Last week, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the town of Turkey to change its name to “Tofurky” for Thanksgiving. In exchange for helping PETA raise awareness about animal cruelty, the good people of “Tofurky” would get a complimentary vegan dinner built around the dish of the same name, with all the meat- and dairy-free trimmings.
Pork Barrel BBQ has a better idea. In an equally shameless but brilliant bid for publicity, the Washington, D.C.-area (but nationally distributed) barbecue sauce and dry rub merchant has suggested that the Panhandle town change its name to “Barbecue” for sixteen hours, “the approximate amount of time it takes to properly smoke a Texas brisket,” according to pitmaster Heath Hall. (You are correct, sir!)
Instead of cooking for the town, Pork Barrel has offered to come up with cash: one thousand dollars up front, split between three local charities—the Bob Wills Foundation, the Turkey Restoration Project, and the Turkey All Volunteer Ambulance and Fire Department—plus five dollars from every “Picnic Pack” or “Party Pack” sold on its website up until December 10.
The restaurant also put a poll up on its site, inviting people to choose between “Tofurky” and “Barbecue.” (Spoiler alert: If “Barbecue” was a Republican presidential candidate, all remaining primaries would be cancelled.)
Turkey mayor Pat Carson has yet to respond to Pork Barrel’s offer, but he at least might like the sound of it a little better than the one from PETA. Last week Carson told the Amarillo Globe-News that he had not replied to PETA, but “if we were to acknowledge that (letter) at all, I would rather say ‘Save turkey, eat more beef.’ We rely heavily on beef production. Our little town is 100 percent agriculture-based—cotton, beef, peanuts and sweet potatoes.”
Carson also noted that Turkey was named after its wild turkey population, and it’s a name the town still loves. “Turkey is one of the poorest communities within one of the poorest counties in the state of Texas,” he told the Globe-News. “We don’t have a lot to be proud of but our heritage.”
The town actually had its free community Thanksgiving dinner Sunday, with heritage turkeys. Donations to the Turkey Restoration Project, which is trying to rebuild the local high school, were encouraged.