because I was not a turkey….” I think we all know how that one ends.

Justin Shanes is a 3L. This Thanksgiving he was thankful for his loving family, copious trust fund, and slightly bigger than average genitalia.

(Visited 23 times, 1 visits today)