Every day we hear about some new shortage. Everyone knows there is a shortage of workers in every field. (Poor Natty has almost 300 reservations for Thanksgiving dinner at Milton’s and hardly any help in the kitchen. Good thing he’s a kitchen Superstar!) There is a shortage of delivery trucks and drivers. There is a shortage of Christmas trees. And here it is November and we hear there’s a shortage of turkeys.
The Wilder/Davis/Felders are having a big crowd for Thanksgiving dinner this year: family and friends totaling fourteen. Our dining table seats eight, and so Ron is constructing another to seat six. Our house is small so we will have to move furniture out of the living room to make room for the additional table. It will be crowded but cozy, and I do love to feed a big hungry group! It reminds me of my days in Charlotte catering big parties.
Ron called me yesterday, though, in a panic. He heard on the radio that there was a big shortage of turkeys, and if one is lucky enough to find a turkey, it will be very expensive. “Leave the shop right now,” he ordered. “Get over to Ingles and see what we have to do to get a turkey! Talk to the meat manager!”
Chifferobe was very quiet, so I decided that there was no time like the present, closed up, and went to Ingles. I hurried back to the meat department and grabbed the burly meat manager, “What do I have to do to get a turkey??” I asked.
He stared at me for a minute, and then said, “Just go over to that case where that woman in the blue coat is standing. Butterballs are on sale right now.” I imagine he was wondering if I was offering myself up in exchange for a turkey, and breathing a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to deal with that prospect.
I hurried over to the case and gazed into it. Piles of turkeys nestled comfortably in the frozen case, but I wondered about the rest of the story. Was that all there were? I wondered if these turkeys were defective or left over from last year. Are there more turkeys hidden in the back room? And if there is a shortage, why were the Butterballs on sale? The birds all seemed to be large, but I need a large one, so I reached in and wrestled out a twenty-four pound bird. It was slippery and mighty heavy, but I managed to get it into the cart and wheeled it up to the cashier.
She stepped around to read the price with her magic wand because neither of us wanted to lift it up to the belt. “This is the tenth turkey I’ve sold today! she remarked. “What’s going on?”
I didn’t know, but just shrugged anticipating the struggle I was going to have in the parking lot getting that icy beast into the car. So, is there a turkey shortage? I’m not sure, but my advice is to buy one quickly or just serve chicken. Or just mold one out of tofu. With enough gravy no one will ever know.