The latest article on thanksgiving from a turkey's prospective let the revolution begin!!!! turkeys gone wild nov 21, 2012
1. The latest article on Thanksgiving from a Turkey's prospective Let the Revolution begin!!!! Turkeys Gone Wild Nov 21, 2012
2. Preface / Introduction
The article reflects on how the Turkey feels he has been mistreated by humans all these centuries.
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3. Table of Contents
1. My most memorable Thanksgiving... and oh the memories!
2. Not in the mood for Thanksgiving? Then be grateful for what you don't have!
3. Thanksgiving from the turkey's perspective. Over the river and through the woods, a nation's fowl
behavior is noted, bemoaned, admonished, challenged. Timely commentary from the cutting edge.
4. The latest article on Thanksgiving from a Turkey's prospective Let the Revolution begin!!!! Turkeys Gone Wild Nov 21,
My most memorable Thanksgiving... and oh the memories!
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author's program note. Quick can you name your favorite Thanksgiving song? Unless it's "Over the
river and through the woods" (1844), you probably don't have one. But I do. It's called "Turkey in
the straw", and it is a traditional American folk song from the 1820s. And though strictly speaking it
was not written for Thanksgiving, you'll have to forego its strict history in favor of the elastic
meaning I shall give the tune and its use. I am sure, in due time, you will forgive me. In any event,
start by going to any search engine, find the tune, and put on your dancing shoes... because this
Thanksgiving you'll be dancing, not just filling out your embonpoint, and belching.
What my family usually did for Thanksgiving... celebrated, sanctified, dull.
I was brought up in an Illinois family which, like all our neighbors, believed in the verities of God,
country, and family. These were the bedrocks on which we built our homes, our communities and
our nation. And these three essential parts of American life came sharply together at Thanksgiving,
an event which had to be arranged and celebrated in the grand manner... best china, best crystal, best
silver and food that was quite simply awesome, no stinting contemplated, allowed, or accepted. We
were Americans, part of the great heartland of the nation, and if we didn't have much to be thankful
for, then who did?
Still, this holiday (and Christmas, too) always raised the issue of where to celebrate, for we were part
of large extended families with matriarchs in various branches who made it clear their feelings
would be hurt if we didn't grace their Thanksgiving Day tables, though why they wanted my sister
with her tendency to scream while eating (admittedly she was only in pre-school) and my brother
(but that is another story), I as eldest son and eldest grandson (on both sides) could never
understand. I knew why they wanted me... "let me count the ways...."
The solution to this problem of venue was solved in most years by the simple expedient of appearing
at two (or even more) holiday tables groaning under the weight of families who had done well... and
stuffing ourselves to sickness accordingly. It is no wonder they felt queasy by day's end. Personally I
always saved room (if at all possible) for the desserts... for here amidst so many culinary
achievements... was sweet perfection in so many alluring ways. Pies of every kind (pumpkin de
rigueur of course), cobblers, cookies with holiday themes... strudel (we were of Germanic stock and
proud)... and the cakes... but enough. Suffice it to say there was no thought of mere sufficiency. It
was all about excess... in so many ways so that no one could ever say anything else, or even suggest
Time -- and holiday arrangements -- marches on.
Sadly, over time things changed and my father and mother were significant reasons why the
multi-mealed Thanksgiving came to an end. Specifically, we moved from Illinois when I was just 16
to California, where family (as Charles Manson and hippies from Haight-Ashbury proved) had an
altogether different meaning. And so, unless my father decided (and my mother concurred), for
father's sister and his wife did not love each other, unless, that is, we were going to our Carter
cousins' ranch in Bakersfield, we stayed home... and invited people we liked, who were never
related. In short, we went from the traditional Thanksgiving of too much of this, too much of that,
people we "had" to like because we were related, to Thanksgivings we invented... and, as we
discovered later when sociologists explored American migrations, most other people were doing the
same thing. And that's why my mother, Shirley de Lauing Lant Phelps de Barlais y de Kesoun, and I
were in the port of San Pedro, California en route to Baja California for Thanksgiving, 1985.
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Fourth book, second Thanksgiving out of America.
I have always been of an industrious nature and my breakneck pace through 1985 made clear that I
was a man on a mission, going places, meeting people. I had my fourth book underway, a publishing
company to oversee, an international consulting business, a multitude of lectures nationwide, and a
nationally syndicated program on the Business Radio Network. Managing time was of the essence..
and this precluded vacations and other ways of wasting time, including voyaging to a part of the
world in which I had absolutely no interest. But, then, my mother did... and she was a very
formidable woman. She named the destination, I ponied up for the tickets, and so we boarded one of
the floating restaurants and bars they call cruise ships, where eating and lassitude are the order of the
day, every day.
