TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Thanksgiving Again

I love Thanksgiving. It’s got all the best aspects of Christmas, without the pressure of having to buy gifts.

You plop your sweet potatoes on the table and you’re pretty much done. All you’ve got to do the rest of the day is burp and fall asleep on the couch in front of a Detroit Lions game. Most years, that ain’t hard to do.

Thanksgiving is so innocuous, not even Fox News gets upset if someone says “Happy Holidays,” instead of “Happy Thanksgiving,” even though they’re taking the “thanks” out of Thanksgiving.

Frankly folks, we’re not all that thankful these days and, anyway, who are we going to offend? Turkeys? Who cares? They won’t be around long to protest — except for the ones that get pardoned at the White House.

President Trump will pardon two turkeys this year — Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn, perhaps? It’s a tradition that’s been going on for 70 years (pardoning, not collusion, I mean.) If they try to get away, Trump will grab them by the giblets (the turkeys, I mean.)

Obama pardoned a whole herd of turkeys. He intends to keep right on giving pardons because, “I can’t go cold turkey.” Groan. Really, he said that.

This year’s turkeys come from western Minnesota. Minnesota leads the nation in turkeys and, no, it has nothing to do with Super Bowl performances. Minnesota has produced more turkeys than M. Night Shayamalan.

If you’re wondering, yes, the turkeys really are spared and spend the remainder of their lives being cared for at Virginia Tech by students and veterinarians, getting free health care. The turkeys in Congress get a 72 percent subsidy. Socialists.

I’m not sure what crime the Minnesota turkeys committed. But I can tell you for sure, this country is too soft on criminals. Unless it involves sexual harassment, which recently passed baseball and football as the national pastime.

It’s going to be uncomfortable around some tables this Thanksgiving. Is Al Franken really going to ask for the breast? Judge Roy Moore will want actual turkey eggs, because the younger, the better. And there’s no way I’m letting Harvey Weinstein stuff the turkey.

Everyone has their own special turkey recipe. Some brine the bird. Others love a deep-fried turkey. That method in particular is endorsed by the Garage Builders of America. I’ll bet you a dollar Menard’s sells turkey fryers with a coupon for 10-percent off on lumber. A fire sale.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, turkey fryers will cause more than $15 million in property damage this Thanksgiving. It’s pretty hard on the turkeys, too.

I’m full of turkey trivia. (Among other things.) Thanksgiving was invented by the Pilgrims when they came to America aboard the S.S. Minnow.

Ben Franklin, a Quaker — which is kind of like being a pilgrim, only without the hat — thought the turkey should be the national bird. You know, to represent the federal government. I guess it kind of worked out that way.

I’ve cooked a lot of turkeys over the years. Up until last year, though, I was thawing my turkeys in the sink. Much to the horror of my mother, who approached last Thanksgiving as one might climbing the steps to the gallows. If there was an epipen for e-coli, she would have had one.

I don’t think anyone ever died from my cooking. But if so, the statute of limitations has probably expired. For the record, though, I think it would be disrespectful to exhume the bodies.

My favorite part is the giblets. I think there’s an untapped market there. That’s how this whole buffalo wings trend started, right? The wings were the least- desirable part. Now, there’s a shortage, so they’re the most expensive part of the chicken. Chevys at Cadillac prices.

I’m thinking of setting up a kiosk next to Hickory Farms in the Gadsden Mall to sell giblets. I haven’t settled on a company name, yet. Giblets R Us? Blizzards of Gizzards? Rivers of Livers? The Gizzard of Oz? Or simply, Innards?

We could do bumper stickers: In Guts We Trust. And hats: Make America Queasy Again.

If a guy played his cards right, pretty soon you’d be sweating the estate tax. I can see it now … Gates: Microsoft. Bezos: Amazon. Buffett: Berkshire Hathaway. Bender: Gizzards.

Stranger things have happened.

Well, maybe not.

© Tony Bender, 2017

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