Monday, October 16, 2006

Jive Turkeys

Is it uncommon for wild turkeys to live in the city? I can’t find any pictures, but the turkeys are back in Pittsburgh. I’ve been passing them on the way to work in the morning, after I drop the boy at school. They hang out and eat, and I’d love to stop and take a picture, but birds make me nervous. Very big birds make me even more nervous.

Speaking of turkeys, we just finished our October pledge drive. What does that have to do with turkeys? Well, remember that episode of WKRP where they dropped the turkeys from the airplane at Thanksgiving? It seems that was based on the true story of a guy (called “Mr. Showbiz” for the stunts he liked to stage) who used to work in radio in my fair city. He was working in Colorado at the time, and no one realized that turkeys that had been raised for the table couldn’t fly. The poor birds splattered on sidewalks and smashed through car windows in a horrible display of Thanksgiving carnage. It’s funny in abstract, but I imagine that might have turned more than one person into a vegetarian.

In less frightening turkey-related pledge stuff, I found myself wanting to punch several of my volunteers in the head. (Generally I love most of the volunteers, who are wonderful people who give their free time to help out because they love the station . . . and it’s a whole love-fest kind of vibe that gets wrapped in donuts and bad coffee and liberal politics.) Certain people, though, are . . . turkeys. Like H, the quiet, unwashed guy who makes the two-hour bus trip to come in, and then somehow sucks all of the life out of the pledge room. Seriously! The guy is like a black hole! He wants to talk, but he’s all awkward, and everyone feels bad for him . . . and no one ever wants to work the shifts he’s scheduled for. Eyes meet when he walks into the room, and then it feels like no one looks up from their pledge cards until he leaves.

Other turkeys include D, who has a terribly pubic-looking moustache and informed me on Saturday that he was going to “take a whiz”. Another D is 63 and just returned from a climb up Mt. Everest, sporting sandals to keep his frost-bitten toes more comfortable. Um, sir? GROSS! Cover those things up, or come back when your feet won’t scare small children. R told me all about his knee-replacement surgery in INCREDIBLE detail. He even showed me his leg and scar, because it’s COOL to watch a 74-year-old man pull up his pant legs and show off his knees! Ugh!

So I’m glad THAT’s over.


Other stuff:

*The boy and I are headed back to Disney World, this time in June. We’re going with my parents again, and my sister, BIL, and nephew (who will be six) are coming too. We’re going to stay in the Old Key West place, I think, which should be nice. I’m looking forward to it, because I haven’t been on a vacation with my sister since my nephew was a baby and she was a big ball of stress. It should be fun.

*The boy got a packet in the mail from Habitat for Humanity, and is giving $35 of his own money to help buy a family a kitchen sink. You know how charity things have the boxes to check off for how much you're giving? Well, the lowest priced one on the list was $25 for a case of nails . . . but he specifically asked how much the kitchen sink was, and wanted to do that. I got teary when he and I talked about it last night, and I'm tearing up again. I feel like this is hard evidence that I’m doing something right in the parenting department. My kid is on his way to growing up to bee a good adult/citizen! Hooray!

*I’ve been reading a fair bit lately. I just finished A Dirty Job, which I got from the library and really don’t want to give back. I have to own all of Christopher Moore’s books, I think. This one was just as funny as the others, but had a more emotional feel to it. Wonderful characters, as always. Moore has a way of making people goofy and unique, but not ridiculous. Love.

Before that I read American Gods. Neil Gaiman is a genius on the order of AS Byatt, I think. I feel a little weird saying that, but the depth and beauty of this novel—and the creativity—put me in mind of Byatt, but in different ways. Has anyone else read both of these and would care to weigh in?

I read The Westing Game because the boy is reading it for school and I wanted to make sure I remembered everything in case he wanted to talk about it. It’s such a wonderful book! The mystery is fun, and the characters are great . . . if you haven’t ever read it, you should. If you haven’t read it since you were a kid, you’ll be surprised at how much you still like it. And if you know a kid who hasn’t read it yet, get thee to a bookstore!

I think before that I read Chuck Klosterman IV: A Decade of Curious People and Dangerous Minds. I wish I was friends with CK, and that we could hang out and eat pizza once a week. He’s kind of a know-it-all, but about things that I know little about but interest me, so it’s okay. The essays in this book are all reprints from SPIN and Esquire and what-not, and were all new to me. I laughed throughout, especially during the essay that detailed his experience watching 24 hours of VH-1 Classic.

Finally, I read Adverbs, the only Daniel Handler I’ve read besides Lemony Snicket’s first book. Handler is weird, for sure, but he loves words and writing and people, and that is apparent in every line of prose. This book is a novel but feels more like a collection of related short stories, all exploring different kinds of love. Sometimes it’s confusing, and sometimes it’s very wise. I laughed aloud at some things and got choked up about others. I’m looking forward to reading more of his stuff.

And that’s it. I’ll do my best to hold down the fort while BB hunkers down to write her 1,700 words per day. (I was an English Writing major in college, in the Fiction track, but haven’t written a word of fiction in about . . . five years. I don’t think I have it in me anymore. Can those things go away? Maybe my fiction talent is hibernating, get fat and healthy in my subconscious, and I’ll become the next Atwood or Byatt when I turn . . . 45. I won’t hold my breath.)

Okay . . . back to work.


MsCellania said...

That is so very sweet of your son to want someone to have the sink. A very, very good donation.

BabelBabe said...

I LOVE The Westing Game. Also Raskin's Tattooed Potato which many people have not read.

As we discussed earlier, your kid is a GOOD kid. But Disney again? I'd have to slit my wrists. But with your sister should be fun.

All right, I HAVE to read the Gaiman now, AS. (Do you remember when we went o see her and I stuttered all over msyelf and told her that I was going to name my baby after her? God, I am such a dork.)

Badger said...

LOVED American Gods. Have not read that other thing you want to compare it to.

Suse said...

You are obviously a Very Good Mother.

Joke said...

WDW! Excellent! I'll see what I can do about the humidity.


Katy said...

They have wild turkeys in the towns in Australia. They are called brush turkeys. And the locals think that its weird that the Americans get excited about wild turkeys

lazy cow said...

Love the pubic-moustache line (put me off my dinner though).
Have never heard of the Westing game, must check it out.