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Friday, January 7, 2011

Alert: To All Police Chaplains - Hand cuff your bird.

The following got me thinking about Chaplains. Chaplains, Latin and birds.

I recently accepted an invitation for brunch with some other vets. At the commencement of the meal, one vet told his story about a local padre. The vet said that he and his wife attended a church service on Christmas Eve. At the conclusion of the service, the padre wished the congregation Best Wishes for Christmas, then he added: 'I hope the person who took my turkey will return it before tomorrow.'

The story-telling vet said that the padre apparently put his Christmas turkey in the fridge in the basement of the church on Christmas Eve afternoon. He was about to take a nap. According to the padre's clock, it was also turkey thaw-time.

About the time of the 7 PM service, the padre went to check for his bird. It was missing! No farewell message! There is was, gone! Flew the coop as it were! Left the building! Likely stolen!

It's no joke, sadly said the vet. The padre had no bird! I thought: 'If the padre is minus a bird, what could I add?' Perhaps nothing.

So, I tried to console my friend. I told him that as a youth I had once owned some turkeys. In fact, by age seven, I had attended several turkey autopsies conducted by a friend of my father. At his elbow, I had learned the pathology of a turkey. To most, a turkey is meant to be eaten as a special holiday food.

However, there is a flip side to this bird. You see, a turkey is generally thought to be domesticated.  But, that's not always the case -- a turkey (especially the male gender) will not simply hang around. One cannot measure a male turkey's 'hang time' like a golf ball in flight. For proof, I said, study the turkey's Latin name as I wrote it on a table napkin. 'Meleagris Gallopavo'.

That's it. Study both words very, very carefully. Note anything in particular in the second word, I asked of my friend?

Lesson? From the Latin term for  turkey, one can suspect its true motives. It's bound to gallop away!

I wasn't much consolation to my friend. Anyway, the padre's day ended fine. The turkey got away and the padre was invited to Christmas dinner by the congregation.

'Maintain Our Memories'

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