Gary Brown imagines what the inanimate among us are thinking. This month, some witty words from the Thanksgiving turkey.
Turkeys tend to get talkative at Thanksgiving. If you listen closely after the oven timer tells you it’s done, you’ll hear a turkey taking over the kitchen.
“OK, I’m full-baked. Hot stuffed, crispy brown and ready to celebrate. Let’s get this holiday show on the road. Pretty bird, pretty bird! Gobble, gobble! I’m ‘Today’s Top Turkey.’ The ‘General Fowl in Charge.’ The ‘Bird with the Big Drumsticks.’ The ‘Main Course.’ Platter me up!”
You’re going to slice this turkey into white and dark meat, but just try to get him to shut up. Oh, there will be a little hesitation when the finality of that fate finally occurs to him.
“Huh? Why are you holding that knife? What? Who? Me? Carve? …”
But, when you just slice a little bit—a couple of slices—off the side of him, for decoration, it’s just going to stir him up.
“Is that your best shot? Didn’t your dad ever buy you a Scout knife?”
He will catch his reflection in the dark window of the top half of your double oven and marvel at himself.
“Wow! Am I golden or what? And look at the moistness of that stuffing. It’s like I drank a glass of water while I was baking. Everybody’s going to say I’m the best turkey you ever had for Thanksgiving. I know they do every year, but, this year they’ll mean it. Even Aunt Mattie, the old bag, is going to love me, and she doesn’t like anything. Remember how she said Hammie was cold last Christmas?”
You’ll cart this turkey to the table, giving it a stern look and turning it around slightly when you set it down so it doesn’t face the cranky “holidays were better in the old days” end of the family. You hope it won’t talk in the presence of your guests, but it keeps on jabbering.
“Hey, yams, you think you’re good? You aren’t so tough. You’re candied!”
In fact, the turkey goes around the table taking on other food items as if it were Don Rickles at a dysfunctional family dinner.
“Side dishes, meet the main course. Mashed potatoes, you’ll need gravy to keep up with me. Green beans, you’re just here so they’ll have something to leave on the plate and they can think they didn’t eat too much. Cranberries, let’s face it, you’re something to make me look better. Cheese, you think you’re pretty sharp, but if Uncle Ed took about 30 pieces of you—ate all of you, as usual—do you think anybody would really miss you? I mean c’mon. I’m the one that makes this meal memorable.”
Admittedly, the bird is right. Would any of us ever brag the next day that on Thanksgiving we had “a nice stuffed pepper dinner” or “salmon with all the trimmings”?
It’s just that a turkey can be such a bully about it.
“Hey, punkin’! Yeah, you, pie, you know who I’m talkin’ to. Stay out in the kitchen. They haven’t had enough of me yet …”
That’s why the hosts of holiday meals always ask guests to take a plate of turkey home with them at the end of the day. Who wants to hear from turkey again when you open the refrigerator in the morning?
“It’s about time you got up. You, in the robe! Better make a turkey omelet for breakfast or I’ll start stinking up the joint.”