I’m sure glad the park service had the foresight to place plenty of park benches in the vicinity of the mall. Nearly constant walking all day long numbed the front of my legs. Worse yet, a fever continued to cook the pads of my feet. I doubt if I could walk another 100 yards.
The bench is a great place to enjoy my snack of popcorn. However, a thick, thawing mango smoothie gets sampled first. Ah, what a relief to finally sit and unwind. The November air is actually cool and damp, but my body is sweaty and hot from the hours of touring through the iconic government buildings. The park bench affords a geometric perspective view of the Washington Monument. The reflection of the oblisk stretches and shrinks with the slight movement of breezes.
I had envisioned this very sight last month while waiting in the lobby of the travel agency to plan my vacation east to Washington D.C. The airline and the agency came together with a tempting package deal. 75% airfare plus one free night in the hotel when I agreed to stay in the city through the weekend. Bargains! What’s not to like?
Mmm, popcorn. The all American food is so appropriate in the heart of the nation’s capitol city. I should have brought bunting and flags to hoist in celebration of this snack. George Washington Carver would be proud. Oh wait, his plant was peanuts. Never mind. I guess it was the original native Americans who showed the rest of the world the delights of the popcorn plant.
Whoa! What in the world? A white turkey? Huh? Good grief, I expected some pigeons or squirrels to beg for some of my popcorn. But a big old turkey up here on the bench with me just isn’t at all what I could ever have expected.
“Hey, Mr. Turkey shoo…go home!”
“gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble”
“That’s right, go home now. Go on, get away from here.”
“gobble, gobble, gobble”
“Yeah, I’m tellin’ you, go home! Oh for Pete’s sake, I can’t believe I’m talking to a turkey.”
“gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble”
“I can’t believe there’s even a turkey here in the middle of D.C. standing on a park bench begging for popcorn. OK, here’s a handful for ya. Sheesh!”
“gobble, gobble, thanks man, I’m starving to death here.”
“Huh? Either I’m imagining things or you, Mr. Turkey, just talked to me in English. I must be really bushed.”
“No, you’re not imagining anything. By the way, my name’s not Mr. Turkey. I’m Fred Anderson to you. Just call me Freddy for short, OK?”
“Hey, very funny. Now, where’s the ventriloquist?”
“There ain’t no ventriloquist. I said I’m Freddy. Are you going to be polite and introduce yourself to me?
“Oh brother, this is like a bad episode of “Mr. Ed” the talking horse. Alrighty then, if it makes you happy Freddy, the name’s JJ but you can call me Jay for short.”
“Thanks Jay. Do you know many talking animals? Who’s the talking horse?”
“Never mind. “Mr. Ed” was a situation comedy program on television in the 1960s. His owner, Wilbur, was the only human who could actually converse with Mr. Ed, the horse. I can’t believe I’m explaining a teevee show to a turkey on a park bench. There must be drugs in this smoothie!”
“Drugs in your smoothie? Would that help you to understand me better? How about another handful of popcorn for me, friend?”
“Uh, sure, here ya go. May I ask why I have the pleasure of your company Freddy?”
“Of course you may ask. I’m here because I’ve just been pardoned.”
“No, pardon me. I’m the one who’s just been pardoned.”
“OK I’m sitting here on vacation in Washington D.C. sipping a mango smoothie sharing my popcorn with a turkey on a parkbench. We’re talking to one another about an official pardon. I knew things were a bit flaky in D.C. but this is just insane!”
“Oh no, hear me out. My friends, siblings and I were born and raised inside the confines of a prison farm. Millions of us turkeys have no other life than to peck around for morsels of food as we’re fattened up to be eaten by human beings during a holiday called “Turkey Day”.
“So how is it that you came to me with your story?”
“First of all, you’re the one with a jumbo bag of popcorn.”
“Second of all, you’re the only vegetarian in sight. You’re the only human being I can trust.”
“Wait a minute! Howdya know I’m vegetarian?”
“You’ve got the look and the vibes. Trust me, we just know these things.”
“Well, OK then. What about this pardon you’ve mentioned? What’s the big deal?”
“I’ll tell ya the big deal. A real big shot, human being, the leader of your fellow humans, your President, proclaimed an official reprieve from the slaughter house for me.”
“No, I’m serious. I won’t be the centerpiece on somebody’s table this “Turkey Day”. My life has been spared.”
“Why are you out here? I can’t believe the President would just pardon you, then let you go free to fend for yourself in traffic. I’m sure there’s some sort of ordinance or law against turkeys traveling unchaparoned around town.”
“Yeah, you’re right about the President not setting me loose to wander around town.”
“Uh right, so what’s the deal? If the President gave you a pardon but didn’t set you free, why are you standing on this parkbench eating my popcorn and conversing with me?”
“The situation is like this: Mr. human being President has a big ceremony with reporters, cameras and microphones officially saving me from a supermarket freezer bin. The human leader then says that I will be sent to a petting zoo to educate and entertain children.”
“OK, so far, so good, huh.”
“For crying out loud! Not good at all, no way! Would you want to be penned up in some zoo with immature versions of another species of animal grabbing and pawing all over you?”
“Not really. I’ve never given any thought to such a thing. So, tell me how is it you’re not in the petting zoo, now?”
“Jay, it’s easy. At an opportune moment, I simply flew the coop. When my handlers were distracted near the van, I made a break for freedom. Voile’, here I am.”
“Heaven’s to Betsy, that’s quite a story.”
“Yep, and it’s all true.”
“What do you plan to do with your new found freedom?”
“This’s kind of where you come in.”
“What do ya mean, this is where I come in?”
“I need a way to get out of town. I’m hoping that a guy like you might find it in his heart to smuggle me away from here. I want to just be apart from human beings and take my chances in the wild outdoors.”
“I don’t think so. I might get in trouble for harboring a turkey inside of my rental car while I smuggle you out of town.”
“Not half as bad as the trouble you’ll be in when I tell the head turkey that you hesitated in aiding my escape.”
“The head turkey?”
“Oh yeah, let me tell you all about our head honcho….”
The bluejayblog wishes you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday. We hope you have much for which to be grateful.
The Blue Jay of Happiness reminds you that this story content is the intellectual property of the blogger, swabby429. All rights reserved.