Millions of Americans will deep-fry their Thanksgiving turkey this year, but only one video of exploding poultry will be good enough to be win The Atlantic Wire's award for holiday public service announcements. Like some manna from local television news producing heaven, the phenomenon of deep-fried turkey combines delicious with blazing fireballs of danger. And to celebrate this confluence of factors, The Atlantic Wire is looking for the most alarming deep-fried turkey tutorial of the year. Every day between now and Thanksgiving we'll be rating a clip on a scale from 1 (a pretaped, offsite how-to without no explosions) to 10 (a raging greasefire, live in-studio). Enjoy, and remember to leave your score, pass along any clips we might have missed in the comments section, and check out all the previous installments.
Before we begin, we'd like to apologize to William Shatner for suggesting that he didn't do his own frying in the two State Farm videos that we highlighted yesterday. A rep for the insurance company has passed along a photo of the actor cautiously using what appears to be a grab hook to drain away a bird's excess oil, and there's not a stagehand in site. We promise to think twice before questioning the level of realism in public service announcements going forward.
Now, on to today's contender, from WDBJ 7 (Roanoke, Virginia)
Score 6.7 Some will be turned off by the lack of fiery action during field correspondent Bob Grebe's field trip to the Roanoke fire department. The action, what there is of it, starts at about the one-minute mark and doesn't put Grebe in harm's way. Also, it's not live. But the warnings linger after the clip is over: why, for example, did the fire department conduct the control burn on a playground? Devoting the final 30 seconds to the department's recent drawing contest is equally unnerving, since the pictures been lingering in the background throughout the ominous talk about exploding decks and annoying relatives and heavy food that wear down your reflexes and stop you from being able to save your deck, shed, or gasoline-soaked rag collection from going up in billowing, greasey smoke. Or the children's drawings here to stop greasefires, or set them and blame them on people who didn't watch the local news. Since 'alarming' is part of this contest's criteria, we're giving WDBJ a higher score than others might. But this is one turkey frier how-to that sticks with you.