Second Thoughts on Thanksgiving

Maybe it’s a little cliché to post about turkeys this Thanksgiving week… so I’m doing it anyways! Happy Thanksgiving!


Ahead of me on the freeway a truck is leaking something from the back. Maybe leaking is the wrong verb… Shedding? Dropping? Regardless, hundreds of small pieces cascade towards me from this truck several car-lengths and a lane to the right. My mom used to tell me when I still had my permit and was required by law to chauffer her around that when something is falling from the back of a truck, you should stay away from it in case it cracks your windshield. But I’ve always been unhealthily curious. And anyways my foot is getting a little tired from all this driving. Like eyelids at midnight it is getting heavier and so I’m going faster and now I am beside the truck looking through black bars… at turkeys. It is feathers shooting behind the truck.


I’m not a vegetarian. Seeing all those turkeys crammed together in the back of that truck though reminds me of what I ignore when I order a Big Mac: what I eat was once alive. And right now the animals beside me are very much alive. It’s Thanksgiving week.


I mentioned I was unhealthily curious; I’m also unhealthily impulsive. I have continued to speed up until I am a little in front of the cab of the truck, and I jerk the wheel to the right so we are sharing a lane. He reacts automatically, making room for my car by jerking his vehicle to the right as well. Except instead of a lane beside him, there is a thin grass shoulder, a dip, then some trees. He crushes blades beneath his sixteen wheels until he enters the dip and half of the truck is significantly lower than the other. The speed and the dip work together to pull the truck onto its back. Metal screams and I think I do too. The front of the cab is smoking slightly and the windshield has somehow turned red… was it always red? The rear of the truck is bent only slightly out of shape, but it’s enough for dazed turkeys to squeeze through and scamper into the woods.


I blink. I am once again behind the wheel of my car and there is a truck several car lengths and a lane to the right of me. Feathers flick past. I’ve thought it out a little more this time. My heavy foot crushes the gas and I am passing the truck. This time I ease into his lane (I even use my turn signal mom!) and transfer my foot from the gas to the brake. I slow, forcing the truck and all others behind him to stop. I walk to his window and ask point blank how much it would cost to buy all the turkeys shedding in the back of his truck. I drop five thousand dollars on turkeys.


I blink. Again. And there is a truck several car lengths and to the right of me. He turns on his turn signal and gets off at the exit. I drive home. And yes, I will eat turkey this Thursday, but at least I can say I had second thoughts about it.

Tags: ,

About the Author

Melissa Martin is a sophomore at UNCC pursuing dual degrees in psychology and English. Her talents include eating multiple Cosmic Brownies a day without tiring of them and slipping the word “incredible” into every conversation. She is incredibly fond of her friends, family, and reading.