Anyone who’s watched the popular TV sitcom, Seinfeld, knows about Festivus.
On the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode, “The Strike,” George Costanza creates donation cards for a fake charity called The Human Fund in lieu of having to give office Christmas presents. When his boss, Mr. Kruger questions George about a $20,000 check he gave George to donate to the Human Fund as a corporate donation, George hastily concocts the excuse that he made up the Human Fund because he feared persecution for his beliefs—for not celebrating Christmas, but celebrating Festivus.
Well, it turns out that Festivus was a wholly concocted holiday made up by George’s dad, Frank, in reaction to the commercialism of Christmas. The fake holiday’s celebration, as shown on Seinfeld, includes an unadorned aluminum “Festivus pole,” practices such as the “Airing of Grievances” and “Feats of Strength,” and the labelling of easily explainable events as “Festivus miracles.”
In other words, there is no Festivus holiday! It’s fictional!
But an inmate in California’s Theo Lacy maximum security jail in the city of Orange actually used Festivus to con the Orange County Sheriffs Department into providing kosher meals for him for two months! As reported by the AP, in its December 13, 2010 article, “Inmate Gets Salami-Free Meals for Months After Citing ‘Seinfeld’ Festivus Holiday”:
Santa Ana, Calif. (AP) – An inmate in California who disliked salami was able to receive kosher meals after his attorney cited the “Seinfeld” holiday Festivus as his religious belief. The Orange County Register reported Monday that 38-year-old convicted drug dealer Malcolm Alarmo King asked for kosher meals at the Theo Lacy jail to maintain his physique.
Orange County sheriff’s officials reserve such meals for inmates with religious needs, so a judge demanded a religious reason for King to get the meals.
His defense attorney, Fred Thiagarajah, cited his client’s devotion to Festivus – the holiday celebrated on the hit TV show with an aluminum pole and the airing of grievances.
Sheriff’s spokesman Ryan Burris says King got salami-free meals for two months before the county got the order thrown out in court.