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I will NEVER work with that turkey again

November 21, 2011

I’m certain that we all remember my account of Thanksgiving in our home in

early October.  I remember it, anyway.  Because we had so much fun, Jude and I

decided to celebrate the American version as well.  Saturday, we’re having six or

so folks over for another feast, including two saxophone players.


We don’t dwell on the darker implications of the holiday.  We focus on being

extremely thankful for all that has flowered our path, especially our love, our

family, our farm, our island and our exceptional community. 


And football.  Thursday, the 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens.  Friday, LSU and

Arkansas square off, the winner likely going to the BCS Championship game. 

Sunday, the B.C. Lions host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 99th Grey Cup.                     

This is going to take some manly meals and lots of refreshing beverages.


So, in the spirit of the season, I offer you a turkey tale.  From 1975 to ’78, I worked

as a minister’s associate at a college religious centre.  I realize that’s an odd career

choice for an agnostic, but most of its funding was from the Methodist church, so

it was all good.

The centre sponsored talks and workshops on topics ranging from divorce to gay

sexuality.  It had a coffee house in the basement.  When a musician cancelled on us

once, we threw together a parody of “The Tonight Show”.  The charismatic minister

did a solid impersonation of Johnny Carson.  It went over so well that we expanded

it into a fundraiser for the campus child care centre.


We were so naive about doing a theatrical production that we didn’t know we didn’t

know what we were doing.  Enter the turkey.


We did a bit about Joan Embery, the nice lady from the San Diego Zoo.  She was a

Carson regular, bringing various animals from the zoo.  Johnny’s expressions when

he was handling the critters were often priceless.  We had a nice lady to play Joan,

but all we could afford for animals were me as a werewolf and a real turkey.


In perfect hindsight (and I really mean hindsight), we would have done the bit as

soon as possible to get the bird out of there.  Regrettably, we scheduled it late.  We

kept the feathered Thespian in a small storage room just behind the stage.  I was

afraid the action would freak him out, but he sat in a corner calmly awaiting his



And calmly shitting.  And shitting.  And . . .


I don’t think he stopped until he went onstage.  The pile of poo in the corner grew

so fast, it looked like he was levitating.  When his moment of glory came — I, the

werewolf — wiped his butt quickly, pushed him carefully out on stage and hoped

for the best. 


He did well and the show was a hit.  Afterwards, as I was cleaning up his deposits, I

had to laugh.  I’d arrived.  I was in show business.  I’m sure Sir Ian McKellen started

the same way.



P.S.   In researching this post, I realized that I posted in May that I had to have

           a biopsy done on my prostate and I’d update you.  I didn’t.  Sorry.  I passed

           with flying colours, or whatever a guy does when it goes well.  So that’s yet

           another thing I’m thankful for.                  

  1. Charlotte Wales permalink
    November 21, 2011 11:19 am

    Yet another great story, Allen – – and I especially liked the news about your prostate – seriously!!

    • November 22, 2011 9:27 am

      Thank you, Charlotte. I, too, was cheered by the prostate news. I hope you have lots of family and friends nearby this holiday weekend.

  2. beth reed permalink
    November 22, 2011 10:03 pm

    Great story, i laughed til i nearly cried. So glad that you and Jude will be sharing the American Thanksgiving with us! Of course the Arkansas game is the highlight of the day here, even the turkey comes in a close second ha. Have a great day.

    • November 24, 2011 6:40 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Should the unthinkable happen and the Hogs beat the Tigers, I’ll draw some consolation knowing that you’re happy about it. You have a good day, too.


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