We were booked as Dr. and Mrs. Lant, which while absolutely accurate was also the seed for a
memorable (and oh so wrong) deduction... because, you see, on this ship, as on all such vessels, the
ladies of a certain age always out number the gents... and so the hopefulness which always
accompanies these ladies on board always quickly wilts.
My mother was a stylish and youthful looking woman and made a point of so appearing, to best
advantage. I was, as usual, slovenly, a demolisher of clothes, even those from the best shops in
Boston and England. Still, as Agatha Christie once observed, old clothes properly cut are always
suitable attire for a gentleman. My mother strenuously disagreed, but here her jeremiads fell on deaf
Still...one memorable evening, a woman of the purple-haired ilk sidled up to POM (Poor Old
Mother) and asked how long we'd been married... and how she'd managed it; (no doubt wanting
instructions on how to secure as willing mate one as young, winsome, and obviously God-favored as
I.) Freud must have had a conniption.
And that was just the beginning of the memorable holiday voyage.
My mother and I worked as a team; she was admiral, I cadet. The moment after we arrived on board,
she took a page of her cream colored stationary as Baroness de Barlais y de Kesoun, gold coronet
ablaze at the top, and sent a charming message (of which she was past mistress) to the Captain,
advising him a celebrated author was on board whom she'd like to present. That "celebrated author"
would have been me. That note she delivered post haste to the purser along with a First Edition of
my book "Our Harvard," suitably autographed by that self-same author. She always traveled with a
The next day I sat in a deck chair, enveloped in a plaid blanket, hands chilled, writing the current
book, "The Unabashed Self-Promoter's Guide: What every man, woman, child and organization in
America needs to know about getting ahead by exploiting the media." For all that I had to be thawed
out each evening, I was making lickety-split progress... and could still dance attendance on Her
Ladyship, my mother. It was a model that worked...
The Captain requests...
In due course, of course, the Captain responded... not just with an invitation to the table at dinner
where he held court but to cocktails in his luxurious private quarters. We dressed accordingly; (my
Harvard blazer was wrinkled but its insignia buttons were solid gold.) When we discovered he was
Greek, we should have recalled the old maxim "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts..."
He was a man of charm, information, and what we Midwesterners call schmaltz. As such he was
very good company, paying every courtesy to the Double B (as we termed the double Baroness, in
her own right, too). But there was something not quite right... which became instantly apparent
when, in paying my mother an exaggerated farewell he tickled the inside of my hand, in a manner
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6. The latest article on Thanksgiving from a Turkey's prospective Let the Revolution begin!!!! Turkeys Gone Wild Nov 21,
which could not possibly have been misconstrued. I meant to tell her... she would have roared with
laugher and indignation. Which brings us to our unique Thanksgiving on the high seas.
On board, one ate and participated in activities which could never quite obscure their purpose: to let
air out of bloated stomachs. One of these activities was the time-honored "talent show" which would
have been anything but... except for POM. She had an idea to sweep the boards... she always did...
and with her vision, energy, imagination and unparalleled ability to shame people into doing things,
she generally succeeded. "The First Thanksgiving".
POM dragooned one passenger after another into taking part in what was certain to be the winning
entry: a sure-to-please musical rendition of the first Thanksgiving, with dialog by me and direction
by... but you can guess who. Despite frequent (ever escalating) reminders that the script needed to
be written, yours truly did not write the script; instead falling victim to Demon Rum... and so when
POM came to get me for dress rehearsal (a bare hour before the opening curtain) she found her boy
drunk as the lord he was. No script. No excuse. No hope.
But still the show went on, though I had to ad-lib every word, including musical cues to the band,
which gamely played our game. Pilgrims said the silly things they would say... Indians (face-paint
perfect) acted aboriginal... and "Turkey in the straw" rang out frequently as passenger Pilgrims and
Indians ran about the stage capturing passenger turkeys. Then le tout ensemble sang "God Bless
America". Of course we were cheered to the echo, and I got the kind of hugs and kudos I expected...
and she had deserved.
My Thanksgiving this year will be dull indeed without her... for she is making friends and raising
cane in a better place, where she will know, for certain, I would write this article and remember....
