• The worth of a turkey

Which of these is the real turkey?

This question occurred to me as I was watching the BBC News on cable. I like the channel because the British Broadcasting Co. is head-and-shoulders above U.S. commercial and “public” television (motto: “Keeping the B.S. in PBS”) in providing a broad look at the news of the world and putting it in some kind of perspective with deep reporting and insightful analysis. Most of the time.

On this particular evening, the newscaster — a Brit based in Washington, D.C. — couldn’t restrain himself when it came to making fun of a seasonal American custom: the annual presidential pardon for a turkey just before Thanksgiving.

This year the freed bird will range down to Florida to, I am not making this up, serve as grand marshal for a Thanksgiving parade at DisneyWorld in Orlando, just as one did last year.

The newscaster got his jollies at this event. I agree it’s a particularly stupid thing, and I have no idea how it came about — unless it had something to do with the poultry industry public relations gimmick to show the sitting President has a sense of humor.

But that doesn’t give a foreign guest to our shores license to poke fun at our gallant leader and our favorite holiday bird. England has some pretty odd customs, too, and most of them involve a certain Queen Elizabeth II. She doesn’t even serve as much purpose as a tasty turkey and costs a lot more per pound, even in pounds.

The turkey breast I bought for Thanksgiving this year cost $2.97 a pound. The queen, even after you take away all her freebie perks like rent and staff and travel and clothes and all sorts of other goodies, is conservatively worth $3.2 million a pound. I’d like to see her acting as grand marshal in a DisneyWorld parade!

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About Bill Dowd

Webmaster/social media coordinator for the Southern Rensselaer County NY Rotary Club.

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