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Thanksgiving in Turkey

Continued from in front of you

so that Bob (is that his name?) and I and the kids were pushed down onto the pavement and told to keep our eyes to the ground as the entourage passed by, snaking its way toward Mount Ararat and the grave of the Apostle Paul.

     “Hey, mom,” said little Bennie, “says in this brochure that Turkey is larger than Texas. Is that for real?”

     “No, stupid, it’s just all that jihad propaganda,” piped sister Beatrice from the pruned position. “Where did you get that brochure anyway?”

     “Shut-up bitch,” said little Bennie. “Nobody’s talking to you!”

     “Now kids, let’s try to put our hatreds aside. We’re miles from our hotel and not out of this yet,” said Dad. “These people are naturally friendly and engaging. They just have to get to know us. I thought St. Paul was buried at Lookout Mountain…”

     No, that’s Buffalo Phil, fool,” said mom.

     Finally, and not without more fanfare, the procession passed. The strange men in robes told us to get up and walk to the east and we would find true enlightenment…and our hotel.

     “I wanna see Noah’s Arc,” said Beatrice, “and the ancient city of Troy. What a beat vacation. All my friends in Chicago will laugh at me if they find out I came all the way to Turkey without…”

     “Wait, daddy,” I said to my husband, “isn’t that the road to Istanbul, or is it the road to Constantinople? They must sell ottomans there. I just have to have an authentic Turkish Ottoman or I’ll just die.”

     “What about dinner?” whined Bennie. “We’ve been here three days and I haven’t seen a taco anywhere. Today is Thanksgiving. Where’s the stuffing?”

     “Now Bennie,” said my husband, whose name eludes me just now, “this isn’t America. One has to adapt. Sure, all of these rugheads wish they were in America, the land of the free, but they aren’t. They’re marooned here in Asia Minor…have been for centuries. I thought you liked the filberts in barley sauce that mom cooked up last night.”

     “I want pizza,” screamed Beatrice much to the chagrin of a large angry crowd that had now gathered, blocking our exit from behind one of a hundred mosques that crowd the cobbled square. “I hate filberts!”

     “And where is the football!” demanded little Bennie. “Don’t these Tartar savages know that it’s Thanksgiving?”

     “I hate tartar sauce too,” mumbled Beatrice, “and Kurds and whey…

     “Stop!” cried daddy. “Look a fez stand right out here in the middle of nowhere. I think we should all take home a fez as a souvenir from this lovely trip. Say there sahib. How much for four fezzes…is that the proper term? Yeah, four…and don’t try to screw me. I’m an American and I have rights.”

      At that he pulled out a U.S. fifty which the man selling the fez hats quickly grabbed and stashed in his robe. He smiled and then let go of the hats.

     “Those hats look stupid,” said Beatrice, and for once her little brother agreed. We must have looked quite the sight wandering down those snarled filthy streets, sipping a Raki looking for some familiar signs of home.

     “I have to pee,” said Bennie.

     “We need to find a halkevi, or house of the people. Surely they will have indoor facilities…

     “And cleanliness,” I crisply quipped.

     “And a make-up mirror,” added Beatrice.

     “And some good old American toilet paper,” smiled Daddy.

     “We could ask someone,” I said melodically, swept up in the worldly banter of a man I no longer knew.

     “None of these bozos talk American,” said Bennie

     “Turkish isn’t so hard to learn,” said Dad as he wagged his finger at a would-be thief. “The Turks borrowed many Arabic and Persian words during the Ottoman Empire, then Kemal Ataturk changed the whole shootin’ match over to the Roman alphabet in 1928.”

     “How does he know all that?” whispered Beatrice in my direction.

     “Daddy was once a Middle East expert in of the Bush Administrations, dear,” I explained.

     “It’s worthless information about a country that prefers figs to cranberry sauce, olives to pumpkin pie…”

     “Shhhhh,” Bennie. Here come the mashed potatoes!”

     As I looked up I saw thousands of men in the street. There were Turks from Ankara, Turks from Izmir, Turks from Cyprus. All were working together pushing a massive vat of freshly mashed potatoes, thinly veiled in Seljuk mohair, toward the largest of the mosques to the east of the square.

     “Wow, dad!” said Bennie.

     “Where are all the women?” asked Beatrice.

     “Maybe they do celebrate Thanksgiving in Turkey,” I flinched. 

     “Look, kids. Look! It’s the march of the turkeys,” said Dad. “Look, honey, they’re coming this way. It’s going to be a wonderful holiday just like I told you. Honey? Honey? Hey, kids, where’s your mother?

     “Oh, she was forced into that black Mercedes by two men who have been following us since yesterday,” said Beatrice.

     “What? Forced into a car? gasped Daddy.

     “Relax, man she’ll be back for dinner,” said Bennie.

– Luanne Julienne 

Ms Julienne is a free-lance writer who lives in a big house in Connecticut. In addition to writing travel articles she raises amphetamines, which are then sold to collectors in New York. She hates yard sales because they contain tidbits of other peoples’ messy lives.


(Badger, MN) In a gesture to the Biden Administration, Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau has offered to lend its neighbors to the south Canadian Thanksgiving in 2022. 

That holiday, which is celebrated on October 11 up north, is pretty close to the American version especially if one substitutes poutine for nachos, hockey for football or a Caesar for a Bloody Mary. 

“The country got screwed out of the only holiday that is real anymore, the only one that isn’t hyped out of its red holiday suspenders,” said a statement from Ottawa. “We simply want to give them some options for the coming year.”

Both countries expressed hope that the virus would no longer be an issue by next fall and that the US could again make use of its own longstanding day of thanks.

Many here expressed gratitude saying that they did feel robbed of a joyous Thanksgiving last year. Some insist that establishing a surrogate date lends stability in a world of black and white surprises on both sides of the border. Others think the matter is completely absurd.

Traditional feasting, watching football, tending the fire and dreaming about the coming holidays are not the heart of the celebration. It is the warmth of family that we crave. This year many people have been absent with gatherings cancelled due to virus concerns.

Some ignore precautions and continue to fight over drumsticks and mask wearing while others rely on vaccines and the government to save us. 

It was not clear if Washington would offer The Commonwealth any of its holidays on loan in 2021. Non-franchise “festival dates” such as Colombus Day, sold to Italy in 2019, and April Fool’s Day, scuttled by lies and mistruths, are no longer on the butcher block. Religious observations were not part of the conversation at the time of this writing.

– Fred Zeppelin

Turkeys Off Radar

(El Lay) The nation’s turkey population appear to have retreated underground, joining remnants of elk and several hundred defiant Snickers candy bars. These two groups remain in hiding even though the dangerous fall seasons have concluded.

Hunting season and Halloween, while popular with people is often stressful and detrimental for herd and chocolate victims. Thanksgiving, one dimensional and aimed right smack at foolish birds with a few hams thrown in, is clearly genocide according to poultry rights groups here.

Meanwhile Tom Avenue is empty and generally off the grid and the vibrant turkey lounges on Giblet Alley are now dark and quiet.

Local liberals, guilty over the treatment of all three groups have attempted to coax the candy bars and elk from their redoubts but with limited success. 

On a high note, Hibernation ’21 has been heralded a “breakthrough success” by the local chamber of commerce and several church groups that often pass the hat at dusk.

-Fred Zeppelin