Thousands of citizens eagerly awaiting the announcement of a new Penny the Turkey were again disappointed today when a pillar of black smoke billowed from the Bloomington City Hall’s chimney, indicating that the High Priests have yet to make an official choice. White smoke would have indicated a new Penny had been chosen and would be formally inaugurated at noon the following day.
Since time immemorial, the city of Bloomington has employed a shadowy council of elders to uphold the ‘Order of the Sacred Penny’ by electing a new Penny the Turkey to roam the intersection of Penn Avenue South and 90th Street when the previous one dies.
“No one knows exactly who these great and wise elders who meet in the vast catacombs under the city are,” says leading Penny historian Dr Kelsey Sakkers, “but I’m like 90% sure the manager of the Burger King on 98th is one”.
The most recent Penny the Turkey was an inquisitive, friendly bird that enjoyed eating French fries, harassing motorcyclists, and appearing in Bloomingtonians’ Instagram stories, who was assassinated by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in November of 2020.
Not all past Pennys were as well received. One Penny in the 1920s was notorious for his taste for bootlegged whiskey. Another Penny was expelled from the city for gobbling too loudly, took up refuge in Burnsville and continued to rule as an “AntiPenny” in the Great Schism of ’92. These days, most Pennys tend to be calmer in temperament.
“I just hope we see some white smoke soon and there’s a new Penny in town,” said Bloomington native Stephen Garfield, “I’m seriously running out of Instagram stories content”.