Thursday, November 24, 2005

Talking Turkey



I was touched when President Compassionate Conservative pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey and sent him to live out the rest of his days in Guantanamo or wherever the Pardoned Turkey Ranch is. To me, it’s proof that the President’s conservative compassion has deepened and grown even more compassionate than it was when he talked about it so much during the 2000 election campaign.

I was wondering where it went, because he didn’t talk about it all in 2004. Or in any other year since 2000. But I’m glad it’s still there and I’m glad there’s so much of it.

He must be WAY more compassionate now than he was when he was Governor of Texas, because, if you’ll remember, he barely pardoned anybody back then, whether they were turkeys or humans. It didn’t matter whether you were nearly retarded or a woman or what your problem was. If your execution number came up while Governor W was in the State House, and hundreds did, baby, you were going into the fryer. And hundreds did. So many that Governor W established Texas as number one in the nation in institutionalized euthanasia. I’m using euthanasia instead killing because it’s a fancy long word with lots of soft vowels & consonants that don't strike the ear as harshly as does killing, with its piercing K sound.

Oh, and to be perfectly accurate, you don’t go into the fryer any more in Texas. Texas traded in the electric chair for lethal injections in 1977. But even if President CC had NOT pardoned Mr. Turkey, I doubt if they would have given him a lethal injection because who wants to eat a turkey that’s been injected with some godawful poison? And they probably don’t put National Unpardoned Turkeys (NUTs) in front of a firing squad, either, because you might get lead caught in your teeth when you bite down on your breast meat. So how DO they execute ‘em? Maybe they hang ‘em. But what if the turkey starts flapping his wings just as the trapdoor drops from under him? I realize domestic turkeys are flightless birds, but they DO have wings. We haven’t bred the wings away completely because who wants to buy and roast and devour a wingless turkey? That’s no fun. Imagine the kids’ tears when they start begging for a wing.

Anyhow, I’m guessing that if and when you did hang a turkey that its natural flight response would kick in at the moment of hanging no matter how dumb he was, and we all know turkeys are almost as dumb as some of those retarded prisoners on death row that Governor W saw fit not to pardon back when he was setting lethal injection records. And even if a turkey can’t exactly fly, he can probably flap hard enough to keep from choking to death for a good long time, which would likely make the hanging look like a performance piece with a live turkey piñata. There’s the turkey, let’s call him Tom, frantically flapping up a storm, maybe flying around in tiny circles, literally at the end of his rope, feathers and turkey shit flying all about in the execution chamber, and this going on for minutes or even hours as the witnesses to the execution start to stare at their watches and play games on their blackberries and eventually they’d all have enough and the head executioner would have to step up, maybe blindfolded, to compassionately give ol’ Tom a fighting chance, and start swinging a Louisville Slugger at that sucker. And maybe Tom could dodge the first 2 or 20 whacks, but eventually the executioner would home in on him with a WHACK gobble gobble WHACK flap gobble gobble and after about a dozen bullseyes poor Tom would give up the ghost and just drop there from his noose, dripping blood not candy, most every bone in his body pulverized. And the witnesses would be wondering how the hell anybody was supposed to roast and eat such a mess, and the executioner would announce that this particular Tom would not prove suitable for roasting because he looked like hell and that instead Tom would be made into turkey soup or turkey casserole or turkey tartar and fed to the penitentiary’s surviving death row inmates.

But what I’m wondering is, what would happen to Tom Turkey if he turned out to be a Dirty Bomb Terrorist, you know, same as John Ashcroft accused Jose Padilla being. And what if that Dirty Bomb might go off at any moment, and only Tom Turkey knew where he had hidden it? Then it might be necessary for President Compassionate Conservative to send Tom over to his Vice President of Torture, ably assisted by Porter Goss, the new Director of Torture.

And once the VP had Tom Turkey embunkered in the Vice Presidential bunker, the first thing he’d probably do is give that dirty bombing bird one of the Cheney/Goss approved Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, such as the attention-getting “shirt grab.” Problem is, Tom Turkey rarely WEARS a shirt. So it would have to be a breast feather grab, followed by a violent shake and “Where’s that damn dirty bomb?!” followed by either silence or gobble gobble from Tom.

Now for all we know, Tom might be trying to TELL the VP just exactly where that infernal dirty bomb is, but who could tell? The government is dreadfully short of translators fluent in Turkey. It is true that Sibel Edmonds, the Arabic translator who blew the whistle on FBI incompetence, is Turkish, but the FBI doesn’t let her translate anymore and has done everything it can to discredit her. Still, these are extraordinary circumstances. That dirty bomb of Tom’s might be fixin’ to blow in any one of a number of great American cities: Chicago, New York, even New Orleans. Though New Orleans already looks like a dirty bomb hit it, so I guess that wouldn’t be all THAT much of a loss. Anyhow, maybe the VP for Torture would pressure the FBI, kinda like he pressured the CIA back in the runup to the invasion of Iraq, and Sibel would be allowed to descend into the bunker and translate for Tom.

“What’s he saying?” the Director of Torture says to Sibel.

“Gobble gobble,” says Sibel.

“I KNOW that. But what does gobble gobble mean in English?”

“Gobble gobble,” says Sibel.

“It means the same thing in Turkish AND English?!”

“Yup,” says Sibel.

