1. It’s a political cartoon. The reading turkey thinks he can remove himself from the political situation surrounding him. The reality is, of course, that a turkey (as are we all) is a participant in the system in which he (we) lives. Furthermore, it appears Carl has bought into the ideology of his oppressors. Genesis 1:26 makes all non-humans the property of humans. He is complicit in his own oppression and destruction and is in denial about it.
    Genesis 1:26: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

  2. I thought this was pretty funny. Just as different people choose to celebrate different holidays, so do different animals. Carl chooses not to participate in Thanksgiving – which is silly, because obviously no turkey, given a choice, would choose to participate in Thanksgiving.

  3. The two turkeys, the reader and the cartoonist are on four different pages.

    The Turkey who isn’t Carl is complaining about the christmas tree because Carl is putting up christmas decorations up too early. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

    Carl thinks the TWIC is complaining about putting up christmas decorations when they aren’t Christians who celebrate Christmas; they are Turkeys who celebrate their holiday– Thanksgiving. Carl, points out he’s not a practicing Turkey and he’s fine with melding into the dominant culture.

    The reader meanwhile thought this was going to be about Turkeys getting killed and dreading Thanksgiving as is the standard jokes so that when we find out this is a Jews with Christmas trees joke we are surprised.

    While the readers on one page of a book and the turkeys are reading a newspaper, the cartoonist is rummaging through his attic for an electronic pager.

  4. I am guessing these are not British turkeys as Christmas is when we slaughter and eat them; they are safe enough at Thanksgiving time. Better put up an early Easter egg if you are visiting the UK, Mr Turkey!

  5. Wasn’t it actually a Turkey in a Christmas carol and goose in just about every other English story (such as the adventure of the Blue carbunkle)?

    “Hallo!” returned the boy.

    “Do you know the Poulterer’s, in the next street but one, at the corner?” Scrooge inquired.

    “I should hope I did,” replied the lad.

    “An intelligent boy!” said Scrooge. “A remarkable boy! Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey that was hanging up there?—Not the little prize Turkey: the big one?”

    “What, the one as big as me?” returned the boy.

    “What a delightful boy!” said Scrooge. “It’s a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my buck!”

    “It’s hanging there now,” replied the boy.

    “Is it?” said Scrooge. “Go and buy it.”

  6. My family’s bookshelves had a novel called “You Shall Know Them” whose plot involved an anthropologist or maybe primatologist engaging in a disturbing stunt to try getting a tribe of hominids declared legally human. This link that Google dug up for me seems to be a college course essay (wait, but it’s numbered 365, that might mean grad level) but it is a good summary. https://anthropology365.com/2018/01/01/book-review-you-shall-know-them/

    On the topic of animal rights in general, not just for the “highest” kind, ethicists like Peter Singer and Christine Korsgaard (whom I once sorta TA’d for!) seem to be moving from framing it as a question of “rights” to saying all creatures have “interests” that need to be taken into account.

  7. Huh. I thought it was a prize goose. Oh well, I’m not a practicing anything, so what do *I* know anyway ‘-)

    I seem to remember reading that whether one had goose or turkey depended on what class [of society] one was in. Time for some research . . .

  8. . . . which reminds me we have egg nog in the fridge and Pfefferneuse cookies in the cupboard (yes, Christmas is here), so I’ll go have some o’ those now.

  9. Next time that tom turkey is gobbling from that tree across the street – as he was this spring – I’m going to stand under it and say, ‘As god is my witness, turkeys DO fly!’

  10. I always note that as as an American I would have assumed goose was more traditional so it always surprised me. I remember watching the movie and I figured they had changed it to a turkey to make it relatable to the American audience so I looked it up and ….

  11. I think Scrooge chose the more expensive turkey over the cheaper goose as a gesture to signal his newfound generosity.

    I find food in Dickens sometimes confusing. Occasionally someone eats lobster but I don’t know where they get it. Mr. Micawber likes ketchup on his pork chops, but tomato ketchup is only one of many kinds of ketchup, so it could have been maybe mushroom ketchup or walnut ketchup.

    Food gets worse by the time Lewis Carroll is writing. Everybody who is anybody seems to need to serve turtle soup as a first course.

  12. Andréa – yum, pffeffernuese! I haven’t seen it in the stores here yet…I may make some. You’ve got me craving it. And eggnog, of course, but Dad has promised to make some this week (I don’t drink the store stuff, it’s too…too something).

