don’t talk turkey to me

What I’m about to tell you actually happened. It did! I have photographic proof! Also, I have witnesses! Yes! A kind lady in the Times Union cafeteria witnessed the entire thing, as did similarly kind colleague in the newsroom, and I would, in fact, refer to them both as “kind” even if they didn’t corroborate my story and thus affirm my (admittedly wobbly) sanity.

turkey boySo basically what happened was this: A vicious wild turkey chased me and PROBABLY would have killed me and/or eviscerated me and/or dismembered me with his giant turkey beak had I not escaped miraculously from his fowl clutches. Okay, that is a slight exaggeration, but this is my story, not yours, so sue me. (No. Don’t. I’m joking. I have no interest in being sued, I swear.)

I was out for my lunchtime constitutional, which consists of huffing and puffing up and down Old Maxwell Road and around a couple of nearby parking lots while windbagging on the phone with family and friends. In the winter, by which I mean a NORMAL winter, not this balmy all-expense-paid cruise to Cancún we’ve been having, I do this until my digits go numb and return to my desk feeling virtuous and cold.

I hadn’t been huffing and puffing very far, and was feeling neither virtuous nor cold, when I spied a couple of wild turkeys on the side of the road. This happens occasionally; they’re around. So, what the hey, I whipped out My Trusty iPhone, which I just now named Excalibur, and snapped a couple pictures of the closest one. He – and I’m guessing he was a he, as he was the larger of the two, plus he was working a chaw of tobacco and watching Spike TV in his boxers – seemed okay with this invasion of his privacy, or at least oblivious to it, until suddenly he wasn’t.

He started walking toward me. I thought: Oh, how nice! He’s a friendly fellow!

Then he kept walking toward me. I thought: Well now, that’s a leeeetle bit weird.

Then he kept walking toward me. I thought: OK. That’s more than a leeeetle bit weird. 

Then I walked backward. Then, being a turkey, he started trotting at me. Then, being chicken, I started trotting backward.

I said: Hey! Get back, turkey! Hey! Hey!


I said: Hey! Hey!


I panicked and said: Hie thee, evil turkey! Arrrrgh!


As he kept trotting, I kept panicking. What to do? Should I climb a tree? Poke him in the schnozz like a shark? Not being schooled in Effective Turkey Evasion Techniques, I decided the thing to do was to start yelling ARRGGGH! ARGGGGH! GO AWAY, TURKEY! while making aggressive anti-turkey motions that might have been better suited for waving off a cloud of moths.

This had no effect on him whatsoever. He kept coming right at me. So I picked up a large stick and poked it in his direction, still countering his SCREAAACKs with my ARRRGGGHs.

Then he started running. I started running. I ran ALLLLLLLL the way down the little steps to the Times Union parking lot, thinking, Shit! If I get killed by a wild turkey on my lunchtime walk, I will never ever ever live it down!

And then the turkey stopped. He was stymied by the steps, apparently. A smaller turkey – wifey? – joined him there, and they howled angry SCRAAAAAAACKs from their superior vantage.

Duly freaked out, I went back inside and announced A TURKEY JUST CHASED ME! I HAD TO FEND IT OFF WITH A STICK!, recalling that this was hardly the first time I’d been attacked by rogue members of other species. (See my book Figuring Shit Out: Love, Laughter, Suicide, and Survival for detailed accounts of my dust-ups with Ecuadorian dogs and monkeys.)

But I survived. And this morning, pulling into the TU lot, I saw Mr. and Mrs. Sociopathic Turkey once again. They gave me the hairy eyeball. I gave mine back and kept my distance.

10 thoughts on “don’t talk turkey to me

  1. OMG! Same thing happened to me (and my viscous Schnoodle) near Buckingham Pond! I was secretly hoping to find a video on FB of me scooping up my dog, running down the street with a squawking turkey chasing us. No such luck, but we still laugh about it 2 years later!

  2. I read about another account like this that happened to a man while hiking in the Berkshires. He wasn’t as lucky as you!! Bad footing on an icy path, the turkey bludgeoned him up pretty good. Glad you got away unscathed.

  3. We had Geese up at the British American complex and one of my co-workers got chased all the way into the building. The thing was squacking and madly flapping it’s wings. Dan then watched outside through the glass entrance door as the same Goose walked by his car (which was parked too close to the nest as it turns out) and as Mr. Goose saw his reflection in the side panel of Dan’s car, the Goose was attacking and beating the car with it’s beak. He must have thought his reflecting mirror image was another goose. So funny the behavior of these animals. I’ll bet you got close too babies or eggs.

  4. Update: An animal control van is driving sloooowly through the library parking lot across the street, with the turkey in hot pursuit. SCRAAWWWK.

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