Tag: Thanksgiving

The Fowlout

“Tell me what I want to know or you’ll never see the light of day again!” the man with the sunglasses shouted as he slammed his hands down on the table.

“What do you want to know?” Woodruff replied as he clung to Bob.

“Yeah, we’ll tell you anything,” Bob said.  “In the third grade, I cut a piece of Missy Stewarts hair off.  I told my friends it was because she had cooties but I secretly liked her.”

“That’s sweet,” the man abruptly removed his sunglasses.  “And kind of creepy.  Is that your thing?  Are you a creep?”

“No sir,” Bob said.  “I’m told I’m more of a clown.”

“Well then, clown,” the man slapped back on his sunglasses.  “How ‘bout you make me laugh?  Who’s your dealer?”

“Dealer?” Woodruff asked.  “We don’t have a dealer.”

“You don’t?” the man in the sunglasses asked.  He stood up straight and scratched the stubble on his chin.  “An accomplice?”

“Bob is my only accomplice.”

“Yeah, without Woodruff I would accomplish accompless.”

“A target?”

“Like a bull eyes?” Bob asked.

“Exactly,” the man in the sunglasses said.

Woodruff and Bob looked sheepishly at each other.

“In my defense, the taxidermist said I could take whatever I wanted,” Woodruff said.

“I told you that was wrong,” Bob said.

“Now we’re getting somewhere,” the man in the sunglasses said.  “What do we got.”

Bob nodded at Woodruff.  Woodruff reached into his pocket, pulled out his keychain and placed it on the table between them and the man in the sunglasses.  On the end of the keychain was a dark black ball.  The man in the sunglasses recoiled.

“Is that…?”


“A bulls eye.”

The man in the sunglasses started to shiver and grin.

“That is disgusting,” he giggled.

Suddenly, he composed himself and adjusted his sunglasses.

“Put that disgusting awesome keychain away,” he ordered.  “That’s not what I’m after.”

“Well, what are you after?” Woodruff asked.

“Yeah, we don’t have a dealer, an accomplice, or a target,” Bob said.

“A conspirator, then?”

“Well, Bob is the conspiracist but never a conspirator.”

“Right,” Bob said.  “Was the moon landing faked?  Did Hoover order the assassination or JFK?  Why isn’t the McRib available year round?  McConspiracy.”

“You think this is a game?” the man in the sunglasses exploded.  He turned to the mirror at the far end of the room and adjusted the collar of his FBI jacket.  “Bert Macklin always gets his man.”

“Are you talking to yourself in the mirror?” Woodruff asked.

“I’m talking to the best darn agent the bureau has ever seen,” Bert responded, still looking at himself in the mirror.

“Yep, he’s definitely talking to himself,” Bob said.

“Tell me where you hid it and I’ll let you go,” Bert said, as he snapped his gaze back to them and abruptly removed his sunglasses again.

“Where we hid what?” Woodruff said.

“The merchandise,” Bert whispered.

“We didn’t hide any merchandise,” Bob replied.

“The contraband?”


“The intel?”

Woodruff and Bob just shook their heads.

“The hostages?”

“We don’t have any hostages,” Woodruff replied.

“Well what did you guys do then?” Bert asked.  He threw his arms up in exasperation.  “This is so hard and I’m so hot in this jacket.”

Bert slipped off his FBI jacket and tossed it on the table.  Then he loosened his tie and pulled his, still button, shirt off over his head.

“We’re not sure why we’re here,” Bob said.  “You don’t know?”

The door to the tiny holding room opened and a tall man in a suit entered, carrying a clipboard and a cup of coffee.  The man nearly spilled his coffee where he caught sight of the shirtless agent.

“Andy!” the man shouted.  “What are you doing in here?”

“Hi Agent Gallagher,” Bert replied with a sheepish wave.

“His name is Andy?” Woodruff asked.  “He said his name is Bert.”

“Not Bert Macklin again,” Agent Gallagher replied.  “Andy, I told you, it’s a felony to impersonate a federal agent.”