  13. Archway makes the only Pfeffernüsse in US that I like, with powdered sugar, not icing.

    Eggnog – no matter the taste – is always improved with a bit o’ Southern Comfort in it. SC is also the brand of eggnog I prefer, altho store eggnog is too artificial-tasting . . . some more so than others. Making it yourself, tho, means you have to drink it all ASAP, or it separates. I made it once, and once was enough. And eating raw eggs is getting more and more dangerous besides.

  14. I took it that a practicing turkey (one who observed Thanksgiving) would be in some weird death cult that practices sacrifice of members of their own species. But it seems a rather bland denial of such cult membership, so I did not find it very funny even though I thought I understood it.

  15. Would Scrooge’s turkey have been imported from the US or did they start raising turkeys there also? (Ben Franklin thought it should be the national bird.)

    In the 1950s and 60s when I was growing up turkey was a big deal to make as it took so long and there was so meat on the bird so it was rare to have to turkey other than for family gathering holidays – Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashana, Chanukah, Passover… Then it reached a point where mom would just cook one during the year at various times and freeze the excess leftovers so the magic of a turkey was gone.

    At some point mom’s sister in law decided that she was Kosher and we would go for Thanksgiving dinner with my Uncle, Aunt, and cousin to a kosher deli restaurant for the dinner (as we spent most holidays with dad’s family which was larger and more fun as we had cousins that were close to us in age). My sisters and I would order corned beef sandwiches – we had been given the entire menu so it was being offered. The waiters would say “Don’t you mean the turkey?” We would hold out for the corned beef sandwiches as we very rare had same.

    On the other hand, Robert’s family would always go to an (authentic per him) Italian restaurant for Thanksgiving (and most holidays) antipasto first, followed by pasta course, followed by main turkey course, followed by dessert.

    One year his sister was married in November and away on her honeymoon for Thanksgiving. Since his family generally won the “whose family are we are going to Thanksgiving – the only major family holiday that both families want us for” debate, and I wanted to see my family also, and we would be just with with his parents and grandmother, I suggested “Let’s make Thanksgiving dinner here in the apartment.” The idea shocked him. We were in an overstuffed 3 room apartment. I had figured we could get folding tables up the length of the living room and I would get “to play”with my good china, etc. Both families agreed. (If the person at the far end of the table needed the toilet – everyone along the way had to get up and move for them to get out.

    Problem was the menu – Kosher deli or Italian? We went with traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.

    In addition to his grandmother (mom’s side) we invited his other (dad’s side) grandmother, aunt and aunt’s boyfriend in addition to his parents. (His 2 grandmothers were rarely in the same room – per Robert, Italian amnesia is when one forgets everything bu the vendetta and when we got married we had to be careful of the wording of the invitations as same was still a problem from his parents’ wedding between the grandparents.) We invited my parents, 2 sisters, my BIL and my grandfather. (My grandfather and his mom’s mom got along pretty well as I had picked both for some holidays and driven them together from Brooklyn to out here.) It went extremely well. His sister and BIL were of course added in future years as was my other BIL who joined the family a few years later. We became the Thanksgiving dinner for the two families. The year we moved to out house in October, we had Thanksgiving dinner – with the good china, etc. in our dining room. Over the years sometimes the best man from our wedding would join us if he was in the area, we added my niece when she was born, his BIL’s mom had no place to go, she would come. My nephew after he was born. Robert’s older niece after she was adopted.

    This went on for 25 years. Why did it stop? The darned bed bugs!! I cannot deal with anyone having in the house any longer.

    So unless we come up with someplace to go – I will be cooking for the 2 of us again. To my delight, we got our RV back from the work being done on it at the dealer in PA and have actually moved the contents of it back into it from our dining room and today the microwave went from the dining room onto the new fridge so with a minor amount of work on the room dealing with reenacting stuff stored in there and mostly not put away, we should have the dining room for dinner for the two us on Thanksgiving.

    First Thanksgiving celebration in the British North American colonies was in Jamestown, VA 1610 – 10 years before the Pilgrims arrived. (No,we don’t dress in period clothing for Thanksgiving.)

  16. It’s stories like yours that make me glad I had few relatives on this side of the ocean, and that my dad was estranged from the [very] few who WERE on this side.

    Of course, at times I wish I DID have more relatives nearby, but most families I’ve observed manage to put the FUN in dysFUNction; I’ve learned that the grass is NOT greener on the other side of the fence, or ocean.

  17. Much better than eggnog is Atholl Brose. It’s especially good for breakfast as long as you don’t have to go out driving afterwards. I don’t think you can buy it. You have to make it yourself.

  18. Just began reading ‘Marley’ [not about the dog, but the deceased partner of Ebenezer Scrooge], in which Scrooge eats goose for dinner at his Mother’s house. So it would seem goose is for every day, whereas turkey is for for the holiday.

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