Good or Bad for the Jews

"Good or Bad for the Jews"

Many years ago, and for many years, I would travel to Morocco to visit uncles, cousins, and my paternal grandmother. Some lived in Tangiers;...

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Feathers: My Usual Thanksgiving Repost on a Repast from the Past


Yes, feathers. Not the figurative kind that fill leftoid heads, but the real kind that cover birds. We are going light today. Our topic is feathers and how they nearly produced a civil war in the Diplomad clan, and how echoes of that strife apparently will reverberate on the 4th of July.

As the six regular readers of this blog are painfully aware, during the Reagan years I served for a time at the UN in New York. We loved New York City, even with all its inconveniences especially with two rambunctious boys. Schooling was a problem as the local PS was, well, pretty bad. When two of the vastly overpaid teachers at the school told us that they would never send their own kids there, we decided to yank our boys out and send them--at considerable cost to the Diplomad bottom line--to private schools. One went to a school run by Irish Catholic nuns, who wanted no parental involvement, "Thank you very much, but we know how to do this." The older son went to one run by strangely liberal, yet oddly conservative Jews who wanted lots of parental involvement in the school as long as the parents did what the school wanted. Hey, it's New York. Live with it.

Well, as it does every year, the Thanksgiving holiday rolled around. You must understand we had spent most of our lives overseas. The boys had been born in Spain, and hardly had been in the US. Educated abroad, they--God help me--had grown to love soccer football soccer with both of them becoming (and remaining to this day) rabid fans of Spain's La Furia Roja. Their grip on Americana was a bit weak. Please remember that as this saga proceeds.

Another piece of background you will need. My Spanish wife hates, detests, abhors, loathes, etc, feathers and any creature sporting them. She shows a special wrath for chickens, turkeys, ducks, and geese. She cannot stand the thought of fowl on the meal plate. I have seen her blanche and break out into a cold sweat at fancy diplo dinners when served quail, duck or some other feather-bearing beast. It is not funny; better said, she has no sense of humor about this matter. My efforts to convince her that chicken tastes just like iguana have had no positive effect. Whenever we go to a restaurant, regardless of what she orders, she insists on, ahem, grilling the waiter on whether any foul fowl was involved in the making of her pending meal, "Uh, no ma'am, our salmon is, uh, salmon. It's a fish, not a bird." "Yes, yes, but the rice and the vegetables, were they cooked with chicken?" I am used to it by now.

Thanksgiving Day in New York, 1985. My older son, then about six was in a bad mood. I asked what was wrong, "You have no school today. Mom is making a nice Thanksgiving meal. What's wrong?" He glared at me, "The Pilgrims did not eat paella! They ate turkey!"

Explanation. Given the Diplowife's aversion to feathery creatures, our overseas Thanksgiving Day meals consisted of seafood paella. My wife had, ahem, implied in some way . . . oh, heck, she flat out told the kids that the Pilgrims ate paella with the Indians. Maybe she was thinking about Cortez and Pizarro, I don't know, but anyhow the kids had gotten into their heads that paella was the meal on Thanksgiving. Now in NY, the older boy had been asked the previous day to make a presentation at school on Thanksgiving. He, of course, reported that the English Pilgrims sat down and shared paella with the Native Americans. This caused a bit of a commotion and, I guess, led to some considerable ridicule, or what the politically correct nanny-staters now would label "bullying."

He was furious with us. He refused to eat paella and demanded a turkey. Even my wife was shocked into submission by the uncompromising fury coming from the tyke. It was Thanksgiving Day. I had to find a turkey in Manhattan! I dashed out of our building on the upper east side. All of the supermarkets were closed. A turkey! My kingdom for a turkey! I wandered the cold, darkling desolate concrete canyons, my despair growing and threatening to overwhelm me. I had let down my kids! The wages of sin, the consequences of falsehoods! God give me a sign that You will allow me to redeem myself . . . Wait! A deli! Still open but about to close! I ran in! Turkey sandwiches! They must have a turkey somewhere! A bizarre negotiation followed in which I finally convinced the suspicious Pakistani owner of the "Jewish" deli to sell me a whole kosher turkey at the price per pound of the sliced sandwich meat. I paid him a fortune--in cash--for a small bird about the size of a Chihuahua, and ran like the Grinch with my turkey under my arm.

My kids had turkey that day, and every other Thanksgiving since then has featured a big bird on the table. My wife refuses to sit anywhere near it, and has her own separate fish-based meal.

