(City of Seattle)

Seattle is a strange city. There’s a giant troll under one of the city’s main bridges, a giant statue of Vladimir Lenin on a random street corner and an annual Spam carving contest to take in. The neighborhood with the Lenin statue, Fremont, encourages visitors to set their watches 5 minutes ahead, because Fremont is the self-proclaimed center of the universe.

Everyone calls the cool new mass transit project the SLUT — the South Lake Union Trolley — without batting an eye. Seahawks fans celebrating the city’s first Super Bowl championship in February waited patiently for street lights to change so they wouldn’t jaywalk.

In short, all the stereotypes of politically correct, coffee-slurping, nature-loving, Birkenstock-wearing hippie-dom come to life in a single city are true. (This author happens to be a native, so he can say such things.)

So, perhaps in keeping with the city’s strange reputation, Mayor Ed Murray took a decidedly vegan spin on the Thanksgiving tradition of pardoning a turkey: He pardoned a Tofurky.

Actually, Murray pardoned two of them. One, Braeburn, got the official pardon. The other, Honeycrisp, is described in a press release from the mayor’s office as an “understudy,” perhaps because one of the Tofurkeys, which come in a box and to be perfectly clear have never been nor ever will be alive, might have been camera-shy.

Actual line from the press release: “‘I, Mayor Murray, pardon Braeburn the Tofurky,’ the mayor proclaimed in the atrium of Seattle City Hall.” Provocative and moving.

For the uninitiated, Tofurkey is a brand of vegetarian food made of wheat protein and tofu that’s supposed to taste like turkey. It looks like a meatloaf, but, well, it’s not.

The Tofurkeys will be donated to the Rainier Valley Food Bank, which doesn’t really sound like they’re getting pardoned at all. Murray’s office is challenging the city council to a food drive; the winner gets doughnuts.