Joel Vernier

The holiday season is about to begin, and Thanksgiving is almost upon us. I think I will settle back into my Comfy Chair, close my eyes and think about all of the holiday cheer, food, family, friends, and fun.

At long last, sleep was about to envelop me like a warp field, and I was about to jettison into REM sleep. I was abruptly woken when my wife yelled out, “Joel, did you pick up the turkey?”

“No, I forgot,” I responded. “Well, you better get going, or we will have no turkey with all of the trimmings this year.” The tradition at the Vernier house is turkey. “On my way!” I yelled back. We love eating turkey. 

After Thanksgiving, when turkeys are on sale, we buy anywhere from five to six and put them in the freezer to cook almost monthly. Sometimes we smoke them, sometimes we cook them in the kettle charcoal grill, and other times we cook a traditional dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy.

As I drove out to the store, a flock of wild turkeys crossed the road ahead of me. They are beautiful birds and, in the wild, very smart. They have a dark color to their feathers, unlike the white turkeys that have been domesticated for our consumption. I remembered a story that domestic turkeys are kept under a roof because if they were outside during a rainstorm, they would look up and drown themselves.

I went into the grocery store, down the meat aisle, and looked at the turkey section; they were sold out! A little sweat appeared on my brow. Upon asking where the turkeys were, I was told, “sold out!” I headed out of the door and raced to another grocery store in town; they were also sold out. Panic began to set in. 

I drove to the neighborhood butcher store, ran up to the counter said, “Help, I need a turkey for Thanksgiving!” They responded, “Sorry, we are all out of turkey, just sold the last one 10 minutes ago.”

“This is a nightmare!” I yelled out. I have family coming over for dinner on Thanksgiving; what can I do? “Well, Sir, you could serve“Turkey Spam,” it’s very popular in Hawaii. “Turkey Spam!” I cried out; how many cans of “Turkey Spam” do I need for eight people?” “Eight cans, one per person,” they said. 

I envisioned the holiday table set with all of the trimmings: mashed potatoes, gravy cranberries, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and there in the middle, a stack of Turkey Spam shaped to look like a turkey. Where is the white meat? How do I carve it? Where is the wishbone? I was never very good at making clay pots; how can I shape the Turkey Spam to look like a turkey? Where will we put the stuffing? I love eating the drumstick!

Then my shoulder was moving; it was my wife. “Joel, you must have been having a nightmare; wake up.” “I didn’t get the turkey,” I exclaimed. “Yes, you got it yesterday.” I jumped up, grabbed my car keys, and headed out the door. “Where are you going?” she asked. “To the grocery store, I have a sudden urge for Turkey Spam,” I responded. Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others!” – © Joel M. Vernier November 21, 2021.

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