Why Did the Turkey Cross the Road?

Forget chickens, people. If a chicken crosses the road, it’s not going to do much to your car, even at freeway speeds. I’m thinking you’ll get something like a brief white burst of feathers, and then you might have to run the wipers a bit, but nothing structural. Nothing that might involve calling your insurance company.

Turkeys, on the other hand . . .

There I was on Friday. Zip zooming my way to Bangor for my monthly directors meeting. Minding my own business. I love wildlife and my car, and I didn’t set out to harm either one of them that morning. All is well in the world. Until (for some inexplicable reason) a turkey decided that the best time to cross the freeway would be right when my car was coming.

This is Maine, people. it’s not exactly bumper to bumper traffic nonstop. If that turkey had wanted to cross the road, there were many many times it could do so without coming anywhere near an automobile, let alone my automobile.

But no. It chose that precise time. And those turkeys have evolved to blend into the underbrush, folks. It swooped in out of nowhere from my right. One minute, I was looking at a completely turkey-free road, and the next, there’s this large something racing in from the side.

You’d think I wouldn’t have had time to think. That it would have been too fast to come up with a plan. But I distinctly remember having three plans flash through my head the moment I saw the turkey:

  1. Swerve to miss it. This was my first instinct, but when put up for a nomination, the rest of my mind voted it down. Swerving at freeway speeds seldom ends in good things.
  2. Slam on the brakes. Again, dismissed on the grounds that I didn’t have time to check and see who was behind me.
  3. Hit the thing dead on. Nobody spoke up against the idea, so that’s what I went with.

There was a loud thud, and a puff of feathers, along with a limp bird body that got thrown up onto my windshield. I had enough time to think “That’s a turkey!” before the wind caught it and flung it to the side of the road.

“What do I do now?” I wondered. The turkey was off to the side–and quickly disappearing in the rearview mirror. Do I stop and check on it? The thought of me scurrying around the freeway after a demolished Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t too pleasant, and since I knew the thing was well out of the road, I kept driving. Then came the more important question:

Did it do anything to my car?

I mean, I love me some animals, but that turkey had it coming, and my car didn’t. Still, I didn’t hear any noises, and nothing seemed to be broken, so I kept driving.

When I arrived in Bangor, I assessed the damage. It’s up on Facebook if you want to head over and check it out, but it’s not pretty. Significant dent in the hood, broken grill. It’s like my car is missing a few teeth in its lovely smile.

So I’ve been on the phone with the insurance company, and I’m going to get an estimate tomorrow morning. Really, at this point it’s just an irritant, and I realize it could have been much worse. (Anytime you’re driving 70mph and hit something, there’s a whole lot of things that can go wrong.)

But I just can’t help wondering over and over: WHY? Why did the turkey cross the road. WHY???

Potential answers?

  • It was the chicken’s day off.
  • To escape Thanksgiving.
  • Because he wasn’t a chicken.
  • ???

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