By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s that time of year, a season for giving thanks for all our blessings…and for carving up some turkeys. In this case, some of the local turkeys – defined by dictionary.com as “a person or thing of little appeal, a dud, a loser, a flop” – that made news during the past 11 months. Here are four that stood out; if we had time on-air, we could have easily accommodated a dozen or so more.

MOTHER NATURE

The headline on a late-August blog post from our intrepid weather department said it all: “Has This Summer’s Weather Been The Worst Ever? Record Rain, Record Heat, And Oppressive Humidity”

When I walked the dog on Memorial Day, I had to wear a parka. Independence Day weekend wasn’t much better. We got sweltering heat in early June when we weren’t ready for it and hardly any summer weather when we wanted it.

We wait a long time for and invest a lot of expectation into summer around here. To have it be so foul was a cruel twist of fate. And you wonder: what did we do to deserve it?

SETH MOULTON

“If I can get on a plane and save a few more lives, absolutely I’m gonna do that,” said North Shore Congressman Seth Moulton as he and fellow veteran-turned-Congressman Peter Meier tried to dig out from under an avalanche of criticism for their unannounced, unsanctioned flight into Kabul airport at the height of the chaotic evacuation in August.

There’s scant evidence that Moulton and Meier saved any lives with their brief jaunt. But they did infuriate both the State Department and scores of fellow members by creating a self-serving distraction in the middle of a crisis. Moulton especially angered powerful House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) by lying to him about why he had to vote remotely during his trip, a move that embarrassed McGovern by leaving him vulnerable to criticism of his push to allow remote voting.

It was an unnecessary act of grandstanding by a couple of congressional turkeys. not the first time Moulton has stepped in it.

“FUTURE OF WORK” STUDY

It made some sense last spring when Gov. Charlie Baker announced the commissioning of a study of the pandemic’s impact on local work patterns, with all of its fallout on traffic, public transit and commercial real estate, among other areas. But after pocketing $1.6 million in public funds, consultants McKinsey & Company produced an 82-page turkey instead.

From a devastating takedown of the study by Commonwealth Magazine: “The eight predictions, helpfully sorted into four themes, will be familiar to anyone who has read the business section of the Boston Globe. Remote work will be more common, business travel will be less frequent, childcare and housing are getting more expensive, inequality is worsening, public transit will be less popular, population growth will slow, and we need to retrain workers for a changing job market…. McKinsey [produced] penetrating insights such as ‘the Commonwealth is not homogeneous and the challenges and opportunities from the future of work will be experienced differently across the state,’ and ‘in short, the evolution of trends impacting real estate in Boston/Cambridge remains uncertain and thus requires monitoring over time.’ While the report identifies challenges facing the Commonwealth’s economy, the only solutions are vague nostrums about retraining workers for better jobs and expanding the housing supply.”

$1.6 million. Even in this era of inflation, that’s a lot of dough to pay for a turkey.

THE YANKEES

It was very generous of our rivals to the south to import one of the biggest sports turkeys of 2021 for our dining pleasure. “I feel like we’re gonna walk out there and play our game,” said head Yankee turkey Aaron Boone before the one-game wild-card playoff at Fenway. And they did, replicating their season-long stink bomb of impatient, ineffective hitting (11 strikeouts) and mediocre pitching in a season-ending gagfest. Shipping up Bucky Dent, hero of the 1978 Sox-Yankee playoff, didn’t help.

Final score: Red Sox 6, Turkeys 2. Let us all give thanks.

Jon Keller