Sunday, October 11, 2009

Talking Turkey

Current Reading: Escapement, by Jay Lake

Inspirational Quote: "An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day." -- Irv Kupcinet

Here in Canada, it is Thanksgiving. It's what happens to the archetypical pagan harvest celebration when it's co-opted by Puritans and then transplanted north by Loyalists. For some reason, it traditionally involves the slaughter of turkeys. If you have no experience with turkeys, then there are only two things you need to know about them.

They are:

1) Stupid. The story that a turkey which looks up during a rainstorm will drown is likely apocryphal, but certainly they seem stupid enough to not look down when they feel their lungs filling up. I've seen entire flocks of wild turkeys wait to cross a highway until they're sure a car is coming. It was my car. One of them bounced off my windshield and left deep scratches across the driver's side. I think this might be a turkey's way of playing chicken. Which is just fowl.

2) Delicious. I find the meat a little dry, but this is usually compensated for by a few spoonfuls of turkey gravy and cranberries. Oddly enough, I don't find either turkey or cranberries edible unless in combination. Turkey gravy, however, makes a great stand-alone dish.

As happens any time food is involved, relatives tend to gather to make polite chitchat, stuff their faces, and fall asleep on the couch. The chemical responsible for the post-gluttinous nap is called tryptophan, and it is why Uncle Bernie no longer has a moustache. One of the things families often do that does NOT involve whisker trimmers is talk about all the things for which they're thankful.

This year, in honor of the holiday, I thought I'd present a short list of things for which I'm thankful, in no order:
1) Pie. Especially Lemon-meringue.
2) My family. They know me best, and are the only ones allowed to make my life miserable without having me wish they'd go away.
3) Employment. It's good work, if you can get it.
4) Canada. If it weren't for my native country, the U.S. would stretch all the way to Baffin Island and the Innuit would have no socialized medicine.
5) Autumn. Ithaka is the most amazing, colorful country when the leaves turn. And it's nice to have a season's worth of warning before winter smacks you in the gob with a fist made of ice, snow, and heating bills.
6) Readers. If someone laughs at any of this, then I feel my existence is justified (a bit, for a little while). Thanks, folks.


TerryLynnJohnson said...

I started laughing at the quote and didn't stop till the end. great post.

moonrat said...


Ulysses said...

Thank-you. Thank-you very much.
I'll be here all week.

Try the turkey...