I know it’s fall. Oh, not because of the weather - which has been hotter than blazes the past week or so. No, I know it’s fall because the wild turkeys are out in full force.
I don’t get this. I mean, do they not have calendars? Do they not understand that the two biggest turkey eating days of the year are bearing down upon them and maybe, just maybe, they should not be hanging out in full view of the entire South Valley?
Seriously. If I were a turkey I’d be finding a good hiding spot right about now.
But not these turkeys. Oh, no. These turkeys act like they have nothing to worry about. From all appearances, they feel safe and happy strutting around my backyard, sitting on my fence, pooping on my patio. They are like gangsta turkeys taking over the planet - or at least my backyard and the road to my house.
And they certainly aren’t being quiet. In fact, those toms and hens are up at 5 a.m. gobbling and clucking and doing whatever the heck it is that turkeys do at 5 a.m. to awaken sleeping people. And let me tell you, not one of them is using their inside voice. They are LOUD. Louder than I am and I have some loud lungs - just ask Junior when he doesn’t do his chores on time. But those turkeys - holy cannoli, they are loud.
And of course, that sends No-no Lulu into a frenzy.
The minute she hears them at 5 a.m., she starts going crazy. “Bark! Bark! Alert! Alert! Bark! Danger! Bark!” Then she jumps up on the bed. Then she jumps down off the bed. Then she barks. Then she jumps on the bed, sniffs my ear and barks directly into it. All of this, of course, makes me awaken fully rested and cheerful. Oh, wait. Those aren’t the words I meant to use. Obviously, what I meant to say was that all of this, of course, makes me awaken with my hair standing on end while I scream, “For the love of God get off me and shut up!”
Yeah. I’m kind of refined and elegant like that.
Anyway, waking me up and whipping No-no Lulu into a crazed dog isn’t the only thing the turkeys do. They are also quite fond of walking down the middle of the road, directly in the path of any car coming their way. I don’t get this at all. Do they not understand that when a big SUV is coming down the road that they should get out of the way? These turkeys, I swear. They are either really stupid or they have nerves of steel.
They just go about their business, walking in a line down the street. Cars must wait for them. It doesn’t seem to faze them that they could be squished into a road kill version of Turkey ala King at any moment. They’re walking there. Nobody better disturb their stroll.
And heaven forbid you should honk at them. If you do, the turkeys all stop, turn to you and give you the turkey equivalent of the middle finger. And then they start walking even slower. Once, Harry honked at a huge turkey gang and they surrounded his car. It was slightly scary - made more so by the fact that Harry was yelling at them and I swear to you, the giant tom turned to him, spread his feathers out and basically told Harry where to stick it in turkey talk. Then all the turkeys ambled to the other side of the road. I don’t know what they were going to do. Maybe turn his car over? Carjack him? Poop on the seats?
Speaking of poop (and sadly, we were doing just that), the turkeys also leave gifts. And by gifts I mean, the world is their bathroom. And every night, when we take Kirby and No-no Lulu for a walk around the neighborhood, the dogs fight over the dried up turkey gifts. Honestly? That’s the most disgusting thing my dogs do and they do a lot of disgusting things.
But turkey dinner season is just around the corner, gangsta turkeys. Of course, unless you’re a Butterball, you are pretty safe with me. Just stop pooping on my patio and we’re all good.
Laurie Sontag is a Gilroy writer and mom who wishes parenthood had come with a how-to-guide. You can contact her at Laurie@lauriesontag.com.