Birds of a feather get pardoned together, again

Gov. Ivey pardons Clyde the turkey

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A repeat offender and his female accomplice returned to Alabama’s governor Thursday asking for yet another pardon. Gov. Kay Ivey gave it to them, but that’s not really the story. She pardoned them last year, too.

If fact, after reviewing pardon cases dating back to 1949, we found the beaked-duo Clyde and Henrietta Gobbler-Bates (Yes, we’re now proclaiming they have a last name) have had their wings on the scale of justice for decades.

Sources say the two stay out of trouble for much of the year, but when their friends ditch them around Thanksgiving, they’re left to their own devices.

It generally ends with both getting cranberry sauced. It turns out, their meat is dry but they live in a wet county where multiple witnesses say they have a weakness for Wild Turkey (bourbon). And suddenly, with half-baked ideas running through their tiny brains, they end up on a roll with no care for the victims leftover by their criminal behavior.

Ivey’s predecessors never stretched out their necks on the political chopping block, either. A single denied pardon would have ended the fowl spectacle.

But every November, the Gobbler-Bates continue to schmooze with the state’s chief executive, currying favor instead of carrying flavor, the sentence they truly deserve.

Thursday was no different. The couple, fat from roosting on the labors of their enablers at the Bates House of Turkey in Butler County, flaunted their tail feathers at the governor’s mansion. Instead of publicly roasting the pair, as she should have done, Ivey allowed them to meatloaf about in front of cameras at the stately mansion without shame!

The Gobbler-Bates know very well the state’s prisons are stuffed and they’ll never be sent there.

Ivey’s election was on the line. She had no choice. To let them fry would have been political suicide.

But 2019 is an off year for politics. May the drumsticks of justices beat loudly and the populous demand these two be given their just desserts.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Shryock has been writing about the annual gubernatorial turkey pardoning process for at least a decade. His first attempt at covering the event was a serious undertaking. And that story was as stale as a piece of white bread found under the dining room table the week after Thanksgiving. You’ll never find this story with a standard headline like “Gov. [fill in the blank] pardons Thanksgiving turkey.”

With that being said, how do you continue writing the same story year after year after year? Puns. Plays on words. Pumpkin spiced sassyness. It’s all tongue-in-beak. But John admits he’s running out of ideas. Next year could be a copy/paste of this year or it could be the most glorious writing of his journalistic career. And that is something to be truly thankful for.

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