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Adult Spelling Bee
Created on Monday, 20 November 2017 19:43
Written by Carroll Wilson
I'd never before cooked a turkey when I volunteered to do just that for two of my roommates in the bachelor officers quarters at Fort Harrison, Indiana, in the fall of 1970.
I didn't have a clue, but my wife did, and she was accessible by phone from her parents' home in Houston where she was waiting to see when I might be shipped out to Vietnam.
The BOQ had a stove and a minimalist kitchen that was supposed to be shared by about 12 guys. The other nine were gone, thank goodness, so 1LT Sims, 2LT Leader and myself, also a tender 2LT, had the facilities all to ourselves -- and we had a store-bought turkey that I bragged I could prepare just like their moms while we were enjoying some drinks at the officers club.
Armed with what I figured was all the information I'd need, gleaned in an early day phone call to Houston, I buttered up the turkey and plopped in an oven that might not have been fired up since the end of World War II.
Many minutes later, perhaps hours, the kitchenette started emitting an aroma that was very unturkey-like, and I began to worry that perhaps we should start drinking plenty of beer and chasers just to give the air and our cuisine a patina of authentic grandma goodness.
At the appointed moment I pulled our dinner out of the oven, and it actually smelled like something identifiable but clearly unturkey like: it reminded me of a barracks at Fort Benning, Georgia, circa July 1969.
I pretended not to notice, but pretty soon we were going to have to eat the thing.
It was then that I found that our turkey had a butt end, something I had not noticed before. As I investigated, I discovered a bag of body parts, the apparent source of what made this fowl foul.
I called my wife.
After she had a good laugh, she explained the bird would still be edible.
Turned out that none of us liked turkey that much. Not just that turkey; any turkey.
I still don't.
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