***** What are your favourite Thanksgiving memories? Let us know by posting your comments
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Not in the mood for Thanksgiving? Then be grateful for what
you don't have!
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
Author's program note. Rarely if ever have I seen my fellow countrymen so riled up... irritable,
angry, rude epithets at the ready, bad behaviors endemic. What's going on? Try these for openers...
A rotten economic situation that just won't get better... and you're afraid it never will. And so you
worry (for the umpteenth time) about just how secure your job is. Is there some guy in Mumbai
who'll be glad to do it at half what you get? You've raised the subject with your boss... but his
answer was not reassuring and now he won't look you in the eye.
A president whose leadership style gives us no leadership... and nary a Republican presidential
candidate who doesn't cause multitudes to hold their noses, gagging, and wonder why our mind
boggling lengthy and expensive campaign produces candidates we can't stand or respect, much less
Sickening scandals like the one still unfolding at Penn State, scandals that make us wake up in the
middle of the night shouting, "What the...... is going on around here?". Sometimes we wonder, and
not just once either, whether anyone is honest, decent, and unarmed anymore... or whether it's only
suckers (you being one) who play by the rules.
Every day we pick up the newspaper and read about another murder in the neighborhood, our
neighborhood. Are our neighbors only "good" because we don't know their secret lives and the
home truths that haven't yet been disclosed?
We read about some drug bust at the school down the street... and are horrified to see the police
photo and recognize our kid's favorite teacher. We run upstairs and check the closet and dresser
drawer to see if this has touched us even closer. You're fortunate today... nothing out of order... but
the word "yet" comes immediately to mind... since these days you expect something bad to happen
any time now and aren't particularly surprised when it does.
We read about... and are as concerned as our busy lives will allow... another species declared
extinct... another Web sex scandal... another political official with a skill for theft and plausible
denial. You feel sure he'll get off easy when his time in court comes up. Is that what the bandage
over the eyes of the statue of Justice is supposed to mean?
You're concerned about America's unending wars in countries whose names you cannot pronounce,
much less find on a map, but which you are paying for. You've got a friend whose young cousin,
proud and handsome in his Marine Corps uniform, was killed by a sniper... a boy just 20 years old.
The thought haunts you all day... You want to believe such early death helps the country in question,
America, the world... but you don't. You see that boy's eyes and feel them boring into you, asking
one question over and over -- "Why?"... and you just can't give a good answer. You feel increasingly
helpless as the barrage of bad news, miseries, muddles, mayhem just won't quit. You want time off
from it all... but these realities, details delivered to us faster than ever compliments of the Web,
constitute the unceasing rhythm of our lives.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
We wonder if, after a lifetime of contributing, Social Security will be there when we need it... and
whether Medicare will provide the level of service we'll need. A gal from our office had that acute
breathing problem and was put on a respirator; the hospital didn't want to pay for it... and the matter
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now resides in their legal department. We want care... we get lawyers. It makes us very, very
nervous.... and sad.
We wonder how some shady Greek and Italian politicians can have so much influence on our lives
so far away. What kind of magic powers have they got that force us (however superficially) to pay
attention to what they're doing... and doing... and doing, all of which threatens the stability and
satisfaction of our lives? You want to say it's "unfair"... but you know no one cares what you think
about the matter... and you don't want people to think you're a wimp. So you stay quiet and
unsatisfied... it's just the way things are. And so the days pass...
... until the calendar tells you it's Thanksgiving, the official day, sanctioned by custom and dictated
by law, you get together with family and friends to eat too much and give thanks for your ability to
do so. But this year, you just don't feel like it, though you wouldn't mind a piece or two of pumpkin
pie. What's a body to do?
I'll share something that works for me... don't waste your time enumerating all the good things
you've got, especially when you realize most of them are flawed and superficial. Instead, focus on
the myriad of problems, inconveniences, woeful situations and debilitating malevolence you don't
have... bullets you have dodged for another year. This will make you feel really thankful about
things that really matter. Here's how it works...
Preparation and The List
This year I attend my 64th Thanksgiving, so I consider myself a man with some experience in the
matter. Put this experience to work by putting aside the usual falderals... don't just hold hands and
ask little Janie to say the blessing. Janie is probably too young to have much insight into the event...
and will be unable to perform her helping role to perfection. Thus the end result will be unutterably
banal, like all the years before.
Instead, seize this bull by the horns and brainstorm a long list of things you are thankful you don't
have to do, think about, or consider in any way. Be brutally frank.
Item: your boss got fired because of that restroom peccadillo, and you never have to see him again.
