----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Turkey-Lurkey

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


I found a dead turkey under my porch today.

I wish that were a set-up for a really funny joke, but it's not. It's the truth. Last night, Mr. Pink and I noticed a wild turkey hanging out near our back gate. This wasn't so unusual: our condo backs up to open space, and we frequently see wild turkeys, deer and other assorted wildlife. But this turkey didn't seem to be going away. It would flap its wings, but it couldn't manage to propel itself over the 2-foot wall the separated it from the open hillside.

Mr. Pink tried to scare it away by making turkey noises, and then he tried to lure it away with a pretzel, but nothing worked. "Well, don't worry about it," he said. "Turkeys are stupid. They're so stupid, they'll drown in the rain, because they just keep their beaks open." I don't know if this is true or not, but if it is true, it's an enormous comedown for the bird that Benjamin Franklin once proposed as our national mascot.

I considered calling animal control that night, because to me, the bird seemed sick. But ultimately, we decided to wait and see if it was there in the morning. And at first glance, it seemed that the wayward turkey had rejoined its flock. But then Mr. Pink noticed some feathers sticking out from underneath our porch.

It was time to call animal control. I explained the situation and described where the turkey was located. "What is the turkey doing? What is its status?" the officer asked me. I went outside to take a closer look. "Oh. It's dead." At least, I was pretty sure it was. I mean, birds don't normally lay down, do they? Happily, animal control would come and take the turkey away. Unhappily, it would cost $40 to have it removed. "We only remove animals from public spaces for no cost," I was told. "Oh, well, this is considered a common area," I said. "At least, that's what the homeowners' association says." After having gone through the battle royale with the HOA over our satellite dishes, I was well aware that they considered all property not actually within our condo walls or in our private backyard to be a common area.

"Well, I would get in touch with them, then. Maybe they'll pay for it," the officer said. In the meantime, I had to report the bird death to the West Nile hotline. But they were only interested in deaths of raptors and crows. Then I called the property management company (Eugene Burger) that the HOA contracts with. When I told the receptionist about the problem, she thought it was HI-larious. "Get out the roasting pan!" she said. But when I explained that I wanted them to pay the $40 fee, it was no longer a funny situation. She checked with the woman assigned to our property (Trudy Morrison), and came back and told me that it wasn't an association problem so we'd have to deal with it on our own. Interesting. When you want to put up a satellite dish, the HOA is all up in your business, but when you've got dead and possibly disease-ridden poultry, they want no part of it. I guess they define "common areas" on a case-by-case basis to suit their needs. And if they can't even get rid of a dead bird, why do we pay them nearly $300 a month in fees? I feel like I'm being scammed. Eugene Burger, you are possibly the worst property management company in California!

Anyway, I had animal control come out and I paid the $40, and now the poor turkey can rest in peace. But we'll never know why the turkey died. I asked if they were planning to do any tests to find out the cause of death, and the officer just laughed. That's all well and good, but I could have had the very first documented North American case of avian flu, and no one will ever know.

Oh, well. At least I didn't have to touch the dead bird.


  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Bruingirl said…

    LOL!!!! A dead turkey? That is the wildest and most random thing I've heard all week! Quite possibly, all month!
    Apparently, Thanksgiving came to your house early.


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