I write safety briefs for my squadron. I tried getting out if it by writing preposterous nonsense which promptly backfired. I now write safety briefs all the time. Below is a sample of the bullpucky I send out.
On holidays, we halt the regular humdrum of our plodding existences to reflect on metaphysical aspects of the cosmos. As such, let us approach with light-hearted gravity the holiday at hand. As Thanksgiving looms, two incredible topics must be addressed. As always, first and foremost amongst my thoughts is Safety, PBUH. Secondly, (as is tradition) methinks of turkeys. I say two topics, but I hope to demonstrate that the two are indeed one, for all things are born of Safety and will one day return to Safety.
To achieve this goal, I ask you to join me on a brief journey… a journey back in time. The place, Philadelphia. The time, May of 1787. Shay’s Rebellion has just proven the Articles of Confederation to be woefully inadequate to bind a blossoming nation, and political luminaries have convened at the Pennsylvania State House to set the trajectory for a fledgling country, nay, the world. We join a bustling throng of anxious citizens on the veranda, silently wrestling for a view through the shutters or a glimpse through a key hole. Let’s put our ear to the door, shall we?
Our timing couldn’t be better! Benjamin Franklin has just taken the floor to begin the most important debate ever to face this nation: bald eagles, or turkeys? Surely, some thrilling polemics are in store! But what’s this? Unruly murmurs in the assembly build quickly into a roar of dissension! Franklin has yet to even finish his endorsement for the turkey, but paid goons from the Anti-Turkey lobby and Big Eagle are shouting the man down! Their sinister ambush works; Old Ben is defeated. As he relinquishes the floor he manages to gasp, “Et tu, George?”, but Washington can only grit his wooden teeth in shame and turn his head away. Sadly, the shrill objections of these close-minded eagle lovers won the day, and sadder still, prevailed through the ages. Returning to the present, we see that this turkey endorsement remains a stubborn stain on the otherwise untarnished legacy of a beloved Constitutional architect. I intend to expose this “settled debate” as the venomous slander that it is.
In some circles, such as the ring around my tub, it is admitted that Benjamin Franklin’s famous feud with the bald eagle is rooted in a vicious rivalry over which was the more iconic poster child for dignified hair loss. And I concede that the froth of these baldy sour grapes came to a head when Franklin brazenly campaigned against the bald eagle’s claim to national bird status in favor of a common barnyard turkey. But I submit that Franklin’s envy was not the primary source of his objection to bird of prey. His real reason – I hope you’re sitting down – his real reason in elevating the turkey as the ornithological embodiment of the American People was to make a powerful statement about the importance of promoting Safety.
Ben Franklin knew that the ultimate goal of the United States (and consequentially the USAF) is to spread Safety to infinity and beyond. And let’s face it, everybody knows that turkeys are the epitome of Safety. No other animal is so obviously vulnerable and ill-equipped to protect itself. They’re basically beach balls filled with delicious meat balancing on a pair of cheap chopsticks, decorated in flashy colors and wings that scream This product is for display purposes only and is not intended for actual flight. Turkeys might as well leave a trail of bibs everywhere they go. But for all that, turkeys are at the top of the non-endangered species list. Why? Because of Safety.
I can already hear the objection, “But we kill and eat millions of turkey’s every year for Thanksgiving, so how are they safe?!” This harebrained assertion not only fails to disprove my point, it’s an argument in favor of my point. Stop and ask yourself, why doesn’t every American family cook up a bald eagle this year? Because there wouldn’t be enough to feed the the state of Rhode Island, that’s why – because these safety-be-damned masters of the sky are the Lindsay Lohan’s of the animal kingdom when it comes to recovery, that’s why – because they’re so cavalier with their own well being that the national bird can’t even participate in our own national holiday without ceasing to exist. Simply shameful. Remember the news stories about thousands of turkeys getting sliced and diced into mincemeat because they tried to Evel Knievel their way through the whirring blades of a windmill farm? Neither do the scattered remains of all those bald eagles. Bald eagles are reckless, safety-hating scofflaws who utterly fail to live up to America’s core value of Safety Uber Alles. Conversely, turkeys suckle at the teat of Safety and have benefited so bountifully from doing so that they can afford to offer up millions of their own to honor the genesis of our mighty Safety-conscious nation.
Verily, it was for the love of Safety that Benjamin Franklin endorsed the turkey. It’s fitting that a father of the Constitution and inventor of the bifocals should use turkeys to further demonstrate his aptitude for long-range vision that holds up under close examination.
Happy Thanksgiving. Be Safe.