“But they were about to crack,” Andy protested.

“He’s not an agent?” Bob exclaimed.

“No, he shines shoes in the lobby,” Agent Gallagher replied.

“I started to suspect something was amiss when he took off his shirt,” Woodruff said.

“I thought we were going to go swimming,” Bob replied.

“Can we?” Andy asked.  He looked hopefully at Agent Gallagher.  Bob’s eyes widened with anticipation as he too anxiously awaited a reply.

“No, you can’t go swimming,” Agent Gallagher said.

“Aw,” Bob and Andy replied in unison.

“Get out of here, right now,” Agent Gallagher ordered.

Andy slumped his shoulders and began to leave with Woodruff and Bob standing up to follow him.

“Not you!” Agent Gallagher yelled and pointed for Woodruff and Bob to sit back down.

They dutifully obeyed as the shirtless imposter paused at the door.

“Can I stay, please?” Andy begged.  “I gotta know what these guys did, or it’s gonna drive me crazy.”

“They have the right to privacy,” Agent Gallagher said.

“We don’t mind.”


“Not at all.”

“Fine,” Agent Gallagher said.  “But you’re going to sit in the corner and be quiet.”

“Quiet as a library rat,” Andy said and took a seat in the corner of the room.

“And put a shirt on,” Agent Gallagher ordered.

Agent Gallagher waited and watched as Andy wrestled his still buttoned shirt over his head.  When he had finished, the agent turned his attention back to Woodruff and Bob.

“Your background checks came back with some high unusual behavior,” Agent Gallagher began.  “Founding a professional Tic Tac Toe League, Public Burrito Jousting, Horse Dancing in Tiananmen Square…”

“It’s called Dressage,” Bob interrupted.  “And it’s not a crime.”

“No, but you know what is?  Poultry theft, illegally transporting livestock into international waters, operating a sea craft without a license, and assault and mischief with intent to wedgie.”

“Your honor, I can explain,” Woodruff began.  “We weren’t stealing those turkeys, we were saving their lives.”

“Yeah,” Bob chimed in.  “We were just keeping them from the annual state-sanctioned turkey massacre.  Plus, we returned them on Monday.”

“And according to the Massachusetts charter of 1787 a citizen may leave port without consent or prosecution when providing refuge, escape, or asylum to a being foreign or domestic whose life is endanger,” Woodruff said.

“Furthermore, by edict of the East Indian Trading Company 1655, a person or persons who thwarts, apprehends, or bamboozles a pirate is entitled to twenty pieces of eight, a portion of rice and barley, and either a goat, a chicken or a monkey,” Bob continued.

“Not only have we committed no crimes, but you owe us a monkey,” Woodruff concluded.

“Oh wow,” Andy chuckled.  “Argue with that.”

The frustrated agent put his head in his hands and groaned.  Andy raised his eyebrows at Woodruff and Bob and gave them a thumbs-up.

“Okay,” Agent Gallagher sighed.  “Since the turkeys and the ship were returned, and the hours it would take me to research all that nonsense would make me late to karaoke, I’m going to let you off with a warning.  But know this, we’ll be watching you.”

“Who’s the creep now,” Woodruff whispered.

“Thank you, your eminence,” Bob said, bowing to Agent Gallagher.

“Do you validate?” Woodruff asked.

“Get out of here before I change my mind,” Agent Gallagher said.  He pulled open the door and pointed to the hallway.

Woodruff and Bob walked around the metal table and through the open door.

“You hungry?” Bob asked.

“I could eat,” Woodruff replied.

“Me too,” Andy said, as he scurried out through the door and nearly ran into them.  “Can I come?”

“Sure,” Bob said.  “Know any good places to eat?”

“There’s a pretty good crab and waffle place around the corner,” Andy replied.

“Drawn Batter!” Bob yelped.  “I love that place.  They have the best…”

“Banana pudding,” Andy, Woodruff, and Bob sang together.

