By J.F. McKenna
Since the Federal Whiz Kids have solved America’s health-care crisis, they’re well practiced to improve our most sacred but stressful tradition—Thanksgiving.
By this time next year, we’ll all be talking about the Affordable Thanksgiving Act.
“Our Thanksgiving holiday is not merely a tradition but a right,” POTUS will declare ‘round about March 2014. “Accordingly, we need to ensure that each family’s giving of thanks for this nation’s bounty and freedom is celebrated in a fair and equitable fashion across our fruited plain. That is why I am forwarding to Congress, for its immediate approval, the Affordable Thanksgiving Act. We’ve learned a lot from our health-care strategies, and we plan to apply them to this most important of American holidays. I can assure Congress this day that the details of the ATA are all good—as good as Grandma’s cranberry sauce—and they do not need excessive scrutiny. Pass it now—then pass the potatoes!
“And let me assure my fellow citizens that the ATA will not alter individual family traditions in any way,” the President will stress. “If you like the turkey you’ve served in the past, you can keep it—period.”
Beltway sources have already shared with me some of the details of the ATA. One of these tattletales actually says the ATA “does for Thanksgiving in America what listeria does for a new restaurant’s opening in midtown Manhattan.”
Just consider these ATA highlights:
- Each family Thanksgiving dinner must meet established minimum nutritional standards as directed by The First Lady. Only turkeys raised under the direction of federally appointed “avian auditors” can be served; otherwise, tax penalties will be assessed according to the weight of any unregistered bird.
- The approved list of side dishes will include beets, green beans, sweet potatoes, whole-kernel corn and mashed potatoes. All requests for substitutions, including traditional ethnic dishes, must be filed with the Department of Health and Human Services by September 1, 2014.
- Second helpings, as well as desserts and related Thanksgiving treats, will be limited to an established caloric standard, now in development by HHS and the Department of Transportation. Each family will file a leftover declaration with the Environmental Protection Agency no later than December 1, 2014.
- Prayers of thanksgiving “must be conducted 15 minutes before the actual serving of any meal that day; further, all prayers must be conducted no closer than 12 feet to the site where any Thanksgiving meal is served.”
My sources also tell me that the federal government “has wisely decided to create a website to assist Americans in properly implementing the ATA.”
The name of the website, my sources tell me, will be www.libertywithallitstrimmings.gov .
CBR contributor J.F. McKenna, a longtime West Park resident, is a business journalist, communications consultant and former editor in chief of the national manufacturing magazine Tooling & Production. He enjoyed some of his misspent childhood on the family farm in Columbia Station. Reach him at email@example.com or through his LinkedIn profile: Jos. F. McKenna.