Full Circle: Really ishy bird bodies

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I’m no friend of turkeys. This is because there are so many undesirable appendages on their bodies. Appendages I try not to touch. For starters the neck. I mean, come on now! In all of the gastronomical treats in the world, a turkey neck has to be at the bottom of the trending treats chart. And what about that dingly dangly thing that hangs off of it? Does that have any redeeming qualities? Do you suppose turkeys brandish their waggling wattles just as we humans brandish dangling necklaces from Jared’s?

Of course, I have never intimately known a turkey wattle because every turkey I’ve ever been acquainted with no longer had a head. Nevertheless, I am haunted by that thing. Its spirit lives on. I’m glad that Thanksgiving turkeys come headless. What would we do with it? Well, that is, besides using that pointy beak to open packages or clean grout. Yes, yes, I can see that.

And now that we’re on the subject of head, what is it with that teeny turkey brain cavity, anyway? Its gray matter cannot be larger than a hydrated raisin. It’s no wonder they have only a one-word vocabulary — gobble, gobble, gobble. Turkeys must have boring conversations.

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As for the skin, a plucked turkey has issues. Well, perhaps not a new Jennie-O bird because they look like they’ve just visited a spa. But, don’t you remember how turkey skin looked years ago? It was covered with smatterings of little black pin feathers. Those I remember vividly for it was my job to pluck out every last one of them. I used my mom’s tweezers. Must admit that I did feel somewhat more elevated than my three siblings … like I was the chosen one for this important task. Additionally it is true that I also felt like a surgeon performing a delicate procedure. Hmmmm, maybe I should have been a surgeon! Does anyone know if it pays more than writing for the Austin Daily Herald?

All this brings me to the turkey’s tail. I hold no fondness for it. Once upon a time I know it proudly supported a fabulous fan of feathers, but no longer. In its current inert pale pink nakedness, I can see no purpose in preserving it, unless, of course, you need an inert pale pink pin cushion.

Turkey feet should not be allowed on this planet. Or at least they should be concealed under a turkey burka. They are the anti-beautiful … even worse than wattles. Each toe looks like a petrified oak twig and alarmingly, each turkey has six of them plus two toes on the back. It’s just too much. And here’s a news flash for you … did you know that some turkey lovers like to make bookends out of turkey feet? I know, I know …. tres chic! I will have to check to see if Sweet Reads sells them and get back to you.

A turkey has two mysterious cavities … one at each end. The orifice at the back makes me feel like a proctologist while the one in front makes me feel like a laryngologist. I just can’t help it! And I can’t stop myself from peering inside them —like actually looking … which also makes me feel like a voyeur. But that’s not even the worst part. The worst part is that I’m supposed to put my hands in there! This is when I pull out the nitrile-dipped deer hide gloves I bought at Runnings for just this purpose. They’re clumsy, I know, but better than touching!

I am also a bit uncomfortable talking about the consumption of breasts. As a female, I find that touchy. And do turkey breasts come in cup sizes? Like what proud housewife wants to serve a 32 A when her neighbor is carving up a 38 F? See what I mean? Do small chested turkeys even have a chance of being featured on the Thanksgiving table? Maybe, just maybe, they’re the luckiest of all birds because they’re allowed to live into their golden years. Do you suppose there are turkey rest homes and if all the residents are flat chested?

And what’s all this business about white and dark meat? Is that not politically incorrect? Too prejudicial? Do we have preconceived notions of just how white is white and how dark is dark? It’s all much, much too sensitive for the sensibilities of a Thanksgiving gathering and should be addressed as simply turkey meat.

As you can see, there are many things to ponder as another Thanksgiving approaches. Perhaps this column has helped you mull some of them over. But, far and above everything else that’s been mentioned here, keep this in mind. The true translation of “gobble gobble gobble” is “eat more chicken!”