Tuesday, September 18, 2012

An Original Tale from the Heartland

A Tale from the Heartland Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 I was particularly concerned about being to work on time today because I had to take some time off yesterday to meet the MediaCom guy slated to repair my flagging Internet modem. I had also been out the entire Friday before at a seminar. So this Tuesday morning, when the alarm rang, I wanted to be up and at 'em in the worst way - LOTS TO DO~! My desk would be a mess at work, I knew. But somehow, life doesn't always work out the way it should, or the way we want it to. Because no matter how many alarms I set or how early I get up, there always seems to be SOMETHING that happens that shouldn't have that gets in my way. From marauding yellow jackets to exploding coffee grinders,
it seems this summer has offered my early-morning commute any number of challenges. Why should Tuesday -- me with my ardent "be on time" desire -- be any different?? Even though "BE ON TIME" burned deep in my sleepy brain, I pressed the "snooze" button, snuggling back down into my feather pillows for five more minutes -- only to be unable to drift back to sleep. You know that fuzzy mental state you're in where you hear something but you're not sure what it is? Well, I'm in that state a lot, it seems. There was, well, a "noise." Eyes still shut, I tried HARD to not focus on that banging noise, all the while part of me was craning to hear it, groaning "OH NO, NOW what?" and the other part of me was screaming "IGNORE IT! YOU HAVE TO BE TO WORK ON TIME! AND BY THE WAY - GET UP!" I snuggled harder. After a few minutes of this massive snuggling effort, I could take no more of the mysterious noise that was penetrating my dreamland. Sighing, I crept from bed and stumbled to the hall, which, for some reason, seems to be my port in the storm when there's a noise. The sound was still there, but faded. It sounded more like a faint kettle drum being beat, or gunshots in the distance. Maybe it's hunting season already, I mused. I walked to the kitchen, flipped on the coffee, and slid open the glass door to my back deck. I could still hear the noise, somewhere in the West, but it wasn't as loud as it was in my bedroom. It wasn't gunshots. It wasn't anything I could clearly discern. Hmmmmmm. Closing the door, I went back toward my bedroom, making a brief side trip to the basement to be sure it wasn't -- GASP -- the furnace. Or the water softener. Or the water heater. (Note: These are the types of machines this woman believes should work forever without fail and without failing. In fact, there should be a law about that. Note to self: write to Congressman). Nothing was wrong downstairs. I stood and stared at the furnace, willing it to not break this winter. It thumped back at me, the blower rolling silently in the background. I checked the window wells. No birds, rabbits or skunks stuck in them. I shrugged, and headed back upstairs to my bedroom. And there it was. AGAIN. Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. Tappity tap tap. Bang. Clunk. Baffled, I stood there. A hail storm the day
before could have dislodged a strip of siding, I guessed, but what could be making it bang? There was no wind! Dutifully, ignoring the ticking clock (I had already bungled the why-bother-with-it "be on time" theory anyway), I pulled on my slacks, blouse, shoes and stockings and trudged toward the back door, grabbing a cup of coffee on the way. I tip-toed quietly down the deck steps and sauntered suspiciously through the maze of bushes and trees I call a yard. Slipping silently around the 10-foot Douglas fir at the northwest corner of my ranch house, I came to a sudden halt. In front of me was the culprit. A giant turkey.
This was no ordinary turkey. This was a curious HUGE turkey. This turkey was banging its beak on my neighbor's glass sliding door. Standing on the concrete patio, that turkey - a monster by any reckoning - was communicating rapidly with the OTHER turkey he saw in his reflection. Tap, tap tap, bang, flog flog, bang, tap. His snood bobbling with the beat, he hammered that glass: tappity tap tap. Bang. The glass was covered with all kinds of wet turkey slime. So enthralled was he with that turkey in the glass, he didn't see me arrive. So I spoke. "What the hell are you doing?" I said, moving toward the bird, who quickly looked my way and began to do the backward trip-over-himself dance, apparently deciding at that point it would probably be better to run away than confront some raging female who didn't look at ALL like she was any fun. Maybe he thought I still ate meat. I waved my arms and hissed. He bolted across the front yards, and down the street, juggling sideways as his legs moved his fat pot as fast as he could. I chuckled to myself and shook my head as I wandered back to the house. Now I've seen it all, I thought. But then, knowing better, I thought: "What next? Martians landing?" Driving down the road awhile later, I texted my father, who, in his 81 years in Northwest Illinois, has told some tall tales of strange creatures and odd happenings in this neck of the woods. "Call me. You're not going to believe this one," I texted. I wasn't on time but the story I got to tell the group waiting for me made up for that - quite.
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