Peter Callghan: We interrupt the holiday with this proclamation

Staff WriterNovember 28, 2013 

Today in this space we present Gov. Jay Inslee’s first Thanksgiving proclamation (or at least what he might have proclaimed had he issued his first Thanksgiving proclamation).

“Being governor is great. The voters elect you and then you get a house and a car and state troopers to drive you around and staff to do a lot of things for you.

“But it just got even cooler when I was informed that I get to issue a proclamation, making today a day of Thanksgiving in the state of Washington. Hey everybody. Take the day off, on me. Except, of course, you Walmart workers.

“What a year this has been. Despite the obstacles facing our great state and nation, we managed to pass a budget in only six months that just might keep the state Supreme Court from holding us all in contempt. I’m thankful to not be spending this Thanksgiving in jail with Frank Chopp and Rodney Tom.

“That rapid action gave us lots of free time to thank Boeing over and over and over. And in return, they offered to share their bounty with at least 15 other states. I could say how that makes me feel but I’m not going to negotiate in the press. But just because our economy is getting better doesn’t mean we don’t still have many among us who need our help. Please share your bounty with those who need it. Like Boeing.

“It was nearly four centuries ago that the first Thanksgiving was commemorated by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags. The Pilgrims came here from Europe for religious liberty and the Wampanoags were already here feeling pretty darn liberated. Of course, that changed, after some disruptive change. Still, they had a great time eating and praying and doing some powerful listening, and I hope all of you will do the same today.

“I keep hearing about the War on Thanksgiving. A bunch of stores are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving which I think falls on a Thursday this year. Starting the shopping season early disrupts the holiday for many families, forces the lowest-paid workers to forfeit much of their holiday and turns yet another great American tradition into an exercise in avarice and greed.

“To those who lament these events, however, let me say three words – Sales. Tax. Revenue. We need money, folks, and the pot taxes haven’t kicked in yet. I hear they’re having some great sales at Macy’s.

“Like all American families, the Inslees have their own set of Thanksgiving traditions. This year we’re sticking around the mansion because, well, it’s cool. Besides, who can risk going over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house given the condition of our bridges and highways? Until the Legislature passes a gas-tax-increase, you’re all better off steering clear of the rivers and avoiding the woods if at all possible.

“We plan on getting up early to watch the parades on TV with the grandkids. I love the floats and bands but especially enjoy those slow-moving, over-inflated cartoonish behemoths floating in the air with only a sliver of attachment to reality. It reminds me of the state Senate.

“Then comes the annual one-on-one basketball game between me and Trudi. We’ve been married for 41 years and I’m proud to say I’m 40-and-zero. Yes! After the game, I’ll slip into the house for a few sips of that beautiful amber nectar of the gods. Then, once we have given thanks to God for all of our blessings and everyone has had their fill of dinner, complete with secret sauce, I will gather the family and the guests into the living room and deliver my climate change speech. Who needs tryptophan?

“Now, in the spirit of innovation and in honor of these extraordinary times in this extraordinary state and our extraordinary people, I, Gov. Jay Inslee, by the authority vested in me by the constitution of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim this day, Nov. 28, 2013, as a Day of Thanksgiving.”

Peter Callaghan: 253-597-8657 peter.callaghan@ @CallaghanPeter

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