The Ballistic Turkey

This column originally appeared in The Jambalaya News on November 17,2011.

Yankees over the years have embraced many traditional Southern customs, such as NASCAR, country music, and, most recently, hurricane evacuations. But, there is one thing that they never should have been allowed to get their hands on. I’m talking, of course, about turkey fryers.

According to the world-renowned Cajun think tank, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux Research Associates, LLC, 87 percent of all attempts in Yankee Land to deep-fry a turkey have resulted in some sort of collateral damage. The danger of un-thawed birds being launched from fryers has caused officials to ground all air traffic on Thanksgiving Day in a number of Northern states. Coming from a long line of Yankees, I can tell you that such people should not be trusted with anything more than a dim flashlight.

My personal mishap involving a turkey fryer happened about ten years ago, when I was still in Yankee Land, and I didn’t know Lake Charles from Lake Champlain. I don’t think it was counted in the Boudreaux and Thibodeaux statistics, because I tried to keep the incident under wraps. It happened when I immersed the bird into the oil too quickly, causing it to bubble over the top. It melted a small patch of the Astroturf carpet on my back porch, but that was the only damage. My wife wouldn’t let me replace the carpet; she wanted it to stay there as sort of a badge of shame. I had even failed at failure.

That’s why I have sworn myself never to fire a shotgun. I doubt that I’d be able to hit the side of a barn, or Michael Moore for that matter. And I’d probably end up losing a fingernail in the process.

So, aside from myself, Yankees with their turkey fryers have given a new meaning to the five-alarm entree. But the news may not be all bad here, for in the process, they may have accidently discovered a new, powerful, means of propulsion. NASA is taking a strong interest in this. They see turkey fryers as a possible means to deflect an asteroid, should one someday venture too close to the planet. The military is also taking a close look at them as a possible new weapon in the war on terror. It just might be thing to drive the Taliban from Afghanistan once and for all. Just consider:

TALIBAN SCOUT: “Exalted Commander, we have just spotted a convoy carrying weapons to the Third Massachusetts Regiment.”
COMMANDER: “What sorts of weapons, O Faithful Scout? Heat seeking missile launchers? Rocket-propelled grenades?”
SCOUT: “No sir, worse. We observed one truck to be loaded with Butterball turkeys and peanut oil.”
COMMANDER: “We are done for! Send word to our brave freedom fighters that we must withdraw immediately to Pakistan.”

It’s reported that the U.S. Army is close to deploying this new weapon, although the project has fallen behind schedule.

“We were about to go into full production with the fryers,” said an Army spokesperson. “Then, the bids came back from the contractors- at $43,000 apiece. It’s inconceivable that any advanced weapons delivery system could be made so inexpensively. We had obviously missed something, and so we have ordered a complete review of the technical specifications.”

They’d better get their act together soon. According to intelligence sources, Iran has stepped up its development of an advanced tactical turkey launcher, in direct violation of the International Poultry Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iranian officials, of course, have claimed that their fryers are for peaceful purposes. World leaders are skeptical, however, as they do not celebrate Thanksgiving in Iran. What’s more, current sanctions prevent them from acquiring stockpiles of Tony Chachere’s Injectable Creole Style Butter Marinade.

For this reason, I am urging all Louisiana residents to stay alert during this Thanksgiving Holiday. And if you do happen to find Mahmoud Ahmadinejad poking around in your pantry, whatever you do, don’t call me to come running over there with a shotgun, even if Michael Moore is with him. No, you should immediately contact the appropriate government agency, which in this case would be the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Barbecue Sauce and Marinade Division. They will dispatch to your kitchen a crack team of commandoes, so long as it is not during the Dallas Cowboys game.

Other than that, I hope that you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving. And, as you and prepare to enjoy this year’s feast, remember the immortal words of American Top 40’s Casey Kasem: “Keep your turkeys on the ground, and keep reaching for the sweet potatoes.”

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