That was huge!
Item: your estranged cousin Herbie, bete noir of many years, has gone missing, no one knows
where. If he never returns, that would be too soon.
Item: Your darling daughter didn't marry the wild idealist who always played the zither and never
Item: your neighbor's noisome pooch Mickey, gifted with a piecing yelp and high decibel duration,
ran away in pursuit of amorous freedom. He will of course be missed by someone... but not by you.
Keep going! Don't stint! As you get into the task, you see that the things you don't have, that you
were afraid you would have and forever are the very things you always needed to make this holiday
Now type your list. You will never remember them all and since each adds its mite to the happy
event, do not rely on memory. Practice, too, reciting them. Read slowly.... with deliberate cadence
and gravitas in your voice.
Having recited this list you will feel, perhaps for the first time in months, truly happy for you have
discovered for yourself and shown the world the ample bounty of happiness at your fingertips,
Thanksgiving now and forever your favorite holiday.
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** Your response to this article is requested. What do you think? Let us know by posting your
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Thanksgiving from the turkey's perspective. Over the river
and through the woods, a nation's fowl behavior is noted,
bemoaned, admonished, challenged. Timely commentary
from the cutting edge.
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant.
Author's program note. If you're a resident of these United States, the fourth Thursday of November
will soon be upon us in all its excess, gluttony, and self-congratulation. We know this as
Thanksgiving Day, but it most certainly is no day of glorious and heart felt thanksgiving for the
crucial centerpiece of this annual event sacred to gourmandizing and loosened belts. In fact, for the
family of the genus Meleagris, commonly called turkeys, this date is the darkest day of their lives,
their history and their entire existence on this planet... but no longer.
This year for the first time since their majestic ancestors graced the Early Miocene a long, long time
ago and after nearly 400 years of unapologetic, systematic execution and intense gobbling launched
by New England Pilgrims in the 1660s, turkeys are rallying for life, liberty and the pursuit of
happiness. In short, these ancient birds of unmitigated plumage and pluck now demand respect,
restitution, and revolution. Due to a special arrangement with a band of their insurgents, I am able to
take you inside their headquarters. Thus they acknowledge their need for world-wide recognition
and your support for their pressing cause.
Urgency in the air: my interview with the Young Turk leader called "Squawk", a bird of stark
destiny and purpose.
A Message from Squawk.
I was not particularly surprised when I saw the note left under the door last night; indeed given my
support over the course of many years for the God-given right to life of polar bears, eagles, monarch
butterflies, African elephants and many others, I should have been chagrined not to have been
contacted. I have my amor propre too after all. But there it was.
"Be ready. Comrades will make contact precisely at midnight. No cameras. Nothing but pencil and
paper." Then the bold, audacious, even grandiloquent mark already famous: "Squawk" and his proud
sign, one blood-red claw print. So... they had chosen me...
... And then it occurred to me. When I booked my Thanksgiving Day reservation at the Sheraton
Commander hotel right down the street, the young manager had asked me if I wanted turkey or ham
for my main course. Without thinking, I told her that if the glaze would be as deep and resonant as
last year's, my selection was certainly ham. Thus inadvertently by my choice of which dead animal I
should feast upon, I became, if anathema to pigs, yet simpatico to turkeys.
In this way I came to know that adherents of the turkeys' cause can be anywhere, even in the most
unexpected of places. Ah, that is what the bright-eyed, chipper serving person meant when she said,
"I'm so glad, Dr. Lant" in an especially insinuating manner. Old-goat that I am I thought her
come-hither look was for my geriatric charms, and so I thought again "there's no fool like an old
Perforce, to my work.
Understanding my task, I readied myself for what could only be a fateful encounter, its salient and
urgent points to be brought to a world of the unenlightened. And so I regained myself. I was myself
again for in such matters I remain a "Young Turk," too, deferring to no one, not even Squawk,
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revolution's anvil though he be.
The feathered comrades were as good as their word. At the stroke of midnight, I heard the fluttering
of wing and heard the unmistakable sound emanating from the fleshy wattle or protuberance that
hangs from the top of the beak. And thus I fell, through professional pride and recognized standing,
into the hands of those who, without Squawk's laissez-passer, in an instant could blind me and shred
my fragile flesh. I now felt as they had felt these thousands of years a prisoner, helpless,
incarcerated, destined for premature death. Thus did the clan Meleagris signal the new order of their
kind... and the resulting new order of mine.
