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California regulates Thanksgiving
Michael Shannon.jpg

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” - C. S. Lewis

I have good news for all you compulsive mask wearers. The people who religiously don their face burkas even when driving alone in their car. The wait is over. Your guidance is here. The bureaucrats who run Nannyfornia have finally issued the rules for observing Thanksgiving.

Assuming you’re willing to try and cheat death for a holiday that was created by dead white men.

Even though this is the first edition of “Rules for a Safe Thanksgiving,” and will no doubt be refined and expanded in future years, the edict is remarkable for its comprehensive nature.

Gov. Gavin Newsome’s Flu Manchu regime covers eight integral Thanksgiving topics: Location, attendance, taking attendance, seating arrangements, dinnerwear, serving sizes, duration of dinner and the number of times you may legally eat turkey.

We’ve come a long way from the government’s first tentative steps into inserting itself into the nation’s holidays. A few years ago, I wrote on Thanksgiving Day six federal employees will be sitting by the phone like the Maytag man, hoping it rings so the United States Dept. of Agriculture can spring into action and aid “people who need help preparing their Thanksgiving dinner.”

And on line #2 the National Institute of Health is ready to help Americans digest their dinner. 

Hotline hours were limited to 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., because even at double-time wages, bureaucrats didn’t want to put in a full day. Callers who reached a human could hear handy tips on the ways injecting marinade differs from an enema. The reason playing “find the giblets” should be done before cooking. Why putting stuffing inside the carcass may qualify you for a new salmonella study. And finally, how the easiest way to take the turkey out of the oven is to reverse the procedure you used to put the bird in the oven.

None of the advice was coercive though, which is the big difference between pre-WuFlu advice and pandemic poultry orders.

California begins by informing celebrants that their dinner will take place outside. In the backyard for homeowners and the parking lot for apartment dwellers (get there early to reserve a space!). No wandering into the kitchen to sample what Granny is preparing.

Attendance is limited to a maximum of three households, although there is still some dispute as to whether individuals with hyphenated last names count as one family or two. People with larger families, complicated parenting overlaps or multi-generational “undocumented” families are forbidden to employ the obvious solution: eating in shifts like buzzards.

Nannyfornia has thought of that and vetoed it, too. The Flustapo says, “participating in multiple gatherings with different households or groups is strongly discouraged.”

After you’ve winnowed the guest list, the state discusses seating arrangements. Each household will be seated together and the family groups will be separated by a minimum of six feet. So much for the kid’s table and the adult’s table, to say nothing of catching up with people you may not have seen for months.

Somewhere during your relative herding duties the host is expected to take attendance. An accurate list of everyone who attended along with their contact information must be kept in the event a germ escapes and the Flustapo decides to ask for your papers.

If you still have an appetite after all this regimentation, the state’s do–gooders don’t trust you to feed yourself. “ much as possible, any food or beverages at outdoor gatherings must be in single-serve disposable containers.” And if Costco didn’t sell your turkey in bite–sized chunks then someone must be deputized to wear a face burka while she does all the serving, just like the lunch ladies in high school!

Speaking of face burkas, everyone is required to wear one even though you are eating outside separated by a distance that equals the depth of a grave. Once your first bite gets within three inches of your mouth, the mask may be removed. 

At the end of the maximum two–hour celebration period allowed by the state - the clock starts when the first guest rings the doorbell - all attendees are ordered to mask up and disperse. Which marks California’s only nod to tradition. 

Grandma will still have to clean up the Thanksgiving mess by herself.

Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant. He can be reached