Talking Turkey


What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
Don’t talk to me about Thanksgiving! I hate it.

Is that all you’re going to say about it?
How the hell would you like to be the featured guest? Instead of sitting around the table with your family and friends, you’re on it. I mean get real. Turkeys have feelings too. If you prick us, do we not bleed? I can’t even go to the damn supermarket without seeing a bunch of my relatives trussed up in the fucking meat section. Give me a break, huh? And then there’s the bullshit about the first feast and all of that. Really? Bad day for the natives, I’d say. Can we please just move on?

What is your superpower?

Excuse me?
I said, “Duh.” I mean listen to me. I can speak. I talk English as well as Turkish, and it’s come in handy from time to time.

You speak Turkish?

Would you care to explain?
Turkeys speak Turkish, don’t you know anything? It’s expected of us from our first “gobble.” But I also speak English, which is pretty rare among turkeys. We’re an insular lot, caring to stay with our own mostly, but, yeah, it’s definitely a superpower. Saved my life on occasion.

How’s that?
Well, just a few weeks ago I was minding my own business cleaning up a corn field when these two hunters showed up…turkey hunters, the worst of the worst I can tell you. Smelly bastards for one thing. They stunk of Slim Jims, pickled eggs and Budweiser. I smelled ‘em two hundred yards away, the ignorant bastards. I guess maybe the stench is their superpower. Nobody would want to take a bite out that pile of rot, I can tell you, not even a skunk. So one of those bozos spots me and begins to raise his rifle. I said, ”Hold it right there, buddy. You’re on posted land, Screw off.”

What did they do?
Just stood their staring at me, then at each other, shaking their heads. Then the smarter one said, “I’ll be dipped in shit and rolled in cracker crumbs.”

What did you do?
Whaddya think? I got the hell out of there and I mean fast. Good thing they were lousy shots.

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or ten duck-sized horses?

No question: I’d rather fight one horse-sized duck. We’re related, so I understand them, as much as anyone can understand a duck. They’re pretty dumb really. They couldn’t find their ass with both wings, if they even had an ass. I can probably anticipate their moves, stay away from the giant webbed feet and all. But a horse? Now that’s a bird of a different feather.

A horse is not a bird.
Don’t get smart. It’s a figure of speech. Just because I’m a turkey doesn’t mean I can’t use a figure of speech now and then, even it’s a cliché.

What would you like your last meal to be?
Something vegan. I’d want it to be made of corn probably. I don’t like worms, and I can’t eat eggs. I’d want there to be bourbon with it, of course, probably something top shelf.

Do you have a favorite?
Well, probably Wild Turkey, named after a relative I’m sure.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Why don’t you go out and see what those people want.

What about you do you think might surprise people?
You mean aside from talking English?

Yes, aside from that.
Well, first of all I love music, especially Jazz. And especially Charlie Parker, the greatest of them all. That’s why they called him Bird, you know. I can also yodel in three octaves, and I dance. Of course, mostly I’m normal. I love shiny objects the most.

Is that why you keep pecking at my watch?

What quality do you most admire in yourself?
My ability to think deep thoughts.

What’s a deep thought for a turkey?
You wouldn’t understand.

Please, try me.
Well, I often wonder how that corn gets here. I mean it doesn’t grow on trees, yet there it is every fall. What the hell? Is it an accident? Is it a sign of some kind of god? I dunno.

If you could have dinner with anyone living or dead, whom would you invite?

Yes, whom. Objective case.

So, who’d be at the table?
Well, off beak, I’d say Buzzie, Flaps, Ziggy and Dizzy.

But aren’t they vultures?
Turkey vultures, yes, but a branch of the family. I admire their beauty and work ethic.

Aren’t they lazy?
Sure. That too. But they never go hungry.

What annoys you the most about people?

Will you please stop doing that?
Sorry, but that is pretty frickin’ obvious: they keep shooting us! Plucking us! Eating us! We’re very popular in books, but they’re mostly cook books and it’s well, it’s demeaning.

How so?
How’d you like to be considered nothing more than another tasty piece of meat?

Least favorite expression?
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. What a crock!

Ed. Note: No animals were harmed in the process of conducting this interview, which was entirely voluntary. No coercive mesaures were applied.