Who's Coming to Dinner?
The movie of the same name in the mid-sixties achieved
immortality not only because of the spectacular acting
of the all-star cast -- Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn,
and Sidney Portier -- but also because it struck an
nerve within America concerning race relations and intermarriage.
I wonder what would happen if we all invited a turkey
to our annual Thanksgiving gluttony festivals. Sure,
turkeys have been the honored guests at Thanksgiving
dinners in this country for centuries, but due to circumstances
beyond their control, they haven't been able to fully
participate in the festivities.
What if just this once, Tom Turkey was invited to JOIN
us for dinner? Would the event strike a nerve with the
rest of the world concerning Animals Rights and achieve
immortality? Well, I guess that would depend on how
Tom would behave himself.
The first thing to observe would be his eating habits
and whether he would he gobble his food. Would he be
too territorial and not let any other guests get near
the cranberry sauce? Would he guzzle too much Wild Turkey
and start dancing with a lamp shade over his wattle?
Or instead will Tom Turkey be his usual endearing self
and make everyone realize that his place is AT the dinner
table, not ON the dinner table.
Part of his charm is that he will establish a "strut
zone" in which he will literally "strut his stuff" for
the females. Not much different than your brother-in-law
Leon, but much more colorful. He will also be meticulous
about his grooming, which is a lot more that you can
say about your cousin Stu from Greenwich Village. At
some point, he'll fly up into a tree to roost, where
he'll undoubtedly run into your Uncle Harry, who had
a few too many.
He's also not too fussy about what you have to feed
him (which is in stark contrast to your Aunt Gertrude).
He's 90% vegetarian, and he'll be happy just with veggies
and a few bugs thrown in for variety. And he won't need
a ride home like your mother-in-law; he'll do just fine
cruising along over the traffic at speeds in excess
of forty-five miles per hour.
So, all in all, not a bad dinner guest by comparison.
This is, after all, the bird that Benjamin Franklin
favored over the bald eagle to be our national bird,
claiming that the turkey was "more respectable" and
"a true original native of America." So let's all invite
a turkey to Thanksgiving dinner. Besides saving about
forty-five million lives, we might have an excuse for
not inviting some of our relatives........not enough
room at the table.
- n e x t e
s s a y -
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