Bobbie's Beat: Turkey tales

Daughter: “Mom, can I have a canary for Christmas?”

Mom: “No. You will have turkey like everyone else!” (Groan)


Last year, I planned on spending Thanksgiving alone. I’m fine alone. There is a big difference between being alone and being lonely. So much for that plan. I ended up with a family I’ve known for years. Included were young people, dogs, middle-aged folks and two interesting ladies in their 90s. Dinner was delicious, and I didn’t have to travel far.

Speaking of travel, a few people assumed I would be going to Los Angeles or Omaha for turkey time. I do believe you have to be energetic, patient and a little bit nuts to head happily to airports during the holidays. However, the idea for today’s column got hatched when I heard a newscaster mention that holiday travelers could go through security at LAX with a frozen turkey. Huh? 

He then added, “No gravy or anything liquid,” but that reminded me of a story I wrote years ago in a column titled “Taking a Turkey to Tahoe” (I love alliterations). I read this supposedly true story and could not resist using it as subject fodder. It’s not much of a story, but it’s so visual it makes you laugh.

A woman in L.A. was invited to a family Thanksgiving dinner in Lake Tahoe. For some obscure reason, she was asked to bring a frozen turkey, so she boarded a plane with the bird in a cooler on her lap.  As happens way too often, the airplane hit serious turbulence. When the cooler’s lid popped open, the turkey flew off her lap and continued rolling merrily up and down the aisle like an oversized bowling ball. Nobody, including the flight attendants, could rescue the bird because the captain ordered everyone to stay strapped in their seats until the plane stopped bouncing around.  Eventually, the turkey landed back in the ladies lap and all ended well. 

The story is funny, but not nearly as funny as this turkey story, which a friend recently told me. To protect the guilty, all names are changed. Nancy is the mother of two adult daughters. Let’s call them Judy and Jane. A few years ago, Nancy hosted Thanksgiving at her home and invited her daughters and several stray friends.

Judy is great in the kitchen, but her sister, Jane, is clueless about anything related to cooking. Mama Nancy happens to have my bizarre sense of humor. As Nancy took her large, roasted turkey out of the oven, she recruited both daughters to help put the dinner together while the guests relaxed. 

However, everyone, except Jane, knew what was coming. Get this, folks — Nancy cooked a Cornish game hen inside the turkey.  While everyone pretended to look elsewhere, Nancy asked daughter Jane to remove the “stuffing” from the turkey. Just as Jane started to poke inside the innards of the bird, Nancy said loudly, “Oh, I certainly hope I didn’t buy a pregnant turkey this year!” Picture clueless Jane peering into the cavity staring at the pathetic little bird inside the big bird. Jane jumped back in horror, totally believing the baby turkey story. It was then that Mama Nancy informed her daughter that turkeys lay eggs, not baby turkeys. Don’t you just wonder if Jane ever forgave her mother?

Since I sprang from a family of practical jokers, I wish I had known of this baby turkey trick years ago. My dad would have loved pulling this on some unsuspecting relative.

Reminder:  Black Friday — the only day in America when people trample each other for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Bobbie Lippman is a professional writer who lives in Seal Rock with her cat, Purrfect. She is the author of “Good Grief: A Collection of Stories As One Woman Journeys From Heartbreak To Healing Through Honesty and Humor.” The book, with all proceeds going to the Rotary International Foundation, is available at JC Market in Newport and directly from Bobbie, who can be contacted at [email protected]


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