Grapevine: Fate of presidentially pardoned turkeys

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine...

Off the Chopping Block

Today, as is White House tradition, President Obama issued a pardon to a turkey named Cheese along with his understudy Mac.

The birds will thus be spared the fate of many of their feathered friends who will land on dinner tables across America tomorrow.

But history has shown that does not mean Mac and Cheese are actually destined to live out a long and luxurious retirement.

In fact, most presidentially pardoned turkeys die within the year.

Commercial turkeys, you see, are bred to be eaten and are double the size of wild turkeys.

That extra weight takes a toll on their bodies, we're told, drastically lowering their lifespan.

Gobbler and Cobbler -- pardoned two years ago -- died the following February and August, respectively.

Popcorn got the pardon last year. He died over the summer. His counterpart, Caramel, is alive and said to be doing quite well.

His caretakers tell U.S. news that it's because he has trimmed down and is living an active lifestyle.

Mac and Cheese -- take note. You have been warned.

Old Habits

President Obama's struggle to quit smoking has been widely reported.

Back in 2009, the president said he had mostly kicked that habit.

But he, reportedly, shared a cigarette with a rock star last year.

The Hill cites an anonymous source, who had a chance encounter with Billy Joel in a D.C. bar last week.

He says the Piano Man told him that earlier that day, he had turned down an offer by House Speaker John Boehner to share a cigarette at the Capitol building.

But, on a recent visit to the White House, Joel said President Obama made a similar offer.

Despite having quit, he said a cigarette with the commander-in-chief was an offer he could not turn down.

The Hill reports William Joel is listed in the White House visitor log in December of last year.

But, Billy Joel tells the New York Daily News, the Obama part of the story is simply not true and it's possible the source had too many cocktails at the bar. His story.

Life of the Party

And finally, here's a way to spice up Thanksgiving dinner with your family.

A man in Nashville is offering to be your date and he will be a conversation starter for sure.

He posted a Craigslist ad describing himself as a felon with no high school degree.

He will -- quote -- "pretend to be in a very long or serious relationship with you, to torment your family."

Among the services he offers --

Openly hit on other female guests.

Pretend to get really drunk.

Propose to you in front of everyone at the table.

Or, start an actual fistfight with a family member.

The only payment he requires -- a free dinner on Thanksgiving.

Good luck with that.