Who is the turkey?

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

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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3 Responses to Who is the turkey?

  1. Barbara says:

    This is a masterpiece in Behavioral Science! (A story about turkeys thwarting the needs and wants of the more superior humans indeed.)
    After years of interaction with turkey-people in my life (in-laws, siblings, teenagers, a psycho boss, etc), I can so easily identify with the wanna-be-nice motorists. On the chance that those lolly-gagging feathery devils are just playing a power game of manipulation and intimidation, they NEED to be called on it.
    So for starters, today my kitties are going to be treated to a lesson in respect and humility! Wish me luck!

  2. Barbara says:

    Update: No kitties were harmed in the course of my calling them out. I simply took a cue from the bus driver and refused to dance to their kitty manipulations. I did not attempt to resolve any of their attention seeking “issues” with food & water dishes. When they got into one of their snarky spats (just to see which one Mommy likes best today), I ignored them and let them duke it out. I shooed them out of MY kitchen when I was cooking, rather than playing hopscotch around them. I feel no guilt about any of this, especially since they’re now sleeping nose to nose like contented buddies.
    Now….why should that make me nervous? And why am I thinking about unholy alliances?

  3. Pingback: Odds and ends…1000 words or less. | The New Forty

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