5

The Adoption of Bertie Turkey

 

Image result for wild turkey

 

A flock of wild turkeys were strolling around discussing current events.

Turkey 1: Do you know what’s happening in a couple of weeks? It’s going to be Thanksgiving. Do you know what that means?

(The other turkeys look bewildered.)

Turkey 1: That’s the day that every human wants to have turkey for dinner.

Turkey 2: So what? They hunt for us every day.

Turkey 1: I was talking to a guy who was passing through. Apparently we have some kind of relative called a domesticated turkey. Humans raise them on farms just to eat them.

(The turkeys look appalled.)

Turkey 3: That’s barbaric!

 

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Turkey 1: He said that they have put together a team of freedom fighters called Freedom for All Turkeys (FAT). They are going to try to release as many turkeys as possible.

Turkey 4: What can we do to help?

Turkey 1: He wants us to let them know if we see any of these farms so they can set the turkeys free.

(They all nod and go back home.)

Wilma: Fred, I heard the most horrible thing today.

Fred: What’s that? (He’s scratching the ground looking for something.)

Wilma: The humans have something called farms where they raise turkeys just so they can eat them!

Fred: Relax. I’m sure it’s just a rumor.

Wilma: No, it’s not. There’s a group called FAT that’s trying to release as many as possible. We have to help.

Fred: What can we do about it?

Wilma: I want you and the boys to go to one of these farms and bring one of those poor turkeys back. At least we can adopt one of them.

(Fred sighs.)

 

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George: Dad, why are we out here in the middle of nowhere?

Fred: Your mother wants us to rescue a turkey from a farm.

Tim: How much farther is it? We’ve been walking forever.

Fred: It should be around here somewhere.

(Finally they see a sign: Tyler’s Turkey Farm 2 miles. They groan and keep walking.)

 

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(They walk up to a large fenced area.)

Fred: Well, I guess this is it.

Tim: Dad, this is stupid.

George: He’s right. Turkeys don’t fly a lot. But we can fly high enough to get over that fence.

Fred: Well, maybe this isn’t it.

(They hear a lot of rustling and gobbling.)

George: Nope, this is it.

 

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Tim: Is that one of them?

George: It’s huge! Guess that’s why they don’t fly away. That thing can barely walk.

Fred: You, there! Are you a domesticated turkey?

Bertie: Yep. My name is Bertie. Are you guys turkeys? You look like you haven’t had a decent meal in weeks. C’mon in. We have plenty.

Fred: We’re here to rescue you.

Bertie: From what? It’s great here. Nice grounds. Plenty to eat.

George: They’re going to eat you! That’s why they feed you so much.

Bertie: Oh dear! That’s not good. How do I get out?

(They look around.)

Tim: Look. A couple of the wires are loose here.

(They pull the rest loose with their beaks and pull the wires back to make a hole.)

Bertie (skeptical): You want me to go through there?

Fred: You have no choice.

(The two boys fly over the fence and push Bertie. Fred holds the wires back as far as possible. After much struggle, Bertie finally pops through.)

 

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They make their way very slowly through the woods, Bertie needing to stop frequently. What had taken a half day going took three days coming back.

So if you’re wandering around the Michigan woods, may just see Bertie hanging around with a bunch of wild turkeys. He looks about the same, although a lot lighter.

 

Image result for happy thanksgiving

(All pictures courtesy of Google Images)

WordPress says this is going to publish on Sat. at 6a.  It is now Sat. at 8p and I am manually publishing it.

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6

Black Friday and the Arrival of the Grinch

(For the uninitiated – e.g., those living in more civilized parts of the world – Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when stores offer their best sales for Christmas. It even existed during the Dark Ages when I was young. The Thanksgiving newspaper was always the largest of the year because it carried the advertisements for the Day-after-Thanksgiving sales. As I recall it was more genteel pushing than tripping and hitting.)

On my first day of work, the manager told me that everyone works on Black Friday. It really didn’t surprise me since the company is on the news every year for its Black Friday mobs (and occasional brawls).

My experiences at my previous job weren’t particularly encouraging. But working in cheese meant that I got the customers after they had been through battle and licking their wounds. The Grinch usually arrived sometime before the end of the shift with his tight shoes and snarl to take up residence until after New Year’s Day.

