Friday, November 24, 2006

What it's Like, Killing a Turkey

That title is actually an extremely obscure Vanilla Ice reference. Kudos to anyone that may have caught it, as unlikely as that is.

Anyway, yesterday was the fourth Thursday in November. I am thankful for the fact that in addition to being able to quote Kanye West and name at least ten players from this year's NFL draft from memory (Mario Williams, Reggie Bush, Vince Young, AJ Hawk, Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart, Santonio Holmes, Bobby Carpenter, Nick Mangold, Marvin Philips, Lendale White), I am also able to quote Karl Popper, program computers, do statistics, and pretend to know what I'm talking about when it comes to Plato's analogy of the cave. However, it always bugs me that I don't know shit when it comes to fixing cars, building a house, or farming. So yesterday I bought a turkey, cut its head off, pulled out all its feathers, ripped out its intestines, and threw it in an oven for several hours.

I don't think the details of the story are fabulously interesting, so I'll leave it to the pictures for the most part, with just a few thoughts.

When you are picking an animal that you're about to kill and eat, don't pick the old, extremely mean looking one. The soft young one will taste better.

It is pretty hard to slit something's throat with a dull knife. Be sure to strongly secure any limbs that may flail around in the process.

If it can be avoided, do not cut into the animal's stomach. The "Dude, what is that, grass?" "No, I think it's a grasshopper." conversation is not one you want to have.

The whole process took me from 3:00 PM to a little after 1:00 AM. But the story doesn't end there. The owner of the turkey came by the office this morning and demanded more money. He hadn't been there when I bought it and was now demanding over twice the price. Everyone at the office told me he just thought I was rich and that the price (1200 shillings/ $17 for a 14 pound bird) was fair. So if the person who sold it to me had no right to do so and now his prize bird and livelihood are lost, that totally sucks. If he heard his wife sold a bird to a loaded (in relative terms) white dude and wanted to try and suck him dry, well that sucks too. It might be nice if you could trust everyone, always, and if cultural differences about bargaining or shopping or who's entitled to what or what's fair didn't exist, and if we all spoke the language so we could always understand each other perfectly, but it also might make the world pretty boring.

As it is, I'm thankful for everything I've got, including these photos.




the cleaning (don't worry, I wasn't really relishing the whole death-and-dismemberment thing like that smile makes it look like)

Sophie and Esther, the girls at the restaurant that helped me out


  1. you are, of course, referring to "busting a roni".

    happy thanksgiving

  2. I'm pretty sure it's "having" a roni, but who cares? I figured if anyone would get it, you would, and I was right. Happy Thanksgiving to you too.

  3. You needed help from the natives in true Pilgrim fashion. Nice. Very nice.

  4. OK, switching the blog back to no anonymous comments.