The 35-pound Tom Turkey will be grand marshall of the Disneyland Thanksgiving Day parade.
And the big bird is flying west in style. After the reprieve on the White House lawn, the turkey and it's alternate will be given a police escort to a Washington-area airport.
From there they'll fly first-class to Los Angeles. After the parade duties are over, the turkeys will live out their days at a Disneyland ranch.
Now, let's leave aside the bizarre tradition of "pardoning" one turkey, on the day when we eat tens of millions of them. And let's also ignore for a moment my normal injunction against feeling guilty for fun, because the suffering of others shouldn't prevent you from enjoying life.
Let's just think about this (and recall a similar incident a few years back when Chicagoans were treated to a steak dinner in a four-star hotel being fed to a baseball). Let's think about the fact that police officers in Washington, DC routinely ignore rapes, assaults and murders if they don't happen to middle-class white people, while an entire unit of officers are being assigned to drive a bird to the airport. Let's think about how a lot of people won't be visiting their families this season because they can't afford to leave town, while an animal as insensate to its environment as a rock is being given a first-class ticket to L.A. Let's think about that "it's/its" substitution in an AP article edited by someone who makes more money than me.
I promise, as I do every year, not to say anything bad about America on Thanksgiving. But can we just all admit, two days before, that maybe the $10,000 or however much this is all going to cost might be better spent elsewhere? Like, I dunno, maybe on a MANNED MARS MISSION?