Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Chip Dale Guide To Handling Birds

Gabby informed me that we’re not having Christmas this year.

‘You want Christmas, you go have fun with blogging friends. You go with Dick Middlely, The Dirty Referendum, or The Fractional Popstar. Gabby not doing Christmas. We all out of turkey.’

This was news in the shade of the unexpected and with distinct highlights matching my shock and surprise. I picked the remote control from my lap and muted the lunchtime news. ‘Out of turkey?’ I repeated. ‘But what’s happened to Henrietta?’

‘Henrietta’s gone,’ said Gabby. ‘Escaped.’

‘Escaped? You’ve been rearing that turkey for the last six months just for our Christmas meal. She couldn’t have just fled!. Not when we’re so close.’

‘She gone. She jump fence and run away.’

‘Jumped the fence?’ I protested. ‘But she could barely walk. I’ve not seen breasts that big since I visited Richard Madeley’s website and realised that he’s started to post porn.’

‘Henrietta gone and Gabby not know what to do. I grow turkey. Biggest turkey I ever grow. And I looking to cutting off head. Now, what am I to do? Gabby very, very disappointed.’

I sat back on my chair. In the last few weeks, it had slowly begun to shape itself to my immobile torso as my malaise rarely shifted me before the TV. Moping might be a more accurate term for it. Only this was different. This was perhaps the news I’d been waiting for. This could put mustard back in the Chipster’s thong.

‘Well, I’m not going to accept it,’ I said as I slapped my thighs and stood up. ‘I’m going to find Henrietta and I’m going to rescue her.’

‘You find turkey?’ laughed Gabby. She threw herself down on the sofa and propped a cushion under her head before she picked up the latest edition of ‘Choke Holds’ magazine that had arrived in the morning’s post. ‘You go find turkey, then I sit here and read.’

‘And when I do rescue her, I’ll bring her safely back here so you can chop off her head.’

Gabby waved away my promise. ‘Turkey gone. It eaten. A fox get it.’

I nipped to the bedroom where I put on an insulated thong and my waterproof vest. As soon as I reached the door, Gabby came running.

‘You really do this for Gabby?’ she asked, suddenly full of eagerness.

‘I’m doing it for my Christmas lunch,’ I said.

She patted me on my chest and ran back into the living room. When she returned, she had a gift for me. ‘Be careful,’ she said as she pushed a large knife into my hands. ‘If you find Henrietta, you not let her peck you. Chop off head before you get hurt.’

I took the knife and was about to slip it under the narrow band at the side of my thong. Then I had second thoughts. ‘I not going to get arrested for carrying a weapon,’ I told her as I concealed the knife down the spacious pouch of my winter thong, ‘but there might well be charges of gross indecency before the night’s out.’

The obvious place to start a turkey hunt was at the last place the bird had been seen. The allotments were unusually quiet when I arrived there around three. It was a brazenly cold afternoon, with a stiff breeze cutting across the open patch of land. My nipples were hard and tingling, like two sensors set to white meat as I began my search around the turkey enclosure. It was there that I noticed some heel prints in the soft mud that ran to a small gate that led to the series of small cottages that sit to the rear of the allotments. It seemed a bit too obvious a lead but I thought I’d check them out first.

The garden of the first cottage overlooks Gabby’s allotment and belongs to an old doctor who retired from the profession some years ago, about the same time as he was struck off the medical register. As far as I knew, he still lived there with his sister. It took me no time to get around to the front of the house and ring the door bell. Moments passed before it opened to a dark crack.

‘Yes?’ asked a soft voice from within.

‘Oh, hello,’ I said as a pair of wizened eyes came peering out to greet me. ‘I’m looking for a bird…’

‘A bird?’ said the voice. The door opened a little more and a little old lady wandered forward and began to peer at my groin. ‘What on earth are you wearing, young man?’

‘It’s a thong,’ I said.

‘A thong? It doesn’t look very warm.’

‘Oh, it’s very warm,’ I assured her. ‘Very spacious too. Can you believe there’s a weapon packed in there?’

‘A weapon?’

‘For the turkey,’ I said. ‘That’s what I’ve come for. My girlfriend owns the allotment at the bottom of your garden and our Christmas turkey seems to have gone missing. I was wondering if it might have escaped over your fence.’

She gave me one of the oddest looks I think I’ve ever received. ‘And when you find this turkey, you’re going to kill a turkey with you weapon?’ she asked and pointed to my thong.

I shrugged. ‘That’s the general idea,’ I replied.

She waved me after her. ‘The turkey is out back. Let me go and get my glasses. I want to see this!’

Sure enough, Henrietta was sitting in the rear garden, trapped by four sides of trellis fashioned into a makeshift pen.

