Today’s guest is Chris Farnell, who tells a few stories that should make you respect turkeys just a bit more! Enter Chris:
The first thing we all notice about turkeys is that they look stupid. They’re birds, but they look less aerodynamic than most cows. Their beaks look like they’ve been deflated. To look at them, you’d imagine their only self-defence mechanism would be to hope that any predators were too paralysed with laughter to stop them getting away.
The White House has a tradition where the president pardons the turkey every year, which is fortunate because if the verdict was delivered by jury not one of them would believe this ugly, stupid looking bird deserved to live.
But like most Batman villains, being shunned by society has only made the turkey stronger. You may mock them. You may use the leftover meat on their carcasses to make a delicious club sandwich, but before you go feeling all superior you should know:
Turkeys Have Completely Overrun An American Town
Around ten years ago somebody on Staten Island, let’s call them “An Idiot”, came up with the ingenious idea of keeping turkeys as pets. Not long afterwards they realised this was actually a terrible idea, on account of how they are ugly and stupid and just intensely unlikeable on every single level. Then Dumb Dumb McMoron set the birds free, figuring that once they were let out in the world on their own the turkeys would choose to throw themselves under a truck rather than live another day as such a hideous, mockable creature.
Instead they began to breed.
People who like to ruin movies enjoy pointing out that in reality, the velociraptors made famous by Jurassic Park were actually the size of a turkey. They’re missing the point. The point is turkeys are roughly the size of a velociraptor. They grew smarter, and more aggressive, which is a line you will recognise from every “animals turn on humans and wipe them out” movie in history.
True to form, the wild turkeys of Staten Island will now attack cars and children, and have learned which houses to target for the best chance of food.
The turkeys basically run that town. They are literally above the law, not because they can fly (they can’t, turkeys are very stupid birds) but because it is illegal to hunt turkeys according to state law.
Turkeys Parachuted Into The Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil War was a crucial conflict that would not only affect the Second World War that followed it, but also helped shape the ideas and philosophies of George Orwell, who joined the war to help defeat the rising Fascist party in that country.
During the war Nationalists (that’s the fascists to you) were driven into the hills, with one group eventually being forced to hide in the monastery known as Santa Maria de Cabeza. Their defence of the monastery was effective, but supplies quickly began to run low. To keep them resupplied air drops containing food, ammunition and other supplies dropped by parachute.
Then, at some point, someone decided that this wasn’t enough for their boys. Possibly after much deliberation (cue montage of a bunch of people arguing over a blackboard) or possibly after a night at the pub (cue montage of a bunch of generals around a table of empty glasses, with one of them shouting “Go on! I dare you!”) they decided the best way to resupply their troops was to tie a turkey to the parachute.
There was a reason for this beyond it just being funny but I’ve got to admit my research hasn’t been able to turn that up. Now as I’ve mentioned before, flying is not a well-known turkey super power. Their flapping slowed the air drop down, sure, probably. But when they reached the bottom the turkeys still went splat and the Nationalist troops had turkey for dinner.
Still, I like to imagine that as they fell the turkeys were waving cowboy hats over their heads and shouting “Yee Hah!” like the closing scenes of Dr. Strangelove.
A Turkey Fights Crime Even In Death
One day in November of 2008, Fred Louis Ervin decided he needed some things from a gas station in North Carolina. The thing is, Fred didn’t actually want to pay for any of the things he needed. In fact, mostly what he was after was the money in the till. After a polite, armed word with the gas station attendant he took all their money and headed over to the convenience store over the road, hoping to get a car that he also wasn’t planning on paying for – Fred really wasn’t big on trade.
This was where he met Irene Bailey, just getting into her car. If you’ve surmised anything about Fred’s character by now, you know what’s going to happen next.
A witness described him as beating Irene on the ground, saying “guy was on top of her – physically hitting her.”
At this point a mysterious hero (police didn’t release his name) stepped forward, reached into Irene’s groceries and lifted up a single frozen turkey, and proceeded to hit Fred in the head with it, hopefully quipping something about a turkey “club” sandwich.
Fred clambered into Irene’s car and drove away, trying to ignore the severe head wound the turkey had given him. He managed to hit an incredible five other cars before he was even out of the car park. Police came to pick him up shortly afterwards.
Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who’s done work for Lean on Turkey. He still thinks the birds look very, very stupid.