“Enough of this shirt grabbing,” says the VP for Torture. “Let’s try one of the other Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, such as stomach punching.”

“OK, fine,” says the Director, “YOU find his stomach. I don’t SEE a stomach. All I see is a giant feathery breast.” And Dick steps up and punches Tom several times in his big feathery breast, and Tom says “gobble gobble,” but doesn’t seem very upset maybe because he has so much padding.

“NOW what does he say?” the VP asks Sibel.

“Gobble gobble,” says Sibel.

“The same gobble gobble he said before or a different gobble gobble?”

“The same one,” says Sibel.

“And it means……” asks the VP….

“Wait,” says the Director for Torture, “lemme guess: Gobble gobble.”

“You are correctamundo, Buffalo Breath,” says Sibel.

“Well I’ve had just about enough of this crap,” says the VP. “Let’s move on to another enhancement, the most enhanced enhancement of all: waterboarding.” And the VP and the Director strap Tom Turkey to a board and dunk him in water until he’s all but drowned and then bring him up. “Now sing, birdbrain! Where’s that dirty bomb?”

And poor Tom shakes his bleary head and spits up some water and says “gobble gobble” and Dick says to Sibel “don’t bother to translate. I can see this Son of a Byrd is stonewallin’ us.” And this time they dunk Tom for what seems like forever and when they bring him up he’s so waterlogged he’s dead and he doesn’t make so much as a peep, much less gobble gobble. “Well, give him mouth to mouth, Goss, or we’ll NEVER find out where the damn bomb is!”

“I’m not going to kiss that turkey, YOU kiss the turkey if you’re such a brave patriot, Mr. Five Draft Deferments and I Had Other Priorities.”

“I’m the Vice President and maybe even the de facto President, not a turkey kisser!” sneers Dick, who then turns to Sibel. “That leaves you. Goddamnit, woman, start kissing that turkey.” And Sibel Edmonds, who’s not only a brave whistleblower but a patriotic turkey kisser, gives Tom Turkey all the mouth to mouth that bird can handle, and by and by revives him!

“Do you see how it is now, Tom?” she says to him in Turkish. “This ain’t no foolin’ around. These boys really want to know and they’ll stop at nothing to find out.”

There’s a long silence from Tom. He coughs up another couple gallons of water. Then: “Well damn. So that’s how it is. Then I’ll tell you anything you want to hear, because that’s what torture victims do. You want to hear the bomb’s in San Francisco because it’s full of queers and liberals? Then fine, it’s in San Francisco.” And the amazing thing is, Tom is talking in English, not Turkish. And it ain’t no gobble gobble English. It’s the Queen’s English, a haughty Oxbridgian honk. “You want to hear the goddamn bomb’s in the bluest city in the bluest state, Boston, Mass? Then that’s where it is, right under the Ted Williams Tunnel. Or maybe you’d rather hear the bomb was in Crawford, or Camp David, and that it was about to blow the titular President limb from limb so that you can finally be in title what you have effectively been in fact: President of These Tortured United States.”

And Dick Cheney gives Tom Turkey a head slap, which is one of the approved attention getters in the canon of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. But it’s such a violent head slap that poor Tom’s neck cracks like a whip, and he keels over before the VP and Director of Torture can subject Tom to that other E.I.T.: standing. But that one wasn’t going to work anyway, because turkeys LOVE to stand, they do it all day and all night, and none of them ever coughs up the truth about dirty bombs or anything else no matter how long they stand. They think standing's a gas.

“Look what you’ve done now, you stupid, arrogant, f…..,” says the Director to the VP.

“Watch your potty mouth, there’s a lady present,” says Dick.

“You tell a senator to f…… off in the Capitol Rotunda and you say I have a potty mouth?!” says the Director. “Anyway, that’s no lady, that’s a whistleblower.”

The three of them stare down at Tom’s body. “Now we’ll never know where Tom’s dirty bomb was,” says Dick. “It’s as deep and dark a secret as the location of Saddam’s WMD’s. And until that bomb goes off, we ALL have something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving. That we’re still here. Of course, I’ll be here, safely tucked away in my bombproof bunker, even AFTER the bomb goes off, even if it goes off inside the Beltway. So I guess you could say Lynn and I should be doubly thankful on Turkey Day.”

“What are you guys going to do with that bird?” says Sibel.

“I know what you’re thinking,” says the Director, “but I can’t release his corpse. It's evidence. Anyhow, he’s clearly a tough old bird that would have made lousy eating.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right,” says Sibel.

“I’m sorry all your legal troubles have so bankrupted you that you can’t afford a turkey of your own, Sibel, but Lynn and I can’t invite you over to share our turkey because you’re a whistleblower and we don’t cotton to whistleblowers.”

“That’s all right, Mr. Vice President. Thanksgiving should be a time when loved ones and dear friends gather to celebrate how the Pilgrims fucked over Squanto. And I wouldn’t feel right sitting down for turkey with the likes of you and Lynn, you know what I mean? My husband and I will wangle an invitation to SOME bluestater’s house, don’t you worry about that.” And the Director and Sibel exit the VP’s bunker.

“Do you REALLY think that turkey had a dirty bomb?” says Sibel.

“Hell no,” says the Director. “How could a turkey have a bomb?! I was just humoring the VP, kinda like the whole country did back when he said Saddam had nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction. You know what I mean?”

“Yup,” says Sibel, “I guess I do.”



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