Turkey Bowling and Other Memories
Thanksgiving is always a time that brings back a lot of memories. Growing up in rural Idaho we would go to my grandparents house every year. All of my aunts and uncles who lived in the area would be there.
We would all gather around the table for dinner awaiting the arrival of the turkey. It would be brought in and presented amid gasps and excitement. My grandfather would then take the knife and carve up the bird taking a nibble or two along the way.
After we got married, Trina and I continued the tradition going to either my parents or her parents for Thanksgiving dinner depending on who’s turn it was on the annual holiday calendar. We were married several years before we actually were able to host the dinner at our house.
I remember the first year when we finally decided that we would invite others over for Thanksgiving. I had no idea what a stressful event that would be. For so long we were in charge of just a side dish I did not comprehend what it meant to actually be in charge of the whole meal.
There were seating arrangements to finalize and assignments to hand out so that everyone felt included yet no one felt overwhelmed. Then of course there was the turkey. For the first time we were responsible for the bird and neither Trina or I had any idea what we were doing.
The first step was to actually procure the turkey. We went to the grocery store and looked at the bins of turkeys in the meat department. Neither of us had any idea what the difference was between free-range turkey, fresh turkey, or organic.
As we stood there trying to make some sort of sense out of the information on each package, we were approached by what I thought was a fellow shopper. He came up and introduced himself.
He was not a shopper but rather he was a disc jockey at a local radio station. He asked if we were there to buy a Thanksgiving turkey. I silently wondered if he was naturally this stupid or if we just caught him on a bad day.
It seemed pretty obvious we were there for turkey. I initially considered telling him no, we were part of the Food and Drug Administration testing the literacy standards of turkey packaging but I didn’t for fear that he might actually believe me.
We nodded that we were indeed there for the turkey. He then asked if we would be interested in trying to win a free turkey. Well who wouldn’t be interested in a free turkey?
He looked at both of us then grabbed Trina by the arm. Thinking back I probably should have been insulted that he chose my wife over me but at the time I was too busy thinking of getting a free turkey.
The disc jockey took us over to an aisle in a different part of the store. There we stood on one end. At the other end of the aisle were ten bowling pins set up. The disc jockey grabbed his microphone and announced that he had a contestant.
After a brief introduction he explained that Trina would be given two chances to knock down the bowling pins at the other end of the aisle. Both Trina and I looked around for the bowling ball when all of a sudden the disc jockey handed Trina a 16 pound frozen turkey.
I am not sure which of us was more in shock. Trina though seized the moment and grabbed the turkey and hurled it down the aisle.
The turkey skidded down the aisle like a curling stone. For a brief second I thought about grabbing the janitor’s broom who was watching the event and sweeping a straight line for the turkey.
Before I could do that though the frozen bird hit the bowling pins scattering them in every direction. The ten pin actually took out a Family Size box of Cheerios. In one fell swoop all of the pins came to a stop as the frozen turkey spun in place.
The crowd went wild while the disc jockey stood speechless. Finally he said, “We have been doing this spot for three years an no one has ever gotten a strike with a turkey.”
In the end we walked out of the store with a free 18-pound frozen turkey and a story that would be retold for the rest of our lives. Now every year when we set out for the store to get the frozen Turkey the kids have to endure the tale of when mom bowled her way into Thanksgiving.