Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Complete Turkey Day

Yesterday afternoon, while driving home from a doctor appointment through the heart of tree-lined suburbia, I saw a wild turkey bobbing alongside the road. What caught my eye was a guy in a suit with a Walkman on, standing in the rain, obviously just let off of a bus, staring at the turkey, who was actually in the middle of someone's driveway at the moment.

From what I've seen of turkeys not already heaped in the frozen poultry bin, this one appeared to be a female, and she was absolutely huge for something to be wandering around on a heavily trafficked road. Without considering why I was doing it, I pulled over to the side of the road and threw on my blinkers, so I could watch her peck at the ground in the soft rain. She was large, almost comical in her bobbleheaded manner, and so completely out of place, that I was overcome with a sense of protectiveness for her. What are you doing here? Where did you come from, giant bird?

I turned to catch the eye of the man who had originally been watching her, but he had by that time lost interest in her, and was attempting to cross the street and get home out of the rain. I didn't blame him, since he had no rain gear on and it was one of those rains that was just chilly enough to leave the exposed bits of skin feeling very uncomfortably cold, and which would've quietly soaked through that suit of his in a matter of minutes. Still, I felt disappointed that he didn't seem to share my enthusiasm for our common find, and went back to watching the bird.

After about a minute, she seemed to be bored with the lack of whatever she was pecking after on the front lawn, and decided to cross the street. I didn't know what to do with myself. All kinds of protective instincts swelled up, and in an instant I considered jumping out of my car to help the turkey cross safely (No, you'll either scare the bird into running right into a car or get run down yourself, silly) or blocking the intersection with my car (Are you NUTS all of a sudden?) or just sit in my car and hope for the best.

Sitting in the car and hoping for the best was the option by default, because without warning, my feathery friend hopped off the curb and started making her way across the street, in the misty rain, at dusk. I felt a lump in my throat and let out a little involuntary squeak of fear, when I noticed that the SUV in the southbound lane was not slowing down enough, and if it continued at the same rate of speed, there was going to be a horrible scene in front of me.

Luckily, even though turkeys are not known for their intellect, her instinct must have kicked in and Miss Turkey started hauling ass across the street, barely escaping the speeding grey SUV. Throwing my most evil glance at the driver, who looked back at me with surprised amusement at the sight of the turkey (oh GREAT, NOW someone wants to bond over seeing the turkey - her would-be murderer!), I looked over with great relief to see my friend strutting over into a small deserted park.

I drove across the street to marvel at her through my car window for a while longer, and then realized that I had to run a few errands and then meet J at home, so I finally left her there in the park, pecking away and thinking her little turkey thoughts.

One of my errands was to the liquor store, to see if they could order this rather hard to find liquor for my friend's birthday. I was amused to look past the clerk's shoulder and see a couple bottles of Wild Turkey on the shelf right behind him. He was a rather amiable fellow for a young twenty-something, so I decided to mention the turkey sighting to him, and he told me that his friend sees them in his backyard nearby all the time. Who knew? (I apologize to all the young twenty-somethings for that over-generalized slur, but more specifically I mean someone in that age group who works in a customer service capacity in the New York metropolitan area, a group which I can safely generalize does not exactly have a reputation for polite and helpful conversation...but I digress.)

When I got home, later than I expected, I quickly threw together some Easter leftovers together in the frying pan, and we sat down to eat in the living room, just in time for J and I to completely loose our appetites while watching Dubya's speech (or attempt at same) on television. Talk about a turkey who won't talk turkey.

Afterwards, as we discussed the spectacle, including the amount and depth of the wrinkles on Condaleeza's forehead while she looked on in horror, it suddenly occured to me (with no small amount of self-disgust) what the main ingredient of our dinner had been.

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