‘It was my brother,’ whispered the little old lady as she emerged from the house. She’d wrapped a shawl around her shoulders and a pair of glasses now rode the smooth incline of her nose. ‘He’s been watching that turkey grow all year,’ she continued to explain. ‘He’s rather naughty, I’m afraid. I told him he shouldn’t steal it but he said you wouldn’t notice.’ A she smiled, yellowing false teeth moving uneasily on thin gums. ‘Now, I believe you promised to show me how you’re going to kill a turkey with that “weapon” of yours.’

‘I was planning of cutting it’s head off,’ I said, though now I had found Henrietta, I didn’t think I had it in me to do the wicked deed.

‘Chop off its head?’ asked the old woman. ‘I thought you were going to bash it unconscious. I was quite looking forward to watching you giving it a good bludgeon. Mind you,’ she laughed, ‘it’s so many years. I can’t remember what a good “weapon” really looks like…’

To be honest, I think she was a little senile. She wasn’t making a word of sense. I pulled out the knife and held it up to the light.

‘Just a standard carving knife,’ I said. ‘The handle’s a bit fancy but nothing too modern. Surely you have knives like this?’

The woman looked confused. ‘Oh,’ she said, and touched a hand nervously to her throat. ‘I… well…’ I thought a blush illuminated her thin makeup from beneath. ‘Perhaps you should just take back your turkey,’ she said, her manner changing from enthusiasm to casual indifference, as though she didn’t want me around any more. ‘I’ll make sure my brother doesn’t steal it again.’

‘You can tell him from me that he needn’t go stealing it,’ I replied, not liking this change of mood. ‘I’ll make sure we save him a breast. After all, it is Christmas and there’s more than enough turkey for all.’

As I led Henrietta past the front door, the little old lady reappeared again.

‘Oh, young man,’ she said. ‘You never told me your name.’

‘Chip Dale,’ I replied. ‘And the turkey is called Henrietta.’

She waved me over to the doorstep. ‘Listen,’ she said, ‘there’s nothing like stuffing at Christmas, so when you do cook your turkey, you must use this.’ In her hands she held out a small box of Paxo. ‘It goes wonderful with meat.’

‘That’s very good of you,’ I began to say but before I could finish, she grabbed the front of my thong and shoved the box of Paxo down the pouch.

‘Very spacious,’ she cooed. ‘And like I said, there’s nothing that can beat a little stuffing at Christmas.’


titchman said...

Now you've got the turkey and the stuffing maybe you could give us some tips on how to cook our feastive foods Chip? Gabby might be able to give the vegetarians a recipe for a Romanian nut roast?

Titchman said...

I thought I would start the ball rolling with this tasty traditional Romanian X-mas recipe....its a starter ..
"Racituri" or "piftie," jellied headcheese, consisting of the pig's feet, ears and head in aspic,
.....should have even the veggies drooling in anticipation of the main course.Hey Chip can you please ask Gabby where I can buy some headcheese for this Romanian recipe.

Daily Referendum said...

Brilliant Chip, and not one mention of gobbling.

momentary academic said...

This Fractional Popstar would certainly invite you to Christmas Dinner. I can make another turkey!

Big Chip Dale said...

The emails telling me that I've had comments doesn't seem to be working, so sorry for the delay in replying.

Titchman, you don't think I know how to cook. Gabby's had army training for that. Her roast pig on a spit is a treat. Headcheese? What's that and would you want to eat it?

Steve, I have no idea what that means, though I think Gabby was right when she mistook you for the Dirty Referendum.

MA, Fractional Popstar doesn't sound too bad. In fact, I love the title. Perhaps I'll start a blog under that name.

Thanks for the invite. I saw your Thanksgiving turkey and it looked perfect. What time should we get there? By the way Gabby will be bringing her uncle Boris. You'll love uncle Boris. He can play authentic Romanian tunes on his elbows.

Mopsa said...

Mopsing? Mopsing?????

Big Chip Dale said...

Ah, Mopsa, w ell spotted! But for once I didn't spell something wrong or hit two keys at once. I think it's one of those strange derivations we use in these parts and means the same as 'moping'. I'll go and change it to conform to estuary English.

Mopsa said...

But Chip, I thought you'd made up a verb just for me! Mopsing...
I mopse, you mopse, he mopses etcetera

Reading the Signs said...

Chip, I have tagged you. I can only apologise, but it really is the pits and I feel that you have what it takes to redeem the situation. And if you don't - perhaps your wife?

Big Chip Dale said...

Mopsa, I know you too well. You just thought that the Chipster was talking about you. I mopse, you are mopsa... Come on, admit it. You like the attention from the man in the thong.

Signs, I don't mind being tagged (I'm straight onto it) but not by any ring. Don't be giving Gabby any ideas. Living in sin is enough for me. In fact, I rather enjoy it.