6's & 7'S
and all things crazy
When I asked, "What is the craziest thing you have ever done?" I got a huge response from writers, homemakers, musicians, ex-pats---pretty much you name it! This week, meet Jerry Underhill, an ex-Army Ranger who has nearly completed his goal of alcohol and gambling addiction. Jerry was born and raised in Baxter Springs, Kansas, and currently lives in Temuco, Chile. His intrigue of what makes a person swear to celibacy is becoming more clear and understandable with every year that passes. He writes for the sole purpose of entertaining himself (but he also entertains those that read it, which is why I asked him to write something for my blog).
The Not So Great Turkey Caper
The stage, July 1986, on leave from the Army, high school friends home from college, unintentional reunion of sorts at Henry’s reincarnation of Bill Buck’s Palace. Arguably the most popular dive bar in Baxter Springs, Kansas complete with spit boxes in every corner, uneven pool tables complemented only by the crooked pool cues. The very notion of the question, “Can I see your I.D.?” brought boycott mentality and the rhetoric that we would just go somewhere else, knowing from both sides there was nowhere else. For all of its red-neckness it was our “Cheers,” but with an added benefit contrary to Sam Malone, the owner got so drunk he could not operate the cash register so there was a lot of free beer that we promised we would pay for when he was sober. Right!!! So away from the nostalgia and into the craziness of one summer night.
After the meet and greet with friends I had not seen since grad night, the endless supply of beer from incoherent accounting practices we arrive at the conclusion that we will go for a swim at a well-known swimming hole named 5 mile. Assumedly called 5 mile because of its distance outside of Baxter but clearly no one I know going to or coming from ever checked their odometer for validation of the title.
Seven souls in my 1978 Pontiac headed for an illegal swim. Half way to what would have probably been a drowning of some if not all participants I hear a voice from the back seat. “Shit, a turkey farm!” “Let’s get one.” All I needed to hear. Brakes squealed as we came to a stop along side of the potential target. When I say alongside, I mean in the ditch. Then the plan begins to unfold. Seven drunks putting together the strategy of stealing a turkey. It is agreed that I will be the point man and all others will be the look outs in case the enemy approached. In hindsight and sobriety I eventually realized they were just hanging me out to dry if we got busted. Anyway plan now in place, I jump the barbed wire and low crawled to objective. Really not sure why I low crawled but it seemed appropriate at the time. Instinctively I dive head first into the turkey enclosure only to be half shredded by chicken wire that I did not see because of the absence of light and judgement. Plan B: Rip the chicken wire down by hand then dive in. Plan B: accomplished. I dive in head first, no modification from plan A: except for the face shredding part. Shit! So many turkeys, so little time. I grabbed one by the neck, dove back out, and low-crawled to the safety of the get-away vehicle.
The collective decides that the hostage should go into the trunk and proceed with our plans to go swimming. Agreed. When we get to five mile we decide that it is too cold to swim and head back to the bar. By the grace of God we get there and decide that Henry needs to see mission accomplished. So I set loose inside the bar a foul from hell. It attacks everyone in the bar, somehow gets on the counter and craps along the way, flogs a guy passed out in a booth, I’m pretty sure he just thought he was having a nightmare. Never the less we managed to restrain the turkey after several minutes of what looked like a scene from Roadhouse.
Several ideas from the “collective” come to light but the consensus is that it was to go back into my trunk and taken back to where he was borrowed. Fine except for the fact that I could not find my keys. Back door opens we toss him in, problem solved for the time being.
Time to clean up this mess. I’m the only one left in the bar. Screw it, I’m going home. I find my keys which incidentally were in my pocket and I head to dad’s house. I’m O.K. to drive, I’m O.K to drive I keep telling myself until the point the evil turkey jumps from the backseat and attempts to tear my throat out. I am now punching this Beelzebub Thanksgiving main meal in the face to no avail. Unintentionally I hammer down on the breaks and the turkey goes flying into the windshield rendering it dazed and docile enough to end the four block journey left to my Fathers house.
Finally home, face bleeding, turkey feathers stuck to the wounds, and my Dad in the front yard. “Are you O.K.?” “Yup.” “Are you drunk?” “Yup.” “Is that a turkey on your dash?” “Yup.” “Why is there a turkey in your car?” “Happy Thanksgiving Dad.” Needless to say my leave was cut short.
And I am pretty sure the turkey went to “The Farm.”
We ALL have a little crazy in us, so I ask: What's the craziest thing you have ever done?
Every week, meet a new person, right here, sharing their story.
Do you have a great crazy story to tell?
Email me or DM me on Twitter or Facebook and get ready to spill your crazy.
And in the meantime, check out:
The Craziest Thing with Amy Beech
The Craziest Thing with Lorca Damon
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