My Aunt Rosie used to always say, “Don’t let the turkeys get you down!” By turkeys she meant the dumb people who crossed my path or who impeded my progress. I guess a turkey league somewhere cried foul (or is that fowl?) to such defamation, but the message stuck with me – dumb = turkey, turkey=dumb.
Well, the wild turkeys were having a nice outing yesterday morning by Elmwood Park in West Fargo. A daring choice I thought for an outing day as the ice on the roads made stopping quickly a bit more difficult. But turkeys being turkeys, they crossed 13th Ave. with realitive abandon and apparently no concern about being hit. Amazingly, even in the 8 AM hour as drivers are trying to get kids to school and themselves to work, traffic stops without complaint for the turkeys. I find that rather sweet and adorable and so very North Dakotan.
I stopped for the turkey crossing on the way to Cheyenne’s school yesterday. I was behind a handful of cars who all appeared to be content to wait until all the turkeys that wanted to cross the street had the opportunity to do so. There was a downright convention going on – about a dozen turkeys on each side of the street. On the way back home I encountered the whole gang again meandering across the street. This time though I was the first person who stopped and the turkeys seemed to feel a lot less pressed for time.
The line of cars started getting quite long as one turkey after another would lollygag their way across the street. I was somewhat amused at the leisure with which they enjoy their day, but aware that I was the one who ultimately was at the head of the traffic blocking event. This went on for minutes – long minutes – many long minutes.
I began to think that perhaps I should get out of the car and act as a crossing guard to hurry along the process. I worried that without some focus and guidance they may be still crossing the road at lunch time. I became a bit concerned that I was not fully aware of how I should handle this type of incident wherein the turkeys were slow and folks who were in a hurry were likely losing patience with me.
Then came the answer – via a bus. The bus came barreling up along the right side of waiting traffic with horns a-blaring and no reduction in speed. Apparently Matbus stops for no turkey. The turkeys looked stunned at all the commotion – even a little puzzled. As for me, I was afraid. After all, I had a front row seat to any turkey carnage that would occur when the bus and turkeys met in-close and personal. Add to that the fact that my proximity would have likely afforded me the additional benefit of having dead or dying turkeys flung upon my car – GROSS.
So, I watched – in horror – and I said a little prayer that the turkeys would get out of the way in time. And lo and behold, they all moved aside when faced with the massive bus barreling toward them. I was relieved, and then quickly chagrined that they immediately commenced crossing the road again at their leisurely pace.
It was then that I realized that I was the real turkey in that situation. I was the one who allowed the turkeys to completely dictate what was going to happen – they meandered and I waited and created a long line of unhappy drivers behind me.
I had to take the situation into my own hands. I started forward movement to let those turkeys know who was boss. I didn’t honk my horn, but I did give them a stern look of absolute conviction that I know conveyed to them that I meant business. They moved aside…at their slow turkey meandering pace, but they did move aside.
After getting beyond the turkeys I realized that I may have unfairly characterized turkeys all these years as being dumb creatures. They are apparently intelligent enough to understand who they can manipulate and who they cannot. I learned from this experience with the turkeys…and while I won’t let the turkeys get me down, the experience will serve as a reminder that human turkeys and real turkeys are two very different animals.
Day eight hundred and ninety-two of the new forty – obla di obla da