Turkey Gone Wild

We raise a glass to everyone's favorite Thanksgiving spirit, imagine Tofurky dinner at the White House and eat one hundred T-ravs. Plus: Where in the world is Floyd Crues?

When the National Wild Turkey Federation sent us a CD-ROM in advance of the holidays -- their busiest season! -- we were stoked. But hey, James Powell, NWTF PR guy, you don't need to convince us that Wild Turkey is the bomb!

Unreal: Do you recommend consuming Wild Turkey at Thanksgiving celebrations?

James Powell: Yeah, absolutely. Wild turkeys are one of the most abundant wild game species in North America now. They're very good-tasting, they're very nutritious, they're leaner than domestic turkeys.

What is it about Wild Turkey that makes it so delicious?

I would say the best thing about a wild turkey is that their meat is a little bit darker than a typical Butterball, but it's not real dark. So it's a very moist, flavorful meat.

My grandfather enjoys consuming as much Wild Turkey as possible at every possible occasion, yet others in the family aren't so sure. Would you urge him to keep on?

Oh, absolutely. To me, once you've tried one at, say, Thanksgiving for instance, you're going to want one every year. One of the things that's really popular now is deep-frying turkeys, whether they're domestic or wild.

In your Thanksgiving media kit you ask if we know the difference between Wild Turkey and the domestic Turkey. Doesn't St. Louis' own David Sherman Corporation make the domestic Turkey? And isn't it cheaper and doesn't it make you feel like hell the next day?

I don't know what all they put in a domestic turkey. What I do know is that when you eat a wild bird, you're not getting any steroids, you're not getting any additives that were fed to the bird. You're getting an acorn- and seed-fed wild game species.

Benjamin Franklin said Wild Turkey would be a good national symbol. He also said God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy. What do you think made him such a raging boozehound?

The thing about Benjamin Franklin, some of the things he said and did were for attention. Some of the things he did were because he was a brilliant man. I think he recognized that the wild turkey was a classic American native species that's intelligent, wary and has a certain nobility about it.

Could you send us a case of Wild Turkey?

Yeah! [Laughs] You know, Wild Turkey bourbon sponsors our national calling championship every spring, but we don't keep a lot of Wild Turkey bourbon on hand in the office.

There's No Furky Like Tofurky
President Bush, God's plan for the lives of turkeys did not include Thanksgiving dinner. These overgrown, misshapen turkeys are a perversion of God's creation. -- from an October 29 letter to President George W. Bush from the advocacy group Farm Animal Reform Movement (FARM)

In a move expected to please animal-rights groups and the religious right, President George W. Bush today announced the pardon of all turkeys destined for White House dinner plates this holiday season.

In banning all turkey from the White House, Bush trumps a custom his father officially inaugurated, in which the sitting president pardons one turkey each Thanksgiving.

Among those celebrating the news were St. Louis Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa and television actress Cassandra "Elvira" Peterson, celebrities whose names appear on a FARM letter urging the president to give up turkey this Thanksgiving.

As Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird" played in the background, Bush called domestic turkey factories unfit for any of God's creatures short of Guantánamo detainees. He then unleashed a scathing tirade on the topic of turkey dinners.

"This year Laura and I plan to dine on Tofurky," the president said, referring to a soy product purported to taste like poultry.

The turkey pardon sent shock waves through political and epicurean circles alike. Known for his appetite for meat, the president made headlines last year when he incorporated fish into the popular "Turducken" recipe that features a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey.

"His Turfucken was such a hit last year," said Bev Taylor, author of the cookbook Yecch, That Food Sounds Asian! "It'll be a tall order to be that creative with tofu."

Never Again
Oh, Unreal. Did you really think entering the International Federation of Competitive Eating's T-rav contest would score you $2,500, hook-up prospects and a Post-Dispatch interview?

Don't you remember your sorry showing in the last pig-out? (It was poultry, no?)

And what about your shrink? Time and time again she has warned you that toasted ravioli trigger sadomasochistic longings, thanks to that...well, you know.

OK, so this time you got pointers beforehand: no fasting, no forks, all mind over matter. You logged eight hours of z's Friday and knocked off 525 calories on the treadmill Saturday morning. You cranked Q95.5 on the drive to Harrah's, and when the guys from that goofy Travel Channel sized up your skimpy britches and scoffed, "You're competing?" you smirked and shut up their chubby chops with, "Aren't you?"

Cocky, yeah you were.

Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas might be the top-ranked eater in the U.S., but she's a Burger King manager who eats one meal a day!

That dude Tim "Eater X" Janus with the Chef Boyardee mustache and "war paint"? He's making hourly as a day trader what you make monthly! No way was he trying to win.

And 395-pound rapper Eric "Badlands" Booker -- so what if he could curl you one-handed? He's a former this-and-that champion, a total has-been.

This time you had it.

You nailed a good seat between Arkansas rookie Shawn C. and 24-year-old Lou native Felix C. (Way to hang on when he started lurching!)

You got dirty, flinging that red sauce to and fro.

And when, three minutes into the twelve-minute contest, you thought your jaw was about to snap, you remembered suffering through beer-goggled Saturday sleepovers with your old college flame, and you hung in there. (Exes are good for something!)

Thing is, Janus, that rascal, massaged those puppies with Lipton Brisk to soften 'em up. Badlands stayed "Hungry and Focused," like the title of his memoir. And the Widow fucking inhaled.

Sad to say, your pound and a half -- a hundred T-ravs! -- wasn't nearly enough.

Maybe next time you'll remember the sweats, the shakes, the shits, the unsavory post-contest belch-a-thon. Maybe next time you'll read this.

Better yet, maybe next time you'll be yourself, Unreal: Try to lose.

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