November 17, 2008
Like many men, I am different from my wife in ways which are noticeable, and, in my opinion, fortunate.
Take the Thanksgiving turkey (and I mean that literally. PLEASE come over to our house, open the refrigerator, shove aside everything growing green fuzz, and take this carcass away before it reincarnates as turkey lasagna or turkey tetracycline or whatever new concoction awaits the family.) But take Thanksgiving--my wife prefers small birds that fit nicely into the roasting pan and which can be cooked in a few hours.
"Ha!" I can be quoted as sneering. I trace my own gender lineage to that proud, hairy group of hunter-gatherers who, prior to the invention of TV remote control, would pick up their spears, huddle, and then go out and pull down a huge bison for dinner, stopping at the bar on the way home for a couple of cave brews. So when I go to the store for a turkey, I find a TURKEY: a mammoth, many-pound fowl with drum sticks as large as my thighs and wings you could park a car under.
Words cannot describe the delight on my wife's face when my neighbors help me carry the bird into the refrigerator, where, following the instructions, it is left to thaw for a period of six months. (My wife often has several interesting but impractical suggestions on where else we might stick the turkey for this thawing procedure.) Cooking begins around Halloween, a slow roasting process which varies from my mother's recipe in that there are no flames or threats of divorce "if anybody says a word about how the turkey tastes."
I enjoy every step of turkey preparation, particularly since I am not involved in any of it. Well, that's not entirely true--at one point, I am asked to reach into the mouth of the turkey and retrieve the giblets, which turns out to be a bag of what looks like pieces of Jimmy Hoffa. (I realize I am not, technically speaking, putting my hand in the bird's "mouth," but I'd rather not dwell on what this means.) How the turkey manages to swallow this stuff in the first place is beyond me. Traditionally, we open this bag, dump the contents into a pan of water, and boil the results. Only the cat is happy about this development.
As wonderful as this all is, by the fourth or fifth night my appetite for turkey variations has waned, and I provide valuable feedback to my wife by making gagging noises at dinner time. Her verbal (as opposed to projectile) response to this is to imply that it is somehow MY fault we have so many leftovers, to which I logically reply, "hey, YOU cooked it."
Now, before you men out there become too smug with how adroitly I out maneuvered her with my quick retort, you should be advised that she STILL blames me for our turkey-induced bulimia. Therefore I appeal to my readership: has anyone else noticed bizarre psychiatric reactions to turkey consumption which might explain this whole controversy? Please advise via return e-mail, which will be picked up by the crack WBC technical team and, judging by previous results, forwarded to the Governor of New Jersey.
Thanks... oh, and Happy Thanksgiving too.
The Cameron Column, A Free Internet Newsletter
Copyright W. Bruce Cameron 1998
Update: My bad. I used to be on his mailing list; not sure why I'm not now. In any event, Bruce Cameron appears to have been writing up a storm. You can find his stuff here, including my all-time favorite column.
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