Saturday, November 19, 2011

Turkey Trot

Wednesday I went shopping at the local Trader Joe's. We are lucky to have one just over the state line after waiting years for one to come even near the area. Last year the closest Trader Joe's was four hours away.

Hubby isn't crazy about the food there but he does appreciate the healthy dog treats and their cookies. I love the frozen dinners, the soups, the crackers and chips, the dips, and the nice array of rices available. Every three months or so I stock my freezer with their single dish meals -- all just for me.

I walked into the store on this early Wednesday afternoon (yes, I had cut a district meeting because, frankly, I was meeting-ed out and a trip to Joe's seemed much more fun) with Hubby and the boys waiting in the car for me. I was only going to pick up some frozen dinners, some lovely soup (the lobster bisque is to die for) and some interesting cracker assortments.

The store always plays very peppy, upbeat music -- not stuff you recognize or could sing to -- but light and dance-appropriate. At the entrance stood a small person, I assumed a young woman, wearing a turkey costume. She was completely ensconced in turkey gear. In her left hand she held a small box emitting, what I assumed was supposed to be, turkey sounds -- not gobbles but a kind of low pitched and drawn-out turkey moan. The turkey was doing a happy little jig at the doorway and I assumed was actually there for the children in the store.

I wandered past the bird into the fresh food and soup aisle and got stopped by a huge display of canned corn and cornbread mix. The cornbread mix looked wonderful and I was reading ingredients when I felt a presence. I turned sideways and there stood the turkey.

You could not see human eyes or expression on the turkey face - it was deadpan. The turkey was no longer dancing. The little box machine was still emitting the creepy long, low moan. The turkey just stood, patiently in front of me, obviously waiting for . . . something. And I had no idea what.

My mind froze. What do you say to a Thanksgiving turkey? Sorry? Your goose is cooked? Can I pull your wishbone? All I could think of was, "Happy Thanksgiving."

The turkey gave no response. Just stood, planted in front of me, with no reaction what-s0-ever while the turkey moans continued uninterrupted.

I was getting more uncomfortable by the moment. I loaded the cornbread I'd selected into my cart but that turkey never moved. We had now been staring each other down for over a minute.

I shuffled my feet, indicating my need to move on. After all, Hubby and the boys were waiting and I'd promised them only a quick stop at Joe's.

Feeling more and more ridiculous, and actually a bit frightened, I wondered what I was supposed to do to get this turkey out of my shopping path. Offer a can of corn? Do turkeys like corn? Can they open a can and get the corn out?

"Um, hope you have a wonderful holiday?" I offered up hopefully. Still the turkey stood in place.

Finally, I just grabbed the cart and pushed it around the turkey, who make a full circle turn with me, while that unblinking turkey face followed me the whole way. Thankfully, the turkey did not move. But that face watched me all the way down the aisle until I finally turned the corner.

I quickly selected the rest of my purchases but I had completely lost my nerve for going back for fresh soup -- one of the main purposes of my visit. All the while, I kept watch for the strange turkey but I never saw it again, even on exiting the store.

I'm sure most children would find the turkey entertaining, especially if it were dancing around. But a strange, unsmiling turkey just standing and staring at you can be a traumatic experience to a 65 year old woman just trying to get some soup. Especially at Thanksgiving time when a frozen turkey is sitting in her frig at home thawing.


Margaret said...

That IS creepy! I love Joe's but would have trouble getting out of there quickly. If it were me, I would call up the store manager and complain. That's not how to treat customers!

Anonymous said...

That was really weird! I can't imagine such an act from the turkey.

Donna said...

Yes, it's creepy, but I just had to smile. Not a way for Trader Joe to drum up business, though.