At 10p on Wednesday, I showed up for work ready to prepare for the sale. Silly me. The sale didn’t start until 2p Thanksgiving afternoon. If we put the merchandise out the night before, the day shift would be fighting off customers all morning. That might be fun to watch.

I was pretty excited. I never shop on Black Friday, and I thought it would be fun to see the crowds. There was even a county deputy there. I got to the back room and the manager said that we were going to be assigned from the break room instead of the hall as usual. It was packed, about two times as many people as usual.

The store director got up to talk. This must be important. We never see him at night. He started out by telling us how disappointing sales have been so far. Way below what they expected.

Our job was to make sure that the store looked good for Friday. They advised us to look around the store to know where the sale items were since people would be asking us all night. Good idea. Except we didn’t have fliers to know what we were looking for.

There really wasn’t a good job that night. We straightened, put things away, and threw away mangled displays. It was a bit like kids cleaning their rooms. No Grinch in sight; he would have been bored.

I straightened men’s jeans. I don’t know what kind of gremlins shop for men’s jeans when the store is busy, but they’re slobs. Must be male gremlins.

I talked to two customers. One wanted to know if it was always that slow on Black Friday. The store they usually shop at back home in Missouri always had at least a couple of fights going on. The other guy wanted to know where we kept the garbage cans. Seriously? Who buys garbage cans at midnight on Thanksgiving? Of course, I hadn’t seen the ad.

The food they provided was amazing. Big aluminum trays of ham and turkey. Mashed potatoes with bacon. Pies and cookies. Soda and water. The Grinch didn’t make it to dinner.

I was sent to stock toys; an indication of how slow it was. I talked to one customer. She wanted a toy from the ad. We were sold out of it. She huffed and said that she was going to Kmart. I didn’t have Kmart’s ad either. Maybe the Grinch was there and she’d find a soul-mate.

I had just unloaded the third pallet of toys when someone came by and said that we weren’t stocking anymore. We were supposed to straighten all of the end-caps before the end of the shift. Ummm. Okay. You took several of us from straightening to stocking. Now we’re going from stocking to straightening.

I decided to straighten the gift baskets, stocking stuffers, etc. It was the best because I got to play with the stuffed animals. Did you know that if you go into Starbucks and order hot chocolate, you have to get it with mocha but you can buy the real thing (no mocha) in a gift collection? How about they now sell foot-long Twix bars for stockings? (My family got cheated. None of us has a stocking that big.) And cheap perfume companies come out with really horrific smells for their holiday scents?

Friday night was equally quiet, but they gave us really good food again. A couple of nights later, they gave us 15% off coupons good for an entire shopping trip because we worked on Thanksgiving. A couple of nights later we got two cakes for our hard work. Two days ago we had pizza and salad for a quarter with no lost time injuries.

I never did see the Grinch. I guess he got held up at my old store.

12

I Want to Meet the Person Who…

Came up with the Starbuck’s drink that uses chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, and milk. Oh yeah, and coffee. I read somewhere that the large size has around 1200 calories. Do people really want to use up two-thirds of their recommended daily calorie allotment before they even look at food? I guess you could ask for low fat milk.

Decided that Christmas should start the day after Halloween. Do stores really want to advertise that the chocolate Santas will be two months old before they make it into someone’s stocking?

Designed women’s suede boots to be worn outside. How chic is it to arrive at a party and have to immediately excuse yourself to clean your boots before the salt permanently stains them? Or walk around with stained boots?

Thought up carrying a small dog as an accessory. I’m not convinced the dog really enjoys the crowds and the noise. And I have never seen one allowed to pick out his own food or toys. Not even a Halloween costume.

Decided that women weren’t injuring their feet and calves enough in 3” heels and introduced 4” and 5” shoes. And then thought up the ad campaigns to get young women to wear them.

Introduced the idea of “No Poo.” (Which, thankfully, has fallen out of favor.) And convinced a lot of women that not washing their hair for six weeks would be good for it. Hair is dead. Not shampooing every day to allow the natural oils to do their work? Good. Looking like a refugee from a ‘60s commune? Not so good.

