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An obligatory holiday post:

Posted by on November 27, 2002

Tomorrow, I am a cook. It is regrettable for a number of reasons. The reason it is regrettable is that I cannot cook really and the number of reasons it is regrettable is one.

My most important job this year is that I have to beat on the turkey until it stops crying and plays dead in the pan. Some years we just lie to the turkey. We tell it that it’s going on a vacation to sunny Hawaii. That often fools a turkey; they aren’t creatures of complex brains. Sometimes turkeys will stare at the sky and drink the rain until they drown. That is turkeys for you. Surely, God put this dopiest of birds on earth for us to massacre and gastronomically enjoy.

You know what else is an apparently stupid animal? Babies.

Well anyway, back to the turkey. This year we will probably eschew the more complicated hoaxing of the turkey in favor of just threatening it until it snivels and whines and does what it’s told. Besides, it’s kind of tough to convince even a turkey that it has a vacation coming after you’ve just stuffed its bottom full of bread chunks. Nothing says “You’re about to be eaten, sucka” like having a bottom full of bread. If, that is, you’re a turkey. (You might want to think about this the next time you let someone put bread up your bottom. No judgment here. I’m just saying.)

When I was a wee little sprog, I really enjoyed standing in front of the oven window where the turkey could see me and then pretending I was trying to open the door and let it out. I would wrinkle my toddler brow in a facsimile of concern, pretending to try with all my might to open that oh-so-heavy door. Meanwhile, the turkey would be shrieking, “Get your dad! Your dad! Find a larger adult with improved motor skills! NO! NO! AN ADULT! AIIIEEEEE!” Man, that joke never got old.

Now that I’m older, though, I don’t play that game anymore. What I do sometimes, though, is let the turkey try and bargain for its life. I say, “Okay, Bird, if you tell me where you hid the money, I’ll substitute the dog for you and you can go free. Otherwise, Rover here is going to be begging for scraps of your wing meat. Got it?” Which is just downright mean, since it’s not like you can expect a turkey to remember where the money is hidden. Rain-drowning, remember? Tiny tiny brains. Sometimes they’ll make shit up though, which is just laughable. “It’s in the, uh, in the kleenex box! The box!”

“Oh yeah? In the box? That’s funny, I don’t see any money in here…”

And then they try to think on their feet and they can’t. It’s pathetic. Just really sad.

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