Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

Can you imagine what it must be like to be a turkey this week? Figure it out; last month, the house where you live was filled to capacity. I mean, man, it was at the point of being really overcrowded, so much so that you even considered going to the farmer and letting him know if things didn’t clear up pretty soon, you were going to move. He must have heard your thoughts because over the past couple of weeks, the population has really shrunk.

When you got a peek outside one day recently, you were pretty damned happy you didn’t say anything to the farmer, not the way he and his buddies were handling those who, you guess, must have complained. I mean, it was bad enough that they picked them up by the legs and stuck their heads into a funnel, but when they brought them out without heads and let ‘em run around ‘til they dropped from exhaustion, that was just plain nasty.  And how about those others who got plopped into the boiling water and had their feathers plucked until they were nothing but skin and bones…can you imagine what they must have said to the farmer?

It’s really a pretty good thing that you didn’t complain. The coop – that’s what you and your friends call this place – is looking so empty you can see from one end to the other without seeing anyone you know; it’s actually kind of spooky, and all, especially with that Thanksgiving thing they all talk about coming up later in the week. You wonder if you’ll get some kind of special meal for that day. The way the farmer talks, it’s gonna be a big day for him.

Ah, here comes the farmer now. Wonder what he’s looking for; maybe it should be, “I wonder who he’s looking for?” It doesn’t matter to you; you’ve got plenty of room to move around in n…ow! Herbie, the farmer’s son, he’s got his hands all over you, and here comes the farmer. What the heck is he doing? Hey , he shouldn’t be grabbing your breast like that; doesn’t he know you’re not that kind of girl. I mean, you do have a pretty big breast, but I probably shouldn’t be telling you that. Uh-oh, they’re putting you in some kind of cage…now into the back of some kind of truck. Too bad you can’t see, it’s so dark in there. Hmm, that trough smells good…wow, that’s good grain, you think…better than the stuff you’re used to, and there’s even a water bottle attached – hey, watch the pot holes guys – a water bottle attached to the side of this boxy thing you’re in.

Oops, they’re opening the door…darn, that’s bright. Here comes Herbie. I hope he’s not taking you to that funnel thing. You look pretty good with your head on and everything. What’s that Herbie’s holding in his hand? That looks like the leash for the dog. Wait, he’s opening the boxy thing and putting the leash around your neck. What’s going on here anyway? No chance of escaping anywhere now, not with that leash around your neck. Well, if they’re gonna take you for a walk; if you’re going to that funnel thing, you’re going to walk tall; walk proud; walk with your big breast sticking out. Don’t scratch the ground; that’s what common turkeys do; you’re better than that.

Oh-oh, here comes an important looking group. You wonder how important they are. Hey, Herbie, get your hand off her ass…oh, sorry, you were just picking her up to put her on that table. One of the important people is stepping forward; don’t peck him for crying out loud; you might get your head put in the funnel if you do that. Okay, I can see it in your eyes; you’re wondering who the Black dude is with the lady and the two kids. Man, they are really manhandling you. What’s that man saying? Well how about that; he says they can’t kill – KILL; WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT KILL – wait a minute; calm down; this guy must be the head honcho around this farm; he says you can go back home with Herbie; he says he’s ‘rescuing’ – what’s that mean – he’s rescuing you from his table. You may not know what it means but everybody’s clapping – stick that breast out a little more, sister; you are top turkey in town; hot damn!

Oops, here comes Herbie again. Yeah, that’s right, grab her by the ass and walk her back to the boxy thing; in she goes. He’s taking off the leash and closing the gate. What now? I guess this means you’re going back to the farm and just hang around for another year. Funny, the trip home didn’t seem as long as the trip to that farm with the big white house on it. Okay, they’re fiddling with the door again. Here comes Herbie to take you back to that big coop. Wait a minute; that’s not the leashy thing; that’s a rope. He’s putting it around your legs, not your neck. Uh, he’s not heading for the barn; he’s heading toward that funnel thing.

Ouch…ooh, I bet that hurt.

I wonder what time dinner is on Thursday…yep, damn fine breast!

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We are entering – once more – the season of insanity.

Thursday, November 28th is the fourth Thursday of this month and, by tradition, a day on which we celebrate Thanksgiving.  Defined, it is often referred to as “…an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621.” Well, I suppose that’s one way of looking at it. George Washington named Friday, November 26th, 1789 as a day of “public Thanksgivin,” and until Lincoln, every President made a declaration of when Thanksgiving should be celebrated. The Sixteenth President declared that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. That was fine until…

…In 1933 and again in 1939, November had five Thursdays. In ’33, some retailers asked President Roosevelt if he would move the celebration back a week indicating…”You will appreciate the importance that an additional week incorporated in this great holiday season will have upon the distribution activities of the entire United States and the added impetus that will be given thereby to the efforts of the administration and the N.R.A.1 to increase employment and purchasing power.” Roosevelt declined but in 1939, he did relent and move the celebration back a week. It was until 1941 that a Congressional declaration set aside the fourth Thursday in November as the official date for Thanksgiving. Two things become clear here: (1) Retailers pushing for more shopping time between Thanksgiving and Christmas isn’t a new thing; it’s been going on since the nation was coming out of The Great Depression, and (2) Congress has been sticking their fingers in the pie as far back as 1941 [the pie, of course, being mince or pumpkin].