Has convinced some people that a giant inflatable Santa looks good next to a Nativity scene on their front lawn. Two different concepts of Christmas. At least separate them by a sidewalk. Santa blowing over onto Jesus is not festive.

Decided not to commercialize Thanksgiving. You’ve missed untold opportunities for people to hang turkey ornaments on their outside trees, buy chocolate turkeys, and exchange tacky cards. Would you please talk to whoever is in charge of Christmas and Easter?

Sold people on the idea that they need a separate set of dishes for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter. Not serving dishes or candy dishes. Full soup-to-nuts sets. (Does anyone know that phrase anymore?) I know there are people with enough room to store all that stuff. Do they really shop at Walmart?

Designed some parking lots so all the handicapped spots are down one lane rather than across two or three lanes in front of the store. Are you hoping to catch scammers that way? Or do you hate your mother and decided it would be a better outlet than becoming a serial killer? (Too many episodes of Criminal Minds?)

Decided to put “ethnic” vegetables in stores in “non-ethnic” neighborhoods without educating us. I wouldn’t mind trying the yellow, oblong, spiky thing or the green thing that looks like a mace with the long handle and round ball at the end. But there are no pictures (or there are 12 pictures, none of which look like what I have in my hand) and no description of its taste or use. Google is not helpful when you type in “yellow spiky vegetable.” And I don’t want to buy something that is going to make my chicken taste like dirty socks because it’s supposed to be eaten raw.

Designed my car radio with six buttons, but forces me to have two FM, one AM, and three Sirius stations. I don’t have Sirius; I don’t drive enough to justify the cost. With my husband, my son, and me driving the car, it’s easier for me to just listen to whatever is on. I never know whether I’m going to get Tom Petty or The Congos when I turn the key. At least I know I won’t get opera or bluegrass.

Designed the website for our Secretary of State. It wouldn’t let me use the location finder because I wouldn’t let its tracker know where I was. But when I backed up the screen, it gave me the closest office.

8

The De-Snarkification of Cat

I received some feedback that I may have been a little hard on the (lack of) thought process employed by some of our customers. While I would like to remind everyone that my thoughts are not expressed to the customer (that’s why they’re thoughts not words), I do understand that some people are concerned with the lack of civility in today’s world. Ensuring that I don’t inadvertently insult someone is a valid concern. We never know when the filter between my brain and my mouth might become clogged and not work anymore. (I have met several people with this unfortunate condition.) So I am trying to come up with some more polite ways to address some issues.

Current: Why on earth do you keep ordering chickens when we have forty cases in my cooler? It’s the cheese cooler not the “I still don’t understand how to order” cooler. Improved: I know it’s really hard to gauge how much food to order, being fairly new in the position. Maybe you should see how much was used last year and increase it by 10% rather than 200%.

Current: It’s called a cheese cooler because it’s supposed to be used for cheese, not whatever you can’t find room for. Improved: If you are going to keep getting too much stock, we should probably find someplace to hide it so your boss will quit yelling at you about it. Or maybe you could arrange to clean out your own space so it looks like you have the correct amount.

Current: Stop being so lazy and clean up the messes you make in my cooler. If you spill boxes all over the place moving a cart, pick them up. Improved: It would really make things a lot easier for me if I didn’t walk into the cooler to find it full of boxes that have fallen off one of the carts. I try very hard to load them safely and would really appreciate you helping me with this. You know you can get hurt tripping on things you don’t see.

Current: Why do you think it’s OK to step in front of me to use the time-clock? Is your time more important than mine? Improved: Excuse me. I guess you didn’t see that I was in line to punch in. Just so you know, you would have clocked in at the same time if you had waited for me.

Current: Why do you think I should come to your department and help you? It’s not like you ever do anything to help me. I’m tired of hearing about how important what you do is. I assume you have no idea how much money my area actually makes. Improved: I’m sorry. I really don’t have time to help. I’m the only one in my section and don’t have anyone I can ask to help.

Current: I know it’s a load of ‘whatever’ when you don’t put a cart in my cooler because you don’t do it as well as I do. It’s insulting how stupid you think I am. Improved: Actually, the way I got to be this good was by practicing. If you spend a little time today working on it, it will be easier the next time you try to put something in.

