A pony-tailed girl stalks a small flock with her Iphone as they graze on a knoll outside Donnarumma. Traffic is halted on Bellermine Road as a half dozen make a painfully slow crossing, the largest male of the bunch straddling the yellow line as if confused as to what direction he just came from. A car honks and he flaps his wings pathetically, really just for show as clearly his fat arse has never left the ground. He scuttles out of harm’s way, oblivious to the fact that he just made someone late for class.
The turkeys are taking over. And we’re letting them.
A brief history of this “majestic” creature:
Wild Turkeys are native to the state. We all know the story of the pilgrims, how they supposedly pow-wowed with the Indians and served up Mr. Gobble-Gobble as the main course. What you probably didn’t hear was that by the early 19th century hunting, deforestation and a series of brutal winters eradicated the population of wild turkey in Connecticut. Despite several unsuccessful attempts at restoration, turkeys remained absent from the state until the 1970’s when they were finally artificially reintroduced using a new capturing method involving a lightweight net fired from a rocket, transporting them to designating locations. A little brutal, I know, but it’s not like they needed in-flight refreshments.
Needless to say, this reintroduction was a little too successful. So many turkeys now roam the state that sportsmen are actually encouraged to have a go at them. I predict this would be quite boring as a turkey, not known to be the sharpest of creatures, would probably stare down the barrel of a gun waiting for kernels to pop out.
Flocks of turkeys typically range from 10-20, however in Connecticut flocks of as many as 100 birds have been reported. Just imagine the unparalleled agony of waiting for 100 turkeys to cross the road.
If we give these birds and inch they take a mile. If we Fairfield students don’t want to get squeezed out of our own turf we need to take action against these insolent birds. Every time you break for a passing tom, pamper it with leftover bagel crumbs or celebritize it in a photoshoot you are only reinforcing what the turkey already believes to be true- that they are in control.
Humorous as this may seem when prescribed to a walking paper-weight, it becomes a lot less funny when you realize that the majority of Americans harbor delusions just as grand. As the general election steadily approaches, politicians left and right fatten us up with a stuffing rendered from dissatisfaction and fear.
But then again, many students ask themselves, what’s the point? A little over a decade ago we watched Bush seize the throne despite Gore scoring the majority of the popular vote. We always fail to remember that what determines the outcome of the election isn’t our tiny little turkey-vote for president. It’s the outcome of the local election.
I nearly choked on diet coke last week in Barone when I heard a girl ask “Who the hell is Chris Murphy?” Granted, she’s likely from out of state, but still the level of apathy abounding statements such as this fills a vacuum larger than the space between a turkey’s skull and brain. Are we no better than the insidious birds: oblivious to political climate, apathetic, simply foraging for our next meal?
Don’t let the false sense of control wafting as the weeks count down to the election deter you from realizing that how little power we do have, and how precious that power is. Not just in some ethereal symbolic way, but right here right now in Connecticut, one of the most stratified states in the country, a war is being waged between the strong-arm of business and the routinely silenced voice of the disenfranchised.
In Danbury this summer healthcare workers circled a curb everyday protesting unfair changes in their labor union contracts. From July through to August, at least fifty a day sat out in the scorching heat waiting for someone to give a damn. And everyday a thousand turkeys turned their heads because for them, the cars still stopped when they crossed the road.
One day they won’t be so lucky.
I wasn’t kidding when I said the turkeys are taking over. Not just on campus, but across the country as ignorance and apathy spread like cancer. We are lucky to be in such an affluent area where the effects of this are seemingly invisible, but just drive up to Danbury and see for yourself; don’t be surprised if the nurses and aids that might save your life one day are still out there, shivering on that curb.