The Missing Turkeys

Am having the in-laws over for Christmas, so since I didn't do Thanksgiving this year I am doing a turkey with all the fixings. I invited some neighbors and a friend over so that we would be 10 people and be able to do justice to a 5 kilo bird. And as instructed by the organic meat shop on the corner, I ordered 2 weeks in advance, with a down payment.

I had intended to be in line at 8 am, but for some strange reason I actually slept for 9 hours last night, it was almost 10 when I eyed the alarm clock. Oops, this sounds like getting the bird before breakfast.

So I got a quick shower and headed off to wait in line. It was out the door and two shops down, would have done justice to the former East Germany. Helga was there this year as well, we mostly seem to meet in the meat shop line. We had a good chat for about half an hour as we inched our way forward.

I had just entered the shop when they called for people picking up poultry to come over to the sliced meat counter. So I did, and was daydreaming about that nice cup of coffee waiting for me at home when I realized that the woman in line in front of me was very upset and shouting.

She had ordered that bird, and it had better be there. The shop woman was very apologetic, but there were no 4-5 kilo birds left. They had one 7 kilo and one 7.3 kilo bird, would she take one of those? I spoke up that since I was having one person more than planned, I would take the 7 kilo one and she could have mine.

Uh, she said, did you order a 4 kilo bird, too? I dig out my receipt: 4-5 kilos, downpayment made. Yup. Okay, your's isn't here, either. My mind begins to race. It is 11.15 am on Christmas Eve. The stores will all close at 13.00. I have everything organized for turkey. No way I am finding alternate fresh one this fast.

The lady in front of me is really upset (rightly so, but she doesn't need to scream). They even took our telephone numbers when we ordered, so why didn't they call this morning to let us know what happened? I'm assuming that the young woman helping out sold all the 4-5 kilo birds, unordered, to the masses who were parked outside the door at 7.30 (as I was later told), hoping to get their mitts on something for Christmas.

They called the boss, boss offered us the big birds for the price of the little ones. Since I know my oven will hold a large one, I jumped at the chance, and lugged home the larger one, leaving the "smaller" one to the other lady who was mulling where to scare up 6 more people for dinner.

The lines were now 3 stores down as I left. I wonder how many of the rest were left without any turkey at all. Or if at the end of the day, out the back, they find a big box of turkeys. Whatever, we have one. Looks like turkey sandwiches and turkey noodle soup for the rest of the week....

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