Your family counts on YOU to give them only the finest of Christmas feasts. And what’s the most important part of the holiday meal? The centerpiece turkey, of course! Your perfect holiday turkey should be:
- Broad-breasted for more white meat
- Tendon-free for easier carving
Hansen’s Superior Brand Turkey has ALL of these attributes and MORE in a mouthwatering bird that’s so fresh it tastes like it has just “flown in” in from the farms of Iowa! And, like every year at Desoto’s Grab and Save, we’re giving away a 22-pound bird-brained Hansen’s BEHEMOTH to feed your whole family for FREE. That’s right, FREE. All you have to do is head on over to Desoto’s and let us know why your family is the MOST DESERVING of this delicious piece of poultry (in 300 words or less).
We’re too obsessed with sex. It makes us think there’s nothing else to be excited about besides tracking down that cute checkout girl (Mary? Marcy?). But now that Helen and I have admitted to each other that we don’t care much about sex anymore, I’ve started cooking through Le Guide Culinaire: A Guide to Modern Cookery by Auguste Escoffier. I’ve cooked my way to Aspic Jellies already, which has, as you can imagine, made me so much more enticed by life. A big, beautiful turkey would be an excellent reward for what Goldstein calls my “self-actualization,” d’accord?
Desoto’s people, I’ve got to win that bird over Gretchen! Gretchen thinks she can win that bird? I can win that bird just by visualizing that bird in my oven. I shop here more than Gretchen does, Desoto’s people. That bird should practically already be mine based on how much I shop here. I’m already thinking about Gretchen’s face when I take that bird home, Desoto’s people. That turkey might be so big that I’ll have to strap it to the roof of my car, but that would be okay because hopefully I would be able to take it home on a Saturday. That’s when Gretchen does her grocery shopping.
I don’t want the bird. I don’t eat poultry. I used to want the Desoto’s turkey every year. But I’ve never been lucky. I used to want my mom to roast that whole big bird, making the house smell less like Danny and more like turkey, that particular turkey smell hanging in the air for, I don’t know, the next year or so. About four years ago, I came to Desoto’s just about every afternoon to look at your bird. You had the thing all tied up with green and red ribbons. Merry Christmas. But one day, out of nowhere and for no apparent reason, I got nauseated looking at that bird through that clear wrapping, all translucent flesh down to its purple veins, all white and glowing skin, and I thought, That’s Danny in there, really! That’s my baby brother in there, not some bird! Who would want to roast up Danny? I don’t know why I thought that then, but it was all I could do to keep from tossing my cookies. When I got back to my mom’s house, Danny was there, smelling all poopy and smearing strained peas down his bib. My mother made me eat poultry until I moved out of her house a couple months ago, but now that I’m married, I just eat red meat. That’s the only reason I married Carl, really.
I used to cook over in Tacoma. I took myself real serious over there and I’d say la dee dah hand me the sharp knives! la dee dah give me the nice pans! and whatnot. But Christ (sorry for taking the Lord’s name in vain but I did hear you were a Jew anyway, Desoto) I’m about one thousand plus percent happier realizing that I don’t want to do much of anything with my life. I like to sit. Really, really like to sit. But if you give me the bird I can prepare it for some old lady or a bunch of orphan kids or whatnot. I can still motivate myself to do that much.
DESOTOS IF YOU LET THAT OLD HAG DELORES DUNCAN WIN THERES GOING TO BE HELL TO PAY. IF YOU LET HER USE HER SCHOOL BOARD POSITION TO WIN THIS TURKEY DESOTOS I WILL NOT SHOP HERE ANYMORE AND NEITHER WILL THE WIFE AND THERE MAY BE EVEN WORSE CONSEQUENCES THAT I HAVEN’T THOUGHT UP YET
The last time I had a piece of turkey was 11 months ago… My sister gave me a drumstick when I went by her house…I took a bath there…had to…Been roaming a while… and I knew that once Florence saw me enjoying that leg she’d kick me out licketysplit …rolling that leg around until my mouth was all shiny with grease…rolling it all around til I gnawed off the gristle and bits of the bone …Flo yelled Jesus Herb thats disgusting! Get the hell out!…I did….Flo didn’t even give me turkey for the road…If I was wearing a fine fur collar I could eat turkey that way…I’ve seen plenty of men do it and my fair share of ladies too god knows it … If I win this bird it will be hard for me to cook it seeing as I don’t have any place to cook it…but I figure if I win it I will just carry it on my back til it gets real hot in the summertime and then cook it up on the sidewalk…HA HA…by then I’ll be real tasted up for it won’t I…don’t worry though if I win it I will find somewhere to heat it up good
Eating out makes life better. But my husband says a good wife cooks.
I used to be a really picky eater, but one day that clicked off for some reason, and after that, I wanted to eat everything: the cakes with the pink and white pastry cream, milk (goat, cow, canned), pineapple slices, mayonnaise and mustard on brown bread, sweet baked ham, the entire row of cookies you’ve got here, soup mixes straight and salty from the package, oranges, bananas, apples. And this turkey. I want to eat this turkey so bad it’s making me crazy. I dream about it sometimes, and when I’m half-awake, I imagine the bird’s already in my oven. What does it mean, Desoto’s, to want so ravenously? To need so ravenously? I’m still figuring it out myself.
My husband spent all the turkey money on French Jell-O and meat stock. After he did it he said, “I spent all our turkey money. Auguste Escoffier told me I had to.” Now we don’t have any turkey money. I deserve the bird. But if I cook it up nice, Ralph’s not getting any.
If I win the bird, I want to deep-fry the thing in the backyard and then eat it by myself. I’ll take off the drumsticks, the part I like best, eat those, nap for an hour in the cold, and, if I don’t die, go inside and leave the bird on the picnic table back there for the squirrels and deer to gnaw on. Maybe the turkeys, too, wouldn’t that be sick? If I won, it would just tick Helen off for all eternity. I’d love that. Wouldn’t you, Desoto?
I think of the beauty of turkey thighs and legs and drumsticks, how ravenous even thinking about them makes me, how I can feel that meat in my stomach me even if I’m only looking at a raw bird in the supermarket. Really, a fine turkey browning in the oven looks better to me than Bill or Henry or even Arnie. Maybe that’s why I’ve never been with a man. I think about the failure I feel in my life, in my profession, and I know now that failure comes from the fact that I’ll always be something half-formed, thwarted and inadequate, because I’m too in love with eating to ever want anything else. Eating can never love me back. Food can never love me back. That fact used to make me sad. But now I understand that it’s just my fate. To love and be unloved in return. I’ve only recently admitted this to myself, and this new knowledge is powerful, yet debilitating, invigorating, yet fraught with obligation. I’m writing this to you, Desoto, because I wonder, do you feel it too? Is there anyone on earth who lives as I do?
Alicia Bones is a second-year MFA student at the University of Montana. She also earned her master’s degree in literature from the University of Iowa. Her work has been published in Maudlin House, Spry, Hello Horror, and Matador Network.