Wednesday, November 24, 2010

More True Facts of Thanksgiving!

I am afraid that in my haste to share with you the True Story of Legally Required Thanksgiving, I forgot to relay a crucial chapter in the tale.

Upon pondering the fearsome fate that could befall us all at the hands of the Turkey Goblins, you may ask: "if the Turkey Goblins pose such a threat to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, Why the Presidential Pardon?".

Why the Presidential Pardon each holiday, indeed...

On April of 1945, the Allies were making tremendous progress in the European Theater.  Berlin would fall in the next month, but President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would not live to see the Allies take Germany, nor would he live to see VJ Day by the end of the summer.  With his passing on April 12, 1945, Harry S. Truman would assume the presidency.  And with that, the Secret Knowledge and responsibilities bestowed upon the President of the United States of America.

While the most famous weapon developed as an extreme measure during WWII was, undoubtedly, The Bomb (and clearly a product of Mad Science rather than Boring Science, which was developing better ways to starch a collar and ways to use lemon juice as invisible ink for most of the war), the wily scientists of the USA had more than one iron in the fire.   The Bomb was the most famous, but other, possibly deadlier plans were still being investigated.

While the story of Coolidge's discovery of Lincoln's secret headquarters is a fascinating tale, it will have to wait for another day.*  But suffice it to say, Coolidge's discovery meant the records of the Turkey Goblin Adventure had fallen into the hands of the US War Department where they had been stored in Secret Bunker X, where they had remained until the morning of June 8, 1942, when, after Midway, the US had finally just plain had it and began looking for options.

By July of 1942, Mad Science had come a long way, and in oh-so-controlled circumstances US Scientists began keeping a coop of turkeys, all of whom had tested positive for tryptophan.  They knew it would take at least a year and a half to see real results, and while few would call the horrendous deaths of several graduate students a "success", by August of 1943, the US had on its hands 6 Turkey Goblins who they knew were capable of quick and merciless slaughter (especially of unsuspecting graduate assistants).

Deployed in the Pacific Theater in the fall of 1943 with the assistance of Private First Class Lee Marvin, the Turkey Goblins were an expeditionary force, sent to islands considered suicide missions for even the iron-tough US Marines.  Across a year and a half, small batches of Turkey Goblins were deployed, serving with distinction and, ultimately, giving up their lives.

Artist's interpretation of one of the Fighting 999th

A month after taking office President Truman learned of the bravery of the Turkey Goblins at Iwo Jima, with only one Turkey Goblin (or T.G. Joe, as they were affectionately known by the Pacific fleet) still alive, Truman is said to have called home this last gobbling soldier.  What is known is that Truman, himself, flew secretly out to West Virginia to an undisclosed location where the Turkey Goblin was said to be kept.  What words passed between Turkey and President, none can say.  Nor does any man know what became of that Turkey Goblin.

What we do know is that after this meeting, President Truman became particularly sentimental about Turkeys.  And so, it is supposed that between Truman's access to the secret knowledge of the history of the Turkey Goblins and how he had seen them deployed in the Pacific, that he could never bring himself to see another gobbler harmed.

In 1947, Truman pardoned the Turkey brought to the White House.  It is said that upon leaving the Oval Office, he has left special instructions to each successor to read, detailing why the pardoning of the Turkey must be done.  Some have pardoned the Turkey.  Some have not, but the pardoning of a symbolic Turkey each and every year holds special significance not just to the pact between Turkey and Man, but as a coded message from President to President. 

President Truman's affection for our feathered friends and his awareness of our uneasy alliance would haunt him well past the end of his term

The Signal Watch is not a politically bent site, but we would point out that the pact that seems to have been forged Man and Turkey Goblin by US Presidents may fall apart should Sarah "What Else is in the Shot?" Palin take the Oval Office.

The Turkeys have not forgotten the former Governor's 2008 post-pardon interview and the slaughter of their young that occurred while Palin stood by, remorseless, as the television cameras rolled.  One shudders to think of what might occur should Palin ascend to the White House and the Turkey Goblins, quiet and dormant living just beyond our line of site for so long, take her election as a sign of aggression.

*Seriously, it's a pretty good story.

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