Our special Thanksgiving distribution will take place on Monday, November 20. This year, we've been working with leaders in the turkey community to develop our own version of the "Turkey Pardoning" ceremony that takes place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the Washington version, the pardoned bird is generally blameless - and indeed is selected for its exemplary character. Like much of what goes on in the Nation's capital, this makes no sense - because while the U.S. Constitution gives the President broad pardoning authority, it extends only to "Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States..." So pardoning an innocent bird isn't even legal. "The whole thing is a travesty," said Karen Oven-Ready, a lawyer for the turkeys, in a recent Zoom meeting.
To address this issue, we proposed that the President of Daily Bread should pardon a felonious bird, nominated by the turkeys themselves. But this idea prompted much eye-rolling from the turkeys, who were turning out to be far more savvy negotiators than we anticipated "Why would you pardon one bad apple and not millions of perfectly law-abiding turkeys?" asked Herbert Salmonella, an older turkey who unaccountably had been left unsold for a number of Thanksgivings. Good question, Herb.
Sensing she had us on the ropes, Ms. Oven-Ready then pointed out that Daily Bread's Charter (effectively, our Constitution) contained no pardoning powers at all, whether by the President or anyone else. There was no obvious response to this objection, but as luck would have it, just at that moment, someone accidentally clicked the "End Meeting" button.
With more time to think, the solution was right in front of us. We'd had it the wrong way round all along! For our ceremony, a turkey should pardon the President of Daily Bread!! He certainly had plenty of things to be pardoned for, so there was no issue there. Would it stand up in court? Perhaps not, but it couldn't hurt.
"Finally, we have a ceremony that makes sense," said Larry Butterball, spokesperson for the turkeys. "We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Daily Bread" he continued, blithely unaware of his precarious existence.
The Honorable Bertram PopUp-Timer, Chief Justice of the Turkey Supreme Court,
will issue the pardon at 10:00 O'Clock sharp on November 20.