Current: I know you’re the one who made the mess although you’re playing innocent so I have to clean it up. I’m not working with anything that could spill. Improved: I hate the way those containers of olives sometimes spill over when you take off the top. It looks like that one got some olive oil on the floor.

Current: It’s really stupid to order extra sandwich turkey less than a week before Thanksgiving. That’s the same stuff that’s in those big birds they keep selling across the aisle. Improved: Perhaps it would have been better to wait until some of the stuffed feeling from Thanksgiving goes away before asking people to buy a less substantial version of the same meat.

Current: Yes I am using the hand-held inventory controller. That’s why it’s in my hand and I’m putting numbers into it. You can quit standing there trying to intimidate me into giving it to you. Improved: I’m probably going to need this for another few minutes. I can let you know when I’m finished so you don’t have to keep standing there letting your other work pile up. I’m sure there’s time for both of us to do what we need to do.

I could go on, but there’s really no point. I just hope the brain/mouth filter stays functional.

 

 

2

Nothing Says Last Day of Summer Like Trim-a-Tree

According to my calculations (which should be double-checked), there are 95 days until Christmas. It’s almost time to start nagging my family for suggestions, so I get them by December15th if I’m lucky. Otherwise, it’s fall to me. Our burning bushes have just begun to burn, the weather’s getting cooler, and we have less roadkill because the genetic pool of the animal world has finally been downsized to those who understand why their parents told them not to play in the road.

Not so in the retail world. A point of pride at Ralph’s is that we are always the first with new merchandise for the season. I’m not sure how it’s tallied, so I’m guessing that’s like being the most famous. Statistics can be used to prove anything, but should be limited to those who know how to use them safely. For example, last year summer got an early start. So we opened our garden center two weeks early. (I know this because it was part of a presentation later in the year.) It’s that kind of thinking makes Ralph rich. Of course, this year summer decided to visit us on it’s vacation from other spots, so we had an end-of-season sale like you wouldn’t believe.

Halloween candy has been out for weeks. Of course, everyone knows that’s just a cover for us to buy it for ourselves now and buy the “real” Halloween candy on October 30. It’s the beginning of “The Holidays” when we’re allowed to eat what we want because it’s only once a year. The Holidays used to be between Christmas and New Year’s, then we pushed the start back to Thanksgiving. Now we’re moving in on Halloween. Maybe we could do like the bears – eat everything in sight for a couple of months then sleep it off til spring. It would beat slogging around in the ice and snow. I bet I’m not the only one who wished they could lose a couple of pounds overnight.

But everything pales in comparison with Christmas. I know some of you still associate Christmas with the Nativity, but you probably still give thanks on Thanksgiving too. It was over 80 degrees and humid yesterday, but as I walked through the back end of the store on my way out, there it was… the first Trim-a-Tree box (artificial tree with its own decorations). I had been expecting something since the big toy sale a couple of weeks ago. By Monday, there will be more. Pretty soon it will be an invasion waiting for Halloween.

The small stuff will start sneaking in soon. Things like cards and ribbon. Sparklely sweaters and Santa boxers. On November 1, the big stuff will make its appearance. We’ll have trees, door decorations, fake greenery, blow-up Santas, tinsel, and all that other stuff the Whos put up in Whoville. Part-time Christmas music between Halloween and Thanksgiving then All Christmas All the Time. People will complain it’s too early, but they’ll start looking and slowly start buying. Those people who have everything up by the middle of November must have bought it somewhere.

The big sales were traditionally the day after Thanksgiving. It’s still a big day, but unless you want to stand in line and fight for the 5 HDTVs that will be available at 4a, you might as well sleep in. December has become one huge rotating sale. Best of all, the stuff that we convinced you was must-have at the beginning of November is on sale in the middle of December. By a couple of days before Christmas, almost everything has been marked down. (No, this does not give you permission to wait until December 23 to remember you have to give your wife a present without a cord.)

My advice? Eat as much Halloween candy as possible. With a little luck, you’ll hibernate until the whole thing is over.