Boom bird

They say that comedy is tragedy plus time, but some things take longer than others to fall into the category of "funny story."

Maybe enough time has passed that we can finally view with humor the Day the Turkey Exploded.

On Thanksgiving a few years ago, we stayed home, just our nuclear family of four. My wife was in the mood to whip up a traditional Turkey Day feast, which was perfect because our teen-aged sons and I were in the mood to eat one. The timing couldn't have been better.

We had turkey with all the trimmings, and the meal was splendid and everyone behaved, more or less. We groaningly cleaned up the kitchen and repaired to the comfy chairs in our sock feet.

As usual, my wife put the remains of the turkey carcass into the pressure cooker to make stock. At our house, this is as much a tradition as cranberry sauce.

The pressure cooker cheerfully sputtered and hissed in the background while we watched televised football and purred to ourselves and massaged our distended bellies, as if they were pet bowling balls.

A bang sent us all leaping to our feet, followed by enormously loud hissing. Sounded like a boiler blowing up, or an explosion at the steam plant. We spun around in wide wonder, and found that a geyser of steam had erupted from the little vent hole in the lid of the pressure cooker, spreading into a wide "V" before reaching the 12-foot ceiling.

Yikes, stand back! It's gonna blow, mama! Don't touch it!

We ran around in circles, screaming warnings, the dog barking, until somebody ventured close enough to turn off the burner. The geyser died away. We got the pot off the heat. We stopped yelling. All was well, except that half the kitchen was covered in greasy residue and little bits of exploded turkey.

It changed the complexion of our Thanksgiving Day. Once we stopped shaking, it became Cleanup Day. We threw out the damaged pressure cooker. We mopped and scrubbed the kitchen. We moaned and shook our heads and got snippy with one another over the best techniques for dealing with this disaster. We discussed calling FEMA.

I made a special run to the store for a clean sponge mop for the white walls and ceiling. Probably the only guy in town who bought a mop on Thanksgiving Day. The supermarket's sales-tracking computer is still trying to figure that one out.

The mop got some of the greasy steam residue off, but it quickly became clear the whole kitchen would need repainting. The damaging steam left weird white-on-white streaks, and the whole house smelled like turkey drippings.

We lived with the aroma for a while. It was winter, after all. Couldn't open the windows while painting was done. Better to have a house that smelled vaguely of turkey than one that reeked of paint. When warm weather arrived, we had the whole house painted. Now, there's no evidence that this was the site of the Big Bird Blast of 2005.

Maybe we should put up a plaque.


Anonymous said...

This, Steve, is one of my favorite stories ever. Still belly-laughing good.

Anonymous said...

Too funny, sounds like a Lucy episode!

I knew there was a reason I have never tried a pressure cooker.

poodleland said...

This would have made a really great home video.