Here turkey turkey turkey....
I’ve only been confronted with having to actually kill turkeys once, and that was the first and last time. I wrote about it way back in November of 2000. The gist of it is that me and a guy I was renting a room to when I was between wives for a few years decided that we should have turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner we were having. Needless to say, it didn’t quite turn out as we had planned. What a trip! And that’s all I WAS gonna say about it for now. If someone wanted to read it I WAS gonna suggest they go to the archives section for the “Shootin’ the Breeze” page on our state website, but when I checked I found out that the webpage archives don’t go back that far. So....since I recently broke my leg in a few places (which makes it sorta painful to sit at this desk for very long), I decided to tweak it a little and copy it here from MY files for this month’s submission. Hope ya like it and I should be back on track next month....
Ahhh, November in Ohio!
The people down south are so spoiled. My son Jason recently came home to visit from Louisiana and all he did was complain about how cold it was here. Now, remember that was in September and the temps were in the 70’s here in the heartland! I just hope it doesn’t ruin him for life. My brother lived in Kentucky for just a year a long time ago, and he still talks funny!
Seriously, other than I can’t swim or ride the bike as much, the onset of winter doesn’t really bother me. Pinching nickels and dimes to help pay the ever increasing heating cost doesn’t really bother me. Hell, I don’t even mind having to scrape the damn ice off the windshield before I can go anyplace! I find it to be rather invigorating to freeze my...Okay, okay, winter sucks!
But this time of year does bring to mind happy occasions, like sitting around yer dinner table with loved ones as everyone’s mouths are watering over a huge turkey dinner with all the trimmings. At least that’s the way it’s supposed to be, but it sure didn’t turn out that way for me a few years ago.
I have a friend named Bill to whom I used to rent a room. Bill had one of those turkey deep fryers that seem to be all the rage. I’ve had turkeys cooked that way before, so I didn’t protest when he suggested having some friends over for a deep-fried turkey Thanksgiving dinner.
Before the month of November was half over we got together and realized that between him and me, we already had over 15 adults and a handful of kids coming to dinner! We decided that figuring five or six adults per turkey, we needed three turkeys, and that would take too long. So I ended up buying another cooker to help out (one would roast in my oven). As we opened the box, Bill reached his arm in, pulled out the instructions and promptly threw ‘em away.
“What the hell did ya do that for?!”
“We don’t need ‘em! I’ve been cookin’ lotsa turkeys like this.”
“Ya know, this is gonna cost us some big bucks.”
To which Bill replied, “Don’t worry, I know where we can get ‘em extra cheap. My dad told me where to go. I’ll buy the turkeys.”
So off I went to work after telling him to put ‘em in the garage since it was cold out and my freezer was full to bursting.
That night after work (I work afternoons) I came home, took a shower, and sat down in my favorite chair as I turned on the tube to relax. When a quiet part of the movie I was watching allowed me to hear a noise in the garage, I walked to the door, turned on the light and peeked in.
I then immediately ran upstairs, banged on Bill’s bedroom door screaming,
“WHAT THE HELL, YOU DAMNED IDIOT! THERE’S TURKEYS IN THE GARAGE!! THEY’RE CLIMBIN’ ON MY BIKES! THEY’RE GETTIN’ IN MY TOOLS! WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU CRAZY @#$%?!”
“You told me to put ‘em in the garage!”
“I didn’t know they was live turkeys!”
“Chill out! I talked to my dad. He told me how we can kill ‘em.”
“What do you mean WE paleface? I ain’t killin’ no damned birds! This ain’t like huntin’. This is mass murder, and I ain’t doin’ it!”
“Then I’ll do it! All you gotta do is hold ‘em down. I’ll chop ‘em, okay?”
“Then they run around ‘til they bleed out and we throw ‘em in boiling water so we, I mean I, can pull out the feathers. See? .... No problem.”
The date of the executions was set for Thanksgiving eve and the sun broke bright and warm on this, the last day of the birds’lives. Bill hit the wrong button on the wall of the garage and the electric door opener allowed one of the birds to escape, so I just relaxed and had a second cup of coffee while he chased it around the yard.
As I finished, he banged on the door huffing and puffing as he said, “Now come out here and hold onto this sucker for a minute!” So I did, and he went into the garage for a bit. Soon he stepped out into the yard.....
“Put away the chainsaw Bill.”
“But I couldn’t find an ax. This’ll work.”
“No, Bill, put it away. I don’t have an ax anymore, but there’s a hatchet with the camping gear over top the bench.”
As Bill fetched the hatchet, I swear the bird in my arms seemed to nuzzle against me. His low gobbling seemed to me to sound like the purring of a kitten. By the time he returned I had decided.....
“This ain’t gonna happen.”
“What? Why not? We got it together!”
“No, we don’t. Besides, do you realize how much of a mess I’m gonna have in my back yard? I’m gonna have raccoons and skunks hangin’ out here for weeks. We’re gonna set ‘em free.”
“Help me load ‘em into the car.”
So we took ‘em down to the nearest state park and set ‘em free on the beach of a lake. This must’ve been how that lion woman in “Born Free” felt when she released her lions. Our turkeys, however (who couldn’t even fly), probably ended up...well, never mind. .....
I can pretend.
A few hours later found us in a local supermarket being confronted by the head of the meat department, a small foreign man with an unusual accent brandishing a meat clever....
“I tohl you we got no steenking turkeys!”
“Just look in the back. Ya must have a few left!”
“Get outta here before I call da cops!”
Anyway, that explains why we served pizza on Thanksgiving that year. I told everyone it was an Italian Thanksgiving in honor of Christopher Columbus, but a smart-mouthed little kid spoke up:
“But the Pilgrims weren’t Italian!”
“What were they then, wiseass?”
See? Ya learn somethin’ new every day.