Joe Pisani (opinion): Revenge of the wild turkeys

President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter the turkey during the 74th annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden pardons Peanut Butter the turkey during the 74th annual Thanksgiving turkey pardoning in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Anna Moneymaker / TNS

My neighbor had a horrifying experience recently, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Just before Thanksgiving, his son yelled down to him from the second floor, “Dad, Dad, turkeys are attacking your car!”

Let me pause before I continue this dramatic account and assure you, “This is NOT fake news.” So please, I plead with you not to sic Facebook fact-checkers or Washington Post fact-checkers or any of those other notorious fact-checkers on me. And don’t report me to the Environmental Protection Agency, because the next thing you know, government agents disguised as wild turkeys will be snooping and pooping around my yard. Now, back to the exciting conclusion of this story.

It was true. When he looked outside, he saw a gang of rabid turkeys. (Fact-check alert: turkeys don’t get rabies). They were pecking and scratching at the doors of his new Subaru SUV, so he promptly rushed out and engaged them in hand-to-beak combat, assaulting them with a baster, or whatever you use to subdue rioting turkeys. But the damage was already done.

Think about this. Can you imagine the devastation that will ensue if wild turkeys are allowed to run through city streets and country villages, wreaking havoc, destroying property and ransacking Nordstrom? Our only consolation is that the state hasn’t defunded the Environmental Conservation Police yet.

It’s bad enough wild turkeys are pooping all over my lawn. I don’t want them clawing the tires of my Prius or running off with my catalytic converter. How would you feel if they pecked apart your Audi or BMW?

I confess that I may share some responsibility for this mayhem. Now, I have to go off the record, and I need your assurance that you won’t report me to the authorities.

Throughout my neighborhood, I’m known for feeding birds with generous portions of seed and corn. I guess this means I’ve aided and abetted known felons. In fact, state prosecutors and insurance investigators might try to build a case against me as as accomplice to a crime.

A few people have even suggested I’m paying off the turkey mafia so they’ll stay away from my car as part of a protection racket they’re running. You have to admit that corn is a lot cheaper than auto body repair ... although in the future I plan to lace it with sedatives to keep their hormones in check.

OK, I’m back on the record. For months, we’ve thought that youths were roaming our neighborhood at night, breaking into cars and rifling through glove compartments. Now, we know it was turkeys. No wonder the police couldn’t find any fingerprints.

To tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, my neighbor speculates the turkeys saw their reflection in the car and went on a rampage after they got all worked up with the turkey equivalent of testosterone. Toxic masculinity is even spreading to the animal kingdom.

I have a different interpretation. This vandalism has all the signs of a vendetta. You see, they attacked his car right before Thanksgiving if you get my drift. To a turkey, Thanksgiving is the equivalent of the Valentine’s Day Massacre.

I urge all you poultry eaters to please have some compassion. At least Joe Biden had the decency to spare the lives of two White House turkeys named Peanut Butter and Jelly ... which probably means now they’re wandering the streets of Washington, D.C., vandalizing police cars and Nancy Pelosi’s limousine.

Because I believe this crime was motivated by revenge, I begged my wife and daughters to serve tofu instead of turkey this Thanksgiving, but my appeal fell on deaf ears. It was a long and tiring argument, almost as long and tiring as the arguments about vaccine mandates. Needless to say, I lost.

Fearing retribution, I did the next best thing and put Post-its on my daughters’ cars with notes that said, “Peck here please.”

I’ve seen this sort of behavior before. Every spring, the Toms compete with each other for the hens and strut their stuff around our yard, fanning their tail feathers in a display of machoism that gives me second-hand embarrassment. Sometimes they’ll even spar with each other.

Then, a month or so later, the eggs hatch and in another month, flocks of juvenile turkeys — aka jakes — are running up and down the street, looking for trouble. You could say they were born to be wild … turkeys that is.

Former Stamford Advocate and Greenwich Time Editor Joe Pisani can be reached at