Today, retailers are even more aggressive in their approach to relieve consumers of the contents of their wallets, and while most appear to desire green, any color will do if it happens to be plastic. The Friday following our day of thanks for the bounty that we, in some cases, have is known by many names, among them “retailer-salivation-day,” “come-on-suckers-and-bring-your-cash-day” “Ooh-have-I-got-a-deal-for-you-day,” and by its more acceptable terminology, “Black Friday.” This term has been applied because it is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year, and the one that will put retailers firmly in the black. Saturday is now being named “small-business-Saturday.” Thanksgiving, the day when families are supposed to be gathered around the harvest table and giving thanks is now being called “Brown Thursday.” It would appear that some retailers’ greed exceeds their consideration for family togetherness and therefore, their doors will be open on this national holiday. Woe befalls the employee who calls in sick or declines to work this day. Managers and supervisors need only remind them of the seven point three unemployment rate in the country or some other bullshit story, and they will be at work.

I don’t shop on Black Friday and I can tell you right now that I sure as hell will not be shopping on Brown Thursday. Next thing you know, we’ll have mauve Monday, taupe Tuesday, and Wisteria Wednesday…and those will be before Brown Thursday. This year, the day after Christmas is going to be renamed “Take Back Thursday” while “Find Bargains Friday” will follow.

I’m happy that our economy is on the rebound. I’m delighted that the Dow finally broke sixteen thousand. I’m pleased as hell that the United States is no longer dependent on foreign oil. I’m happy as a clam at high tide that I have a roof over my head, heat in the house, a new ‘smart’ television set, a car – albeit thirteen years old – in the garage, and a new puppy that is already housebroken. I’m even more delighted that I have a wonderful partner with whom to share all of these things plus all of the joys of the holiday. The pup was an early Christmas present to her and Widget has already brought great joy to both of us.

However, I’m mad as a son-of-a-bitch at the greedy bastards who have decided to open their doors on November 28th and who have pressured their workers to come in. I’m madder yet at the idiots who will elect to go shopping on that day. If you are one of them at least have the courtesy to apologize to the sales person who is ringing up your purchases. But, for cripes sake, don’t wish them a “Happy Thanksgiving!”

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I’m going broke! No, this isn’t an appeal for funds, just a statement of fact. The reason for this is squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, hummingbirds, gold finches, doves, and turkeys…yes, turkeys! Allow me to explain…

…Juli, my partner and lady love, is an avid gardener. She does not want garden pests such as the above have been known to be, to chomp on her vegetables or her flowers…her many, many flowers. Therefore, her solution to this potential problem is to feed the critters outside of the fenced yard to ensure that they will not become the ‘munch bunch’ on the inside of the fenced yard. Since a good part of the fenced yard is four foot high chain link, and since squirrels, rabbits, etc., can easily stretch their bods through this chain link, it makes some kind of sense to feed them outside…it says here.

You, dear reader, should be aware that we have two patios…sorta makes it sound ritzy, doesn’t it…it’s not. The patio leading to the back door is about twelve feet long and eight feet wide. This leads to a Florida room – I have no idea why the hell they call it that – and a door on the other side leads out to a larger patio that is the main entrance to the garden. Okay, got that?

For three years, everything worked wonderfully. Juli would toss out some feed for the critters and they stayed out of the garden…except for the occasional blue jay who would steal a raspberry or two and the occasional woodchuck who enjoyed plucking a few strawberries and leaving evidence of his deeds by dropping a load near the berries…nice.

Last fall, a couple of wild turkeys showed up on the patio. Wasn’t this just wonderful; we could sit in the family room and gaze out the window not only at the birds and the rabbits and…well, you get the picture, but now we even had a couple of wild turkeys; how marvelous.

This spring, as the birds returned, something else happened. The turkeys reappeared. This time, it was not one or two, but the whole damned family. At first, it was two mothers with their brood of nine. Up went the grain bill. Next, it was another couple of moms [hens if you prefer], this time with a gang of twelve. These were a bit older…and hungrier than the first family. My grain bill increased. Next came the five members of the turkey mafia; these are five of the meanest sum bitches you would ever want to meet. If there isn’t enough food on the patio, one or more of them will peck on the window until Juli tosses their preferred food onto the patio. Smaller birds, squir…you get the picture…they disappear faster than they do when a hawk swoops down for his periodic buffet – have you ever heard a blue jay scream when its being slaughtered by a hawk; not a pretty sound.

Anyway, this is why I’m going broke. You know the expression, “You’re eating me out of house and home?” It’s generally reserved for teenagers shortly after they’ve gone through that growth spurt that all teenagers seem to go through. This is nothing like that. Okay, two or three, even four teenagers can do a number on your budget, but try feed more than 30 turkeys day in and day out. Those suckers can really put it away, and they don’t even leave an egg in repayment. Well, they do leave something but now we’re back to the woodchuck deposit.

“Why not just stop feeding them?” you ask. Sure, that would work, but then we’d be denied the joy of watching the youngsters grow up; of watching the baby fuzz disappear from all of the chicks, to be replaced by the beautiful feathers that shimmer in the sunlight. We’d miss the anxiousness that comes with counting the babies [and the teenagers] in fear that one or two of them may somehow have not made it through the night.

Do I really begrudge feeding the turkeys and the…ah, forget it. Of course not; I’m just kvetching. Are they truly breaking the bank? Don’t be ridiculous. Yes, it does cost close to a hundred bucks a month, but I know of nowhere else where I can sit on the couch, watch TV, and as a pleasant distraction, look out the floor-to-ceiling windows at nature at its finest. We’ve had deer in the back yard, and we’re only 15 miles from Boston. We even had a fox once, but we couldn’t allow him to stay. I just hope that the turkeys continue to return day-in-day-out. They may be wild but we feed them good grain. After all, Thanksgiving is just around the corner…heh, heh, heh!

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