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I think we could both agree that we have our fair share of wild turkeys here in Michigan, yes?
I have a friend who says that these pestilent creatures will gather in innumerable flocks on his property, even being so bold as to approach the door on his deck and peck the glass.
I’ve seen a mother turkey and her young cruising through my yard a few times, but that’s nothing compared to what I behold pretty much every time I make my way into the office. The wild turkeys congregate beside the roadways, all the while bobbing their heads and watching the rest of us useful creatures travel back and forth from productivity to rest. Every now and then I’ll see one flattened in the road, but for the most part, they seem to be wise enough to stay out of traffic.
Have the folks down at PETA ever really spent time examining a turkey? There’s a reason we eat them. Because they aren’t much to look at. They look a little like a cross between an alien that keeps its brain on the outside of its head and a drunk velociraptor who’s down on his luck. The only thing missing from the scene is a holstered laser gun and a half-smoked cigarette hanging from its beak.
Beautiful creatures, you say? Hardly. Turkeys are by no means birds of regalia. They taste great, though. Smoked turkey is one of my favorite sandwich meats. And who doesn’t love a juicy turkey at Thanksgiving? Well, maybe the folks at PETA. Although, I should clarify that wild turkeys are of another frame altogether. Wild turkeys are scrawny, flea infested gobblers that apparently try to break into people’s homes. I don’t know what they’re looking for, but I can tell you that if one ever decides to climb my deck stairs and start tapping on my door wall, I’ll hold fast to the castle doctrine and blow that dangly-fleshed, oversized virus with legs away.
However, if one was holding a bottle of its honorary whiskey, particularly the 101 edition, well, I guess I’d be inclined toward a softer heart and perhaps I’d welcome it in to be warm and well fed.
I’d offer it a place at the table. I’d set out a moderate selection of finger foods. I’d place a Glencairn before us both, and I’d pour a round.
Together we would sniff the caramel and wood spice barely dusted with ash. We’d sip and savor what is a lively vanilla wash wrestling with crisp rye and cinnamon. We’d toast to a longer finish of peppercorns, rye, and an ever-fading alcohol sour.
We’d sip again. We’d share a story or two about ourselves. I’d thank the bird for stopping by, and most especially for bringing the quality booze. I’d show it to the door.
And then I’d shoot it. We have far too many wild turkeys in Michigan.