At Long Last, Have They No Decency?

"Fear the drumstick!" (Globe Staff Photo/Mark Wilson)

I've written before about the nefarious scourge of turkeys in the Boston area. Once again, Boston's turkey terrorists are on the march:

I saw two in Longwood Mall and took a step toward them with my cell-phone camera at the ready.

Tough as any gangbangers, the creatures aggressively advanced toward me. I took a careful step or two backward, very measured. Then they charged. I ran, half speed, slightly amused at the thought of turning tail to a couple of toms, but when I looked back, the fuckers were gaining on me. So I sprinted across the mall, jumping over the protruding roots of the largest grove of European beeches in America, chased by a couple of turkeys who had gone insane in the membrane. I turned a corner around a hundred-something-year-old beech and laughed at the deli-inspired irony of pulling a hamstring while being chased by turkeys -- there's a club-sandwich joke in there somewhere.

Brookline animal-control officer Pierre Verrier admits that turkey attacks "have been a problem for the past couple of years," noting that it's actually illegal to "remove" them, so when people call, the best he can do is "shoo them away."

"They chase people around and sometimes stop traffic," he says. "For the most part, people can defend themselves."

For my part, I was also feeling a little embarrassed, but damn if they hadn't looked like velociraptors in pursuit, turning peaceful Longwood Mall into Jurassic Park. I had only seconds to consider this when the birds rounded the corner and came at me again.

This was turning into a Monty Python sketch. I summoned my best Usain Bolt impression and nearly took flight with the gobblers in hot pursuit. This time, I think I threw my back out. (These birds were nothing if not aiding my hypochondriachal sports-injury wish list.)

Sadly, gone now is any illusion that I can safely walk the streets of Brookline day or night (well, day, really).

Oh, the humanity! And Officer Verrier, what if some people can't defend themselves against the turkeys? Are you a turkey-loving sympathizer? This is why the legislature needs to pass the Mad Biologist's Defend Our Freedom from Turkeys Act, which would do the following:

  1. Build a massive security barrier to prevent the turkeys from entering Massachusetts.
  2. Turkeys currently residing in Massachusetts will be rounded up and deported to Rhode Island, because Rhode Island is smaller than we are.
  3. More firepower. This is America--every problem can be solved by massive amounts of firepower. And maybe some citizens will be a little over-zealous and take out those fucking geese on the Esplanade.
  4. Cut taxes. What isn't a good excuse for a tax cut?
  5. A non-competitive, cost-plus bid to a large defense contractor, preferably with ties to far-right theopolitical groups, to build the SuperBaster 9000:

    The SuperBaster 9000: United We Stand
    (from here)

Because you need to choose: do you love freedom or hate America?

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Because you need to choose: do you love freedom or hate America?

Roasted, please. With fresh seasonal vegetables and a fine wine.

Oh, sorry, I thought you were talking about the turkeys.

Hum⦠freedom or two continents? Hard choice. I've never prepared either. Any recipe suggestions?

Tonight though, I think I'll finish up the turkey risotto leftover in the fridge. But the seaside village market runs tomorrow morning. Assuming I can waddle down there in time (the bicycle is out of commission at the moment ;-\ ), what should I be looking for?

Once again those upstart mammals are returning to a nocturnal cringing lifestyle.

Tonight though, I think I'll finish up the turkey risotto leftover in the fridge.


I am please to report one mini-velociraptor has now been consumed (with the last of the Moutard de forte à l'ortie mixed in), along with a bottle of Gigondas. However, I don't think the monster came from Boston, and in any case there are probably still others roaming about that area, so please remember your tinfoil hats and other precautions.

Steven - that's an extremely good point, and I'm red-faced for not noticing it. And I did not know about the GISAID change. I actually signed the original letter and I'm going to look into this - as a signatory to the letter I'd expect to have been informed. Maybe I was. But I don't remember it.

When I was young, we raised turkeys for a while. When we decided to stop we had a dozen big old toms. We butchered them, froze them, and ate them in sequence. I do not care much for turkey (smoked is OK) these days.

By Jim Thomerson (not verified) on 17 May 2009 #permalink

"For the most part, people can defend themselves."
Uhm, yeah... the toms have spurs that are sometimes pretty long and a beak, plus they can whap you with their wings.

If anyone wants to secretly re-locate them to my local woods, I'd be happy to share braised turkey legs (I roast the rest of the body the same as a store turkey, but the legs are too tough for that). Wild turkey is pretty tasty! Even the non-alcoholic kind.

By Marlana80 (not verified) on 30 May 2009 #permalink