This will be an issue on the Fourth of July. The Thanksgiving paella got moved to Independence Day. The kids, now grown, of course, alas, are starting to make noises of impending rebellion against paella and in favor of hot dogs and other beast meat. The Diplowife mistrusts hotdogs, even the kosher all-beef ones, as stealth chicken missiles. She does not want anything with the potential of bearing fowl touching our BBQ grill or being anywhere near anything else that might be cooking. It appears that we might have a split Fourth meal. One side of the family eating chicken wings and hotdogs, and the other with the paella. Now that I think about it, this seems an appropriate metaphor for what is happening to our country.


  1. I react in a similar way as your wife but with a minor change... to tofu.

  2. "It appears that we might have a split Fourth meal. One side of the family eating chicken wings and hotdogs, and the other with the paella. Now that I think about it, this seems an appropriate metaphor for what is happening to our country." WLA

    You may well have a valid metaphorical argument to illustrate our nations lamentable decline Mr. Dip...
    and Hat Tip to the Spartan Report who chose today to resurrect a 2015 article written by Kurt Schlichter entitled: "Liberals May Regret Their New Rules".

    He wrote: "Which brings us to America in 2015. It’s becoming a nation where an elite that is certain of its power and its moral rightness is waging a cultural war on a despised minority. Except it’s not actually a minority – it only seems that way because it is marginalized by the coastal elitist liberals who run the mainstream media."

    Liberals imagine that their president can simply take whatever actions he pleases – including ones he previously admitted were unconstitutional – and that the next Republican president won’t do the same. Except then it will be to negate their cherished policies.
    The revolt has begun, peacefully. In 2010, and again in 2014, the Silent Majority returned and sent an unmistakable message to the liberal elite. When Bill Clinton got that message in 1994, he recognized that opposition and worked with it. But under Obama, the liberal elite acts to ignore and delegitimize the opposition. 2014 was not a tantrum; it was a warning, and the liberals are betting that they can bluff and bluster their way through it.

    >>>When you block all normal means of dissent, whether by ignoring the political will of you opponents or using the media to mock and abuse them,<<< you build up the pressure. In 30+ years as an active conservative, I’ve never heard people so angry, so frustrated, so fed up. These emotions are supposed to be dissipated by normal political processes. But liberals are bottling them up. And they will blow. It’s only a matter of how."

    More grafs, excerpts, and a link to the Schlichter article here:

    As my Dad, a Red, White, and Blue transplanted American, used to say to US kids: Happy Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble...
    and a Happy Thanksgiving to all 6+ Diplomad 2.0 readers and posters too!
    On Watch~~~
    "Let's Roll"

  3. If this stand off is continuing, as it appears to be, maybe the answer lies in the Instapundit's leg of lamb preparation?

    Green Bear

  4. You should persuade her that pheasant is safe because the lead pellets neutralise the effect of the feathers.

  5. We have Cornish Game Hens instead of turkey. Tender and flavorful.

  6. What is the source of your wife's aversion to fowl? Surely it is idiosyncratic, not a regional taste; Iberia is full of chickens, isn't it?

    Anyway, you are being far too gloomy in seeing in your split-menu feasting a token of the Decline of the West. To the contrary, think of it as a feast of liberty, a blow against totalitarian cuisine. Let a hundred flowers bloom!

    As for me, I'd vote for turkey every other day, and twice on Sundays. Ben Franklin was right: the turkey should be the national bird. The bald eagle is more in the German style.

  7. This year, my JO-wife and myself are staying away from the extended mishpocheh due to the incredible political bitterness afoot. We're having Jiao Zi made with pork and cabbage--maybe chives--which we will make ourselves. My JO-wife is from Taiwan, and being of good southern Chinese stock, she eats any quadruped, fish, mollusc, etc.

    While I eat it, I'm not really fond of turkey, eating it basically once per year at the extended clan's Thanksgiving feast; maybe as an occasional deli meat (my late mother, Gud hvile henne, convinced my wife that the whole family loves it). Generally, I find turkey too dry. I'll take chicken, duck, or goose over it any day. Even quail.

  8. Wondering what caused your wife to come to that conclusion.
    We like turkey on the occasion of Thanksgiving, ham at Easter, and the best of all Prime Rib at Christmas (or any other day we can make it).

  9. Soccer? I certainly hope they turned out hetero-normative. A catholic AND jewish school, WTF-you hedging your bets or something dip?

    Carry on!

  10. One of my favorite Diplomad stories!

  11. Love it! Happy to be reader #7 or #17 or whatever the case may be. Happy Thanksgiving!

  12. Guess convincing her they're actually downsized velociraptors is a non-starter?

  13. For the day after, my wife and I made and ate jiao zi!!!! YUMMM!

  14. I fund I must stand with your wife on this one, Turkey today is a foul fowl. I have no idea what they are feeding them these days but they taste rancid. If I could make a decent paella I would be grateful for it ANY day of the year.