“Last one there pays,” Agent Gallagher shouted as he ran by them out the front door.  The trio laughed and chased after the agent, toward a building topped with a neon crab holding a waffle in its claw.

Gobble Bobble

Bob hung over the rail of the ship and tossed his cookies into the choppy ocean waters that rocked them back and forth.

“Are you gonna make it?” Woodruff asked.

“No worries,” Bob said.  “I think that was the last of them.”

“Good, those cookies were making the turkeys crazy.”

“Gama’s triple peanut butter, walnut, pecan delights have driven lesser fowl to the brink of insanity.”

“You can say that again.”

“I didn’t say that in the first place.”

A rumbling of gobbles drew their attention back to the crowded deck of the creaky old ship.  Woodruff and Bob turned to face the rafter of turkeys that spread from aft to bow and port to starboard.

“This is our best idea yet,” Bob said.

“You said it.”

“No I didn’t.”

“We’ll just stay out at sea for the weekend and then nobody will be able to eat these birds,” Woodruff said.  “It’s foolproof.”

“It’s fowlproof.”

One of the turkeys flew up to the top of the mast and perched atop the old crow’s nest.

“Harold, get down from there.” Woodruff called.

“You named him?” Bob asked.

“I named all of them.”

“There’s got to be a hundred turkeys here.”

“One hundred and sixty-three turkeys.”

“And you named them all?”

“Yep,” Woodruff said proudly.

“What’s this one’s name?” Bob asked as he pointed to a plump bird with a long red gizzard.

“That’s Charlene.”

“And this one,” Bob pointed to the next closest turkey.




“Turtle the turkey?”

“He prefers just Turtle, ‘the turkey’ was his father,” Woodruff said.

A particularly rough wave rocked the ship and Woodruff and Bob had to grab hold of the rail to keep from falling overboard.  Harold glided back to join the rafter with a thud.  Woodruff shook his head chidingly at the adventurous gobbler.

“Without the cookies, do we have enough food to last the long weekend?” Bob asked.

“Oh yeah,” Woodruff said.  “We’ve got two hundred pounds of cranberries, and three hundred pounds of pumpkin seeds.”

“Is it the best idea to stuff the turkeys we are trying to keep from being eaten with cranberries and pumpkin seeds?” Bob asked.

“I didn’t think about that,” Woodruff said, scratching his head.  “The only other thing we have is a mix of dried breadcrumbs, onions, celery, and sage.”

“Let’s go with that,” Bob said.  “Better sage than sorry.”

“Beh gah!” Harold shouted.

Woodruff and Bob ran to the wildly pointing turkey on the starboard side of the wooden sea vessel.

“What is it Harold?” Woodruff asked.

“Beh gah!” Harold repeated.

“Pirates?” Bob said.  “Where?”

“Beh, gah!”

Woodruff pulled a monocular from his sash and extended it toward the starboard horizon.  The white sails of a giant ship came into focus, hurtling toward their position.  Flapping in the wind off her stern was a black flag with a skull and crossbones at the center.

“They’re pirates all right,” Woodruff said.

“Hoist the main sail!” Bob ordered.  “Stand aloft!  Look lively!  Batten down the hatches!”

“They’re turkeys, Bob.”

“Well, what do we do?”

Woodruff furrowed his brow as he studied the approaching ship.  He looked around at their feathered shipmates and back to Bob.

“We’ve got to hide the birds,” Woodruff said.  “Help me get these turkeys below deck.”

Woodruff and Bob worked quickly to herd the gobblers down the stairwell into the hull.  They pushed the last turkey out of sight as the pirate ship pulled alongside them and a grappling hook hedged into the railing.  A short stumpy man with an eye patch swung on board.

“Argh,” the stumpy pirate shouted as he waved his hook at Woodruff and Bob.  “Avast, I hereby claim this ship and all her booty.”

“You’ll never touch my booty,” Bob said.

“And who be you?” the pirate asked.

