Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Turkey delight

It's almost Thanksgiving, the one time during the year when we all give thanks for not being born turkeys. It's a day of parades, football games, big meals, family get-togethers, and the annual farewell to our month-long guest, the Rockin' Gobbler.

The Rockin' Gobbler has been staying at our home ever since the cauldron frogs disappeared after Halloween. By most measures, the Gobbler has been an unobtrusive guest, since he hasn't hogged the TV remote or left an empty roll of toilet paper in the bathroom without telling us. Still, I can't say I will shed a tear once he leaves.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Rockin' Gobbler, which I believe I can safely assume is all of you, it is a Thanksgiving turkey that wears a pilgrim hat and an apron. It's very cute, as most stuffed animals are. And, like many of the toys in our home these days, it also makes noise. If you press its hand, the turkey will shake and sing, at several decibels louder than a vacuum cleaner, a parody of Bobby Day's "Rockin' Robin":

He rocks in the barnyard, all day long
Rockin’ and gobblin’ and singing his song

All the wild turkeys in the old tree top
Love to see him wiggle and waddle and hop

Rockin’ Gobbler (gobble, gobble, gobble)
Rockin’ Gobbler (gobble, gobble, gobble)
Go Rockin’ Gobbler ‘cause you’re really gonna rock tonight

It's a true parent's delight, and the kind of gift only a grandparent could give. The thing is, I received this gift from my parents back when I was living in Atlanta, before I was even married. I was working on Thanksgiving, and I guess they felt that, since I couldn't be home for the holiday, a loud, singing, wobbling turkey would be a good substitute for family. Either that, or they were trying to send me a message: "This loud, singing, wobbling turkey will hound you forever because you missed the family Thanksgiving. Don't do it again, Boy."

Now that we are able to celebrate the holiday with family, the Rockin' Gobbler has become Kyle's toy. Our son certainly enjoys it. Each morning, instead of giving his parents hugs, the first thing Kyle often does is motion towards the Gobbler, requesting that it be played. When we do play it, much later in the day as to not wake the neighbors, he wants us to play it again and again. By the holiday, my child and our guest certainly will have made a strong bond of friendship.

No doubt the Gobbler is part of a decades-old plan to get children to hate Thanksgiving, devised by jealous adults who despise how children seem to find joy in everything life offers. Throughout the month of November, children of all ages are encouraged to love turkeys. They play with turkey stuffed animals. They make turkeys out of construction paper. They watch cartoons featuring happy, dancing turkeys. Some kids even go to turkey farms and meet some of the real-life animals, who have adorable names such as "Pumpkin" and "Marshmallow." It's all part of the plan. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, children are so in love with turkeys, they never want to part with them. Then when dinner happens, the kids are mortified to discover that the animal they cherish has been slaughtered and cooked, and will be fed to them alongside cranberry sauce shaped like a can.

Yet, such is life, and far be it for us to do anything different with Kyle. Heck, if this Rockin' Gobbler thing gets out of hand in future years, with us listening to it non-stop, I might have to find a way to put an end to it by convincing Kyle that our dinner is the Rockin' Gobbler itself. It wouldn't be too difficult: all I would need to do is take it out back, and then return with a ketchup-stained shirt and say, "The deed is done! We're all set for the big meal!" Sure, Kyle would cry and cry, but in the end he would thank me for it... or at least Jennifer would. We're not at that point yet, and the Rockin' Gobbler soon will go to a safe home in storage until next year. On Friday he'll be replaced by a stuffed dog that wags a bell on his tail and barks "Jingle Bells." I just can't wait.

1 comment:

boma moses said...

wow that is good work? i love it. keep it up.