As Thanksgiving draws near, we think of harvest time, turkeys and the in-laws. The latter two are basically the same. They both show up empty-handed, stuff themselves and never thank you for having them for dinner. Thankfully, most of the time, the turkey is the only one that shows up naked.

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President Harry Truman has been noted to be the first president, days before Thanksgiving, to start the national Thanksgiving turkey presentation every year at the White House, in 1947. In the ceremony, the president is presented with a turkey and then pardons the turkey from becoming “leftovers.”

The turkey is then allowed to live out its days just being a turkey. A few turkeys have lived out their days in a petting zoo. Two turkeys were given the chance to move to Disney World and Disneyland to become honorary grand marshals of ceremonies for the Walt Disney Thanksgiving Day parades.

But historically, the majority of the turkeys stayed in Washington, D.C. to become politicians. Once again looking for a handout and ungrateful.

As much as we all wish we could “pardon” some of our “turkey family” from showing up at Thanksgiving, we can’t. Because, historically, the pardoned turkeys frequently die within a year of being pardoned. What? Yes, from health problems. Just like a pair of Spanx, these turkeys were bred for size, not longevity.


Just like a politician who can’t find a real job or make it in the real world, these turkeys couldn’t survive on their own. This is all starting to make sense to me now. We should call Congress a flock. Maybe the official sandwich of the Senate could be the turkey club.

At this point, you might be asking, “Tim, why did you bring politics into an article about Thanksgiving?” Well, as you know, I write on a third-grade level, and I thought you might need some meaningless facts about turkeys to start up a conversation with your brother-in-law who invited himself to Thanksgiving, again.

He’s still mad about the election last November, and this would be a great way to bring that up again. I do what I can for you people.

In closing, some words of Thanksgiving wisdom from my uncle: When your mother-in-law walks in the door for Thanksgiving, don’t greet her with the phrase, “Well, I guess in memory of the turkey today, you decided to not shave your beard.”

I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34  end mark

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and comedian. Visit him at Tim the Dairy Farmer.