“I be Bob,” he replied.  “And who you be?”

“Black Friday’s me name,” the pirate said.  “And there ain’t noth’n more heinous on heaven or earth.”

“No argument here,” Woodruff said.

“Now, I’ll be taking your ship,” Black Friday said.  “And you’ll be walk’n the plank.”

“You can’t have the Aprilposy,” Bob said.

“Aprilposy?” Black Friday questioned.

“It’s a Mayflower tribute boat,” Woodruff explained.

“That’s ridiculous,” Black Friday said.

“You’re ridiculous, Black Friday!” Bob shouted.

“Avast, ya scurvy dog,” Black Friday said as he unsheathed his cutlass.  “Meet me saber, Monday.”

“Meet my pan flute, Sylvia,” Woodruff said as he hurled the wooden cylinders at Black Friday.  With only one good eye, the pirate lacked the depth perception to judge the distance properly and took the pan flute right in the eye patch.

“Ow!” Black Friday yelped.

“Now!” Bob shouted.

Woodruff and Bob charged forward and grabbed hold of the pirate.  Woodruff fastened the grappling hook to Black Friday’s pantaloons as Bob unfurled the main sail.  The momentum of the ship pulled Black Friday off the deck and sent him off the edge.  The pirate ship sailed away with its captain dangling from a rope just above the waves that lapped against her hull.

“Huzzah!” Woodruff and Bob rejoiced in unison.

“No booty for you, Black Friday,” Bob said.

“Beh gah?” Harold squawked as he poked his head above deck.

“He’s gone, Harold,” Woodruff said.  “You all can come up now.”

One by one the turkeys all hobbled up the staircase into the open air and quickly filled the deck.

“That Black Friday really snuck up on us,” Bob said.

“Tell me about it,” Woodruff said.  “Had to act fast to save our booty.”

“Hey Woodruff,” Bob called over the noisy gobbling.

“Yeah, Bob,” Woodruff replied.

“How do you make a pirate angry?” Bob asked as he took hold of a rope and pulled himself atop the railing.  He put one foot in front of the other like a trapeze artist, with his arms raised to his sides for balance, as he made his way up the wooden rail.


“You take away the ‘p’.”

Woodruff shook his head and Harold gobbled his displeasure at Bob.

“Oh come on!” Bob said.  He turned his body parallel to the rail and raised his arms.  “That’s good stuff.”

A strong wind swept across the deck and blew some loose feathers and Bob right over the side of the Aprilposy.

“Bob!” Woodruff shouted as he raced to the railing.  “Bob overboard!”

Bob rose up and down with the titanic ocean waves as he drifted away from the ship.  Woodruff watched helplessly from the deck.  Harold scuttled out onto the plank and looked down at the deep blue sea.

“Beh gah!” Harold called.  The turkeys banded together to form a giant chain as Harold hurled himself off the plank.  Bob grabbed hold of Harold and the turkeys pulled him back aboard.

“That was amazing!” exclaimed Woodruff.

“I know,” Bob said.  “It was like a barrel of turkeys.”

“Beh gah,” Harold replied.

“Thank you, Harold,” Bob said.  “You are one brave bird.”

“He’s one tough turkey,” Woodruff agreed.

“Tough in demeanor,” Bob clarified.  “I’m sure he’s very tender in an edible sense.”

“Bob!” Woodruff rebuked.

“What?” Bob said.  “I was trying to pay him a complement.  I’m not sure where turkey’s self-worth comes from.”

“I’m sure it’s not from being food, right Harold?” Woodruff asked.

Harold shrugged his shoulders, “Beh gah.”

