Cooking a turkey

“I bet you wish you were standing there, arrayed before the press, all set up on the White House lawn,” I said to the lifeless bird in front of me.

Monet Ota | Graphic Artist

“Joe Biden smiling through his aviators behind you. You look dumbly smug. The Dramamine in your stomach and brain stops you from freaking out and clawing our president to death. No, you’re not that lucky. You weren’t chosen. Instead, you’re here, naked and raw sitting on my kitchen counter.”

The family was all in the other room, talking and laughing.  

“You remember the pilgrims?” The turkey said nothing. “You remember Squanto, Massasoit and the captain of the Mayflower smoking long pipes while some fool chopped your head off outside?”

Again the turkey said nothing. I realized that talking to it was not conducive to making it taste good, which is what the family in the other room wanted.

I went into the cupboard and got out all the spices that the recipe called for. Then I melted half a stick of butter on the stove and mixed the spices with the melted butter in a little bowl. 

Cheering came from the other room. The Detroit Lions were not supposed to be good that year, I remember hearing. They had a new-ish quarterback who knew the playbook well and could throw the football damn near 100 yards.

“What happened?” I asked, walking into the family room.

“This moron on Detroit just threw a pick-six!” Uncle Dave responded.

The quarterback had his head down and was alone, slowly walking off the field. Nobody was kind enough to comfort the poor guy.

I returned to the turkey which, thank God, hadn’t run away. From a drawer, I grabbed a brush and dipped it into the seasoning mixture then started to pat the turkey down. 

“Remember to brush the whole thing. Leave no stone unturned!” the recipe said.

Once I finished brushing the top I lifted the thing to get to the bottom too but suddenly the thing slipped out of my hands and landed flat on the hardwood floor.

“Dammit!” I yelled. 

“What’s wrong?” someone asked from the other room.

Thinking quickly I replied, “I just realized I have that quarterback on my fantasy team!”

“Haha! Sucks to be you!”

Yeah, and it’s going to suck eating a part of the turkey that’s been on the ground, I thought.

So I picked it up and finished brushing it. Then I put it on an aluminum tray, preheated the oven, and walked into the family room. 

The Lions were getting crushed. It was only the third quarter  and Uncle Dave was laughing. He was the only one in the family who bet against the Lions.

“Ha,” he said, “There goes your bum quarterback!”

“My bum quarterback” was being subbed out for some bald second stringer.

“Uncle Dave,” I said, “You’re getting the prime cut this year!”

“Haha!” he cheered.

It was just like any other Thanksgiving.   

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