Of the next several minutes, I recall sensations only. Of feathers carefully positioned to extinguish
all light; just a little showing, otherwise entirely dark. Of the occasional sharp claw prick, whether
by accident or design, no less painful for that. It was an acute reminder that I was in their complete
and utter power, perhaps the first man so rendered in the long relations of turkey and human. They
said nothing. I said nothing. Where I was, who I was with, what they would do to me would become
completely apparent soon enough... and was.
Squawk's headquarters. We meet and "talk turkey".
I never did discover just where I was and where we met. But even if I knew, I wouldn't say. I am a
journalist and my sources sacred... So I shall simply say the place had a make shift aura about it, as
if this were a temporary abode, one to be quickly occupied, quickly abandoned.
"Good evening, Doctor Lant." It was Squawk, and I felt his power, strength, and authority at once.
Here was a bird who meant business... and who saw me only as a tool to reach his objective. We
understood each other, and so our business could proceed, briskly, for time was limited and we both
He motioned me to a chair. He stood. And then he began, the words swift, lucid, hot, each a
declaration etched in acid. He meant every one and every one came without difficulty. Here was a
subject of paramount importance to every turkey. He knew he spoke for all his breed, was supremely
confident of his position, of the need to speak out, of the full justice of his cause, and the need for
action now, complete action, long overdue action, and of what would have to be done should this
action be deferred by even a single moment.
It was a clarion call... and Squawk looked through me and made me see what he saw... he was a bird
transfigured... exactly what was required for this pivotal time in the long, one-sided relation of
turkey and human. I knew as each word emerged that I was hearing history in the making. Like it or
not, every clipped syllable was Important. Things would never be the same again.
What Squawk said.
Now each word came fast, irrefutable, beautiful in its delivery, purified by total belief and total
Of the days before human came. Of a proud bird, great in size, majestic in movement, free ranging
over the great land called by humans North America. These were the proud days, the glory days,
when every bird knew the joy that is freedom.
Of the days that brought the people called Pilgrims, people who fled tyranny and injustice only to
bring a greater tyranny, more menacing and thorough injustice to the land called New England.
These storm-tossed people came with only one thing in amplitude: arrogance, an arrogance that
everything they saw was theirs and theirs alone. We did not understand these humans then. We saw
them as poor, freedom-loving, in need of help we were ready to give in unstinting measure.
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And so we accepted their invitation to the First Thanksgiving... where we were the guest of honor
indeed: as food. We came in friendship. We found the cooking pot instead... and not merely the pot
for some; the pot for all of us in our thousands, our tens of thousands, our millions.
And so the Pilgrims grew fat upon the bounty of our trusting bodies. No wonder these humans gave
thanks. They were triumphant over all, a revolution in every step they took. Against such
God-believing people, forever certain in their cause what could be done except revolt, violent,
intense, thorough, unceasing until the freedom of old becomes the order of the great new day.
"Does this mean....?", I asked. He knew the question before I even finished it. "Yes, friend, it does.
There are comrades who operate in the shady lanes of liberal Newton, of affluent Brookline, even
one hero who patrols the grounds and harasses the privileged students of the Harvard Business
School. And as our ranks grow, we shall expand... so that no pedestrian wherever can walk, no
motorist drive without our calculated outrage made manifest, painful."
He meant every word ... and from previous print reports I knew he would do it if he could. After all
the population of wild turkeys has never been greater or demonstrated greater purpose and solidarity.
With the briefest touch wing to hand, Squawk signalled that this unprecedented interview was over.
Disciplined comrades were at the ready for my immediate departure, blocking my eyes, escorting
me home to a world which suddenly seemed less equable than before.
I turned on CNN which announced that the President would be exercising his powers of executive
clemency at the White House today, live in just 15 minutes. The lucky spared turkey was called
"Squawk". Now wasn't that cute?
The Marine Corps band was on hand and was just now commencing "The President's Hymn" written
in 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln declared the first official Thanksgiving holiday. Its
authors were William Augustus Muhlenberg and Joseph W. Turner, spiritual descendants of the
"GIVE thanks, all ye people give thanks to the Lord, Alleluias of freedom, with joyful accord; Let
the East and the West, North and South roll along, Sea, mountain, and prairie, one thanksgiving
Now face to face, eye to eye, Squawk and the President were just a moment from destiny...
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About the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a wide
range of online services for small and-home based businesses. Jeffrey Lant is also the author of 18
best-selling business books.
Republished with author's permission by Howard Martell http://HomeProfitCoach.com.
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