November 23, 2000

More Thanks to Give


It's American Thanksgiving again.

"Again", because it doesn't feel like a whole year has gone by since I wrote my last American Thanksgiving entry; the ubiquitous "they" say that time moves faster when you're older because a day (week, month, year) represents a smaller fraction of your conscious life; I'm not sure I accept that explanation but for whatever reason, time is progressing at a healthy clip these days.

I like Thanksgiving, in that it's less commercialized than some holidays. You don't have to go out and buy anything for Thanksgiving, beyond the food that you serve. (The buying starts on Friday but that's for the next holiday.) The raison d'etre is to examine the positives in your life; even if you don't entertain the notion of a god to which to give thanks, it's always uplifting to count your blessings (accomplishments, dumb luck, whatever) and realize your life isn't as bad as all that. As I'm fond of saying, it beats the alternative.

And so does the current political nightmare in the United States. As bizarre as it is and is probably yet to become, as self-serving as the partisan lawyers and publicists are, it's great theater and does indeed beat the alternative.

So US President (for the time being) Clinton performed the annual ritual of sparing a turkey (a bird, not the human kind) and was probably thankful that this particular political frenzy does not revolve around him.

I was only going to mention that in passing, but this account on the CNN website intrigued me:

Presented to Clinton by the National Turkey Federation, Jerry was hatched on June 5 and raised near Barron, Wisconsin. An alternate turkey was brought along in case of mishap.

Mishap? Wouldn't it be the cruelest of ironies if this bird, chosen to be spared over 500 million others, met his demise through a mishap!

Both Jerry and the alternate, which was not named, will be sent to Kidwell Farm's petting zoo in Herndon, Virginia. Clinton said they would live out their lives in "peace and happiness."

Happiness maybe, but "peace"? Has he never been to a petting zoo?

In past years, turkeys brought to the White House have gotten unruly. One fluttered mightily when appearing with President Ronald Reagan, prompting the White House to sedate the animals.

Sedated turkeys. They spare the body but undermine the spirit. You can create your own metaphor around that.

Jerry barely moved throughout the ceremony despite the noisy crowds. Clinton praised the big bird for being "very well behaved".

Did he (Jerry) have a choice?

And where did "they" come up with the name Jerry for the turkey, anyway? According to my extensive research, Jerry is a form of Gerald which means "spear warrior". As I see it, this is not a fitting name for the bird that is to be spared.. after all, as "they" say, no good deed goes unpunished.

So what qualities do we want to reflect in this bird's name? Here are some possibilities:

Peaceful - (Linfred, from the German - peaceful, calm)

Calm - (Placido, from the Latin - calm, quiet)

Handsome -(Irving, from the Celtic - handsome and fair )

Wise - (Elvis, from the Scandinavian - all wise )

Dignified -(Tung, from the Vietnamese - dignified)

(I can see the ensuing confusion if they used that one.. it's not tongue, it's turkey.. it's Tung the turkey!)

Unfortunately, THE name of the year is also inappropriate:

Chad, from the English - warlike

Who knew?

Linque Du Jour:   Diarist.net - Spark

For those of us having trouble coming up with entry topics, diarist.net offers a daily "spark", or writing prompt. I haven't used it.. yet.. but looking at the entire list (all 8 ideas - it's very new) I see at least three or four that have potential. They welcome (indeed, rely upon) suggestions.. it's not easy coming up with an idea every single day!

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