Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Christmas Message To You

Dear Friends and Gentle Readers;

Another year has come and passed. So much has happened, both in my microcosmic life and in the world outside. Kings have fallen, nations have been destroyed, loved ones have become disaffected, fuel costs are at nearly inaccessible heights. And Brittany Spears' little sister is preggers. Well, at least White Trash remains a constant.

In the rushing about during the week preceding Christmas, I've seen many wonders and signs. Perhaps the most significant event, one that I've given much thought to, was the case of the exploding turkey.

Here's what happened - I was there as witness: I was driving down the on-ramp to Road 15, on my way to work. Road 15 is a four-laner with two northbound and two southbound lanes. Surrounding the highway are well-sloped hills that are coated in white and etched with the gray-brown winter shells of trees that abound like hairs on a pig. During my turn, I could see on the far slope a bird racing, headlong, wings outstretched, directly perpendicular to the road. The outcome seem assured. The bird, whose species I quickly recognized as some sort of turkey, though I'm not sure if it was Butterballus Shopritus or ShadyFarmus Pathmarkia, clearly either intended to run the gauntlet of SUVs and Walmart-bound trucks only to arrive at the other side, unscathed, pointing a feathery limb at his hidden friends on the side he had left behind, laughing a turkey-laugh and gobbling "chicken" or some other unseemly turkey epithet or had just had enough and intended suicide by Goodyear.

I cheered him on as I made my final approach. He was madly resolute. He made it to the first portion of pavement and, without interrupting either his pace or the rhythm of traffic, made it across and onto the barren, icy median. Using lift from his outstretched wings, he continued to barrel toward the southbound lanes and he made it at the same moment as a white Toyota pickup truck arrived at his location, intersecting perfectly.

The turkey exploded in feathers, his turkey neck and turkey head shooting off in one direction while his partially denuded body rolled down the road like a fleshy bowling ball, finally veering into the man-made ravine that was the median. The truck neither slowed not stopped. Hey - I was late for work, okay? I thought, "Wow - what a spectacular way to go. Just like Fourth of July."

The image of the exploding turkey stuck with me and I shared the story with a number of people. One analysis saw it as a sign to slow down, take life at a more rustic pace. I thought that interesting but I also recognised that there are no shortage of Toyota pickups. This realization I kept to myself. I thereafter enjoyed a preponderance of pondering, wondering in part what was going through that bird's pea-sized brain and the moment it took off on its east-west trajectory. Was it pressure from the flock? A failure to adequately establish his turkey identity? A fear of flying? What?

I'm not sure that I could ever know that, but I am sure I could pick a fictitious scenario to anthropomorphousize the poor bird. After all, what one of us has not felt at least once, in the dark recesses of the dingy closets of our minds, the absolute terror that would be so easily relieved by a walk into interstate traffic? We choose to dodge the plummeting hazards and continue on. Oh, yes, some of us don't make it, instead becoming a stain on chrome, but most of us plod on. Plod, not race headlong. I think that this is the difference.

How careful is too careful? Isn't there too much importance placed on the truly insignificant trails and trials of daily consciousness? Why not race headlong into the unknowable?

There are too many answers. Fear, lifelong training, for want of a better term, guilt, ineffability. Reasons, excuses, too, all. To race through life and explode at the end like it's the grande finale of the Macy's Firework's Show - now what could be more elegant than that?

So, my Holiday Message to you is this: don't be a clown - be a punk. Jump into the brawl with knuckles flashing white, blue and crimson. Don't take no for an answer unless it's exactly the answer you want. Kick 'em while they're down. Turn the dial to eleven. Because tough ain't enough, baby, and you've got to make it count. After all, there's a white Toyota out there, somewhere, and it's got your name on it. You can count on that.


Best wishes to my readers, friends, innumerable lovers and suppliers of mood-altering events. I hope that this coming year will bring you the fortitude to go forth onto this good earth and do shit. God bless . . .