5 Things You Should Be More Grateful For

It’s that time of year again where we turn our collective thoughts to the things we are grateful for.  That got me thinking about the things we should be more thankful for.  We live in a miraculous world full of crazy cool things and it’s easy to overlook just how fortunate we are.  With that said I submit, for your consideration and in no particular order, 5 things we should be more grateful for.


agletYou may have never given consideration to the aglet or you might not even know what it is, but I promise you that you would be filled with a profound appreciation and gratitude for the unsung hero of your high-tops if it were not a thing.  I’ll give you a moment to Google “aglet” … [Jeopardy theme music] … [check my watch] … [remember that I don’t wear a watch] …and your back.  See?!  The AGLET!  Imagine trying to lace up a new pair of sneakers with a limp nylon string.  It would be maddening.   Now every day you tie your shoes be sure to give thanks for this tiny plastic hero.

Running Water

Here’s another topic you may not have given proper consideration.  Go ahead and stroll on over to the sink and turn the nozzle or lift the lever.

Did you do it?  Why not?  Is it because you already know that clear, cool, life giving water will immediately come pouring out at a pressure you can regulate at will?  Yeah, now think about that for a second.  Where does it come from, how does it get there, who makes sure it’s clean and what would you do if it all stopped?  Are you frightened yet?  Well then you should probably throw up a prayer or two of thanks to whatever God you worship for the invisible forces that afford you such an essential luxury; you know the one that allows you to clean, wash, cook, drink and LIVE!

I won’t even get into hot water which is a beautiful flower of goodness itself.  I took cold showers for two years as a missionary in Jamaica and felt a bit like John Rambo in the shower stalls of the Hope Washington Police Station most mornings, but at least the water flowed and I didn’t have to worry about diphtheria.

Cell Phones

91a1387b86a43732bb424fe248796672I’m not even talking about smart phones.  I’m talking straight up about the ability to take a device out of your pocket and speak to somebody through a device in their pocket or a phone in their home.

Some of you may be too young to remember when you had to make plans with someone before you left your house, at which point you were entirely beholden to those plans and at the mercy of the dependability, punctuality and/or commitment of said someone.  It was a ball of anxiety wrapped in uncertainty.  Are your friends still going to meet up for dinner?  Is your mom going to pick you up from the mall?  Has the world come to an end and no one is coming to your Jean-Claude Van Damme movie marathon?  You don’t know!  You just have to sit there and wait like a pathetic loser.  It was a nightmare.


Certainly there’s a life sustaining value to clothing, in some cases, and although I’m not a fashion expert there can be applications that allow for an expression of either unity or individuality.  However, on a day to day basis, are we thankful enough that clothes are covering up a whole lot of nakedness?  While there are certainly cases where humanity would not raise a cry of objection or call for a public covering, by and large (and I mean LARGE) the majority of bodies, including my own, ought to be shrouded in as much cotton/poly mystery as possible.  There are some sights that can’t be unseen and while beauty may only be skin deep, my love handles need a t-shirt.


chairTry and go a week without sitting in a chair, try it for a day.  And it’s cheating to just stay in bed or lay on the sofa.  I mean go and live your life and look at how many chairs you encounter and how much better your life is for it.  Sit down for dinner.  Chair.  Wait in a doctor’s office.  Chair.  Go to school.  Chair.  Work on the computer.  Chair.

Have you ever been camping and not brought a chair?  The first thing you do right after building a shelter and prepping a fire pit is try and fashion a makeshift chair from a rock, a stump, or your least favorite child; anything but sitting on the ground like an animal.  Even worse when you show up to your child’s soccer game without a chair and have to shamefully sit/squat in the damp grass or steal the corner of some strange toddler’s blanket while he eyeballs you.  It’s called sharing Evan, it won’t kill you!  Just go back to playing with your T-rex and Hot Wheels car, like that even makes sense.  You’re not better than me.

Where was I?  Oh right.  Chairs.

There are few things as sweet as resting your weary bones on a good old fashion chair with a back.  Much is made of how the wheel accelerated the human race out of a primal age, but I’ll bet you fifty bucks that long before Neanderthals turned their robust craniums to the wheel they had already invented the chair.

So when you pause to express thanks for the many blessings in your life take a look around and you might be surprised with just how many reasons you have to be grateful.