Monday, November 22, 2004


Every Thanksgiving The Warrior Monk's employer gives each of its employees a turkey. I think they also give turkeys to their retirees. The Warrior Monk has never cooked a turkey in his life so he passes the bird on to his mom.

This year the grocery store I frequent gave me a turkey for having a reliable history of spending lots of money on other food items. When I was in law school, I won a raffle my landlord set up for renters that actually (gasp!) paid their rent on time. The prize: a turkey. Being a turkey novice I popped it in the oven for the prescribed period of time and was mystified when the meat thermometer refused to record its done-ness, even after I nearly doubled the cook time. My roommate and boyfriend were hungry and we all got tired of waiting. We took the thing out of the oven and started hacking. It was still frozen inside. What a gyp.

Of course, I figured out only later that you're supposed to thaw it first. If there put "harmful if swallowed" warning labels on fishing lures why aren't cooking imbeciles like me warned that turkeys need thawing? Do they expect that we learned this from our mothers? Our mothers always thawed the turkeys in a secret ceremony in the middle of the night with suitable spells against polluting the children with turkey lore. And it worked.

I haven't cooked a turkey since. My role is limited to showing up at the designated turkey gobbling station bearing about thirty pounds of mashed potatoes (I was born knowing how to mash a potato) and my new specialty: cranberry sauce (my trick: add at least a pound of sugar). But no more cooking the turkeys for me. I've been spooked.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving. I wonder how many of them were actually paid for. Using Spitbull as the sample size: 0.

UPDATE: Even for those who pay for their turkys, the average price of a Thanksgiving dinner is less than last year. (Via Marginal Revolution)


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