I couldn’t decide whether to write about men that I’ve known or actual turkeys. However, on behalf of the day, I chose those 2 legged, if I were you I’d make myself scarce, members of the bird family.
I myself don’t eat it. It reminds me too much of growing up in Connecticut being force fed dark meat by my mother. She had the quirky habit of naming her turkeys, bad news for a little girl who assumed that meant she just had, though frozen, a new doll to add to her collection.
I’d spend considerable time playing near the freezer opening it frequently to tell Tom or Eddie something or other when my mother wasn’t looking. At night I’d covertly climb on a chair to cover him with a sweater. My grandfather, my trusty accomplice, would come take it off before you know who saw it. When the time came to defrost him my spirits sank. One year I stole Tom (or was it Eddie) and hid him under my bed. Not a good place since he was found in no time and I was severely spanked, the iddy biddy animal activist that I was even back then.
Dinner was traumatic when I saw my friend glowing on his china platter with potatoes, carrots and pearl onions placed all around him like Xmas lights. I refused to eat which is when my mother would break out the big guns. I think I was punished till I was 9. I called her names like mean mommy and turkey killer, the latter being pretty sophisticated for a 4 year old. I might have heard it on Gunsmoke or Bonanza, my dad’s two favorite shows.
Of course even though I swore I’d never eat again there was always Grampa who would sneak up to my room with salami and cheese.
My mother finally got smart and stopped naming her birds but the harm was already done.
Just yesterday I went by Lobell’s, New York’s Tiffany of butchers, and saw two massive trucks filled with freshly killed turkeys. It made me cry. Do we really need to slay so many just to say thanks? A little fusilli with marinara sauce would do the trick too you know.
There is an actual organization where you can save a turkey by buying its life. No, he doesn’t come to live with you but he does get to live another day.
As far as all those dead birds go, I can only imagine what it did to my mother’s overall karma that wasn’t so promising to begin with.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.