Krause: Not just another turkey

The following is a transcription of an interview with Tom Turkey, who is one of a flock of birds that has been acting aggressively, blocking cars and driveways, and giving people instant shin splints.

First of all, what is your name?

What else? Tom. Thomas T. Turkey, to be formal.  But you can call me Tom.

OK, Tom, let’s get down to it. Why are you turkeys such menaces in the spring?

We’re giving voice to a lifetime of frustrations. I mean, why is it that every doofus of a person is called a turkey? How do you think we feel? Remember the caveman in those Geico ads? That’s us. Somebody does, or says, something stupid and bang! He’s a turkey. How’d you make that connection? So yeah, we’re a little ticked off about that. Ben Franklin had the right idea. He wanted to make us the national emblem, but someone decided the bald eagle was better. So we have a lot of pent-up anger here!

That’s nice, but we’re talking specifically about the spring, where you ruffle your feathers and start making all these aggressive gestures.

It’s mating season. Haven’t you ever been to a bar when guys are on the prowl? When they’re preening and primping so they can impress women? They don’t sit around and talk about world peace. They act macho. They size each other up aggressively, don’t they? Wear muscle shirts? Try to look tougher than they are? The other day I was walking down Munroe Street in Lynn, and this fine looking woman was coming the other way. This biker sees her and revs up his bike and makes an incredible racket. I don’t think he was trying to impress me. Well, that’s us. We have to work with what we’ve got. And that’s our feathers and our beaks. That’s how we establish our pecking order.

But Tom, it’s not other turkeys you’re pecking. It’s human beings.

Well you people are pains in the neck, to be frank. We have places to go, people to see, lady turkeys to woo. And you’re in our way.

Some would say just the opposite. That YOU get in OUR way.

Who anointed you kings of the road? You people have to understand something. You’re just another mammal. No different than a lion or a tiger, except they’re more dangerous than you are. If you were a lion, I’d be dead now. I wouldn’t be here talking to you.

But we’re carnivores too. We eat meat. In fact, we have a whole holiday devoted to you.

Unh-uh. Not me, dude. I’m a wild turkey. You named bourbon after me. Those other birds are my distant cousins. You farm those turkeys and feed them steroids so they’re nice and plump when you gobble them up. Which I think is hilarious. You’re putting all that stuff into your bodies. It’s one of a laundry list of cruel and moronic things you people do to your fellow mammals and birds in the name of food. And you wonder why we chase after you and nip at your shins. We can’t punch you out, although we would if we could.

Getting back to mating, what causes a bird such as a turkey to be so ill-dispositioned during mating season?

Good lord. Try to catch up with the rhythms of nature, please. Did you go to high school? Or even middle school? Do you even remember what guys are like when they hit puberty and get that first sudden jolt of extra testosterone? Have you ever seen one of those nature shows, when elephants go on rampages because they secrete musk, which makes them more aggressive? Or when male lions go through a pride and kill all the cubs so they can mate with the females? You ought to watch some of those shows. None of us are that different, you know. You guys drink and show off. Elephants tear up the countryside. Lions commit infanticide. We peck at anything we see that stands in our way and rid ourselves of it. We’re far less violent, but we make up for it in sheer pugnaciousness. And apparently we do a good job of it too, because most of you are scared to death of us. You’ll stare down a pit bull, but shrivel up at the sight of us.

Well, Tom, this has been a most enlightening interview. When can we expect this invasion to ease?

Hard to tell. Always the population growing. Which is why we’re encroaching on your habitat. Or maybe it’s the other way around, eh? This could take a while, so get used to us.

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