Mon 27 Feb 2012
When one talks turkey, he may sometimes be speaking about the country, the bird, or an inept person or performance.
Leaving aside Turkey, let’s talk about birds and inept people.
A wild turkey marches along my railing.
In the past week, a flock of wild turkeys, which is often seen in the fields around Mitchell cabin, has begun making almost daily incursions onto my deck in early morning and late afternoon. They come to eat the seed we put out for smaller birds, and their pecking and gobbling are loud enough to awaken us from a sound sleep.
But the real problem is their leaving piles of poop all over the deck and railing. For those of you fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with turkey poop, it sufficeth to say the volume can be intimidating.
Wild turkeys are usually fairly skittish, but this past week they’ve been so absorbed with eating that I have been able to join them on the deck to take their pictures.
Male turkeys, which are called Toms, have a large, featherless, reddish head, red throat, and red wattles on the throat and neck. The head has fleshy growths called caruncles.
When males are excited, a fleshy flap on the bill expands. Along with the flap, the wattles and the bare skin of the head and neck all become engorged with blood. When a male turkey is sexually aroused, its head turns blue. When it’s ready to fight, its head turns red. Or so I’ve read.
A wild turkey flies from my deck to join the rest of the flock in a field below. Perhaps it heard me laughing at a turkey in The (London) Time’s Literary Supplement, and that drove him off.
The Times Literary Supplement last year commented on a review, which had appeared in Scotsman magazine, of the novel Kill Your Friends by John Niven. The Times Literary Supplement wryly noted that the critic for Scotsman “could think of no higher praise than ‘bed-wettingly funny.'”
And here are two slightly risque jokes that also come from The Times Literary Supplement. They’re funny but not bed-wettingly so:
• “A six year old and a four year old decide to start swearing. ‘When we go down for breakfast,’ the older brother says, ‘you say hell and I’ll say ass.’ Downstairs, Mom asks the younger what he’d like for breakfast.
“‘Hell, I think I’ll just have cornflakes.’
“Mom whacks his head and sends him back upstairs, to the horror of his brother. ‘And what do you want for breakfast?’ she says.
“He starts to cry. ‘You can bet your ass it won’t be cornflakes.'”
• “A young, country priest is accosted by a prostitute on his way through town. ‘How about a quickie for £20?’ she asks. The priest hurries on. He meets another prostitute. ‘£20 for a quickie, father?’ Bewildered, he heads back to the country. There he meets a nun.
“‘Pardon me, sister, but what’s a quickie?’
“‘£20,’ she says. ‘Same as in town.'”
That should be enough turkeys for one posting. Have a happy Leap Year Day.