Idaho-ho-ho gets into the holiday spirit

By Mike Murphy

Thanksgiving has come and gone, but turkey issues remain. According to recent local headlines, some turkeys in Pocatello have gone rogue and formed street gangs. Reports of turkeys “harassing schoolchildren” along with “destroying property and being rowdy” have alarmed readers. Personally, I was so intimidated that I did not purchase a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving this year, fearful that I would be seen carrying it from the store and accosted by a turkey gang. So instead I put on my camo and went hunting for a Tofurky, which I easily bagged using a large fork and spatula.
While strutting down the sidewalk, flaunting his dreadlocked snood and wattle and brandishing an “Eat More Beef” tattoo, Lil Tom, leader of the turkey gang, explained his flock’s ’tude by saying, “It’s a gobble or be gobbled world.”
The neighborhood wild turkeys are suspected of drawing in relatives from outlying areas to join them, spreading the word that life in town is much easier than in the wild. Conservatives fear the possibility of amnesty by the mayor so wont to hunt and eat the turkeys. Meanwhile, liberals held a candlelight vigil outside a local butcher shop.
Nowhere is the true holiday spirit displayed more clearly than at Black Friday sales. Deals such as “Buy one at the regular price and get a second for the same price!” proved too good to pass up. Shoppers nationwide came together as one big dysfunctional family: shoving, kicking, pepper spraying and stabbing one another for parking spaces as Salvation Army bell ringers cried out, “Have a good day!” then ducked for cover.
Prices for 60-inch televisions were so cheap on Black Friday that homeless people could afford to buy them just so they could have a bigger box live in. Also popular with shoppers was the “Normal Barbie.” It is much more like the average American female than the original svelte Barbie Doll. This new Barbie has a fuller figure, skin blemishes and earns 77 percent of what Ken makes for the same job.
Lots of new smartphones on the market this year with a variety of useful apps such as the free “Is it cloudy or sunny?” app, guaranteed to be nearly as fast and accurate as looking out the window.
Black Friday also marks the start of the holiday shoplifting season when retailers lose billions of dollars from theft. Most popular item stolen nationwide is alcohol, which I would guess is being consumed by the millions of dads who have to suffer through another elementary school performance of the nativity.
Our family already drew names for the annual gift exchange. Danged if our black lab didn’t draw my name again, and here I haven’t even finished gnawing on the bone she dug up in the backyard and gave me last year.
Christmas shopping is one of my least favorite chores. Nothing more uncomfortable for me than walking into the ladies department with all that flimsy lingerie hanging around, which I avoid even glancing at, afraid I’ll be caught on video and show up on the evening news. And I just happen to be the only male present at that particular moment, with all the female shoppers giving me a wary glance.
Add to that the fact that I just left the cosmetics counter and spray-tested eight new fragrances including Dessert Beauty Deliciously Kissable Love Potion Perfume by Jessica Simpson, all of which combined create a sort of Pepe Le Pew aura, nearly suffocating customers that I pass.
Naturally, being the dutiful husband that I am, I watched my recording of the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show three times just to get an idea as to what is super sexy hot … uh, I mean the current style, before going shopping for my wife’s gift. Luckily, I was able to pick her up some Duck Dynasty flannel pajamas on clearance.
Of course, my shopping woes pale in comparison to polygamists back in the 1800s. Can you imagine having to buy presents for 40 or more wives? Plus, those men were darn lucky credit cards had not been invented yet. Besides, I can’t see any advantage to having so many wives. It would be just my luck that all 40 wives would “have a headache” the same night.
Christmas season around here seems to have some special touches unique to Idaho. The season kicked off with the annual Old Town parade creating a dazzling nighttime scene on a chilly night with reports of spectators suffering only three minor injuries from frozen popcorn balls thrown by sinister looking elves riding on a float.
And once again I’m organizing a troupe of Christmas-caroling mimes to ride through local neighborhoods on a hay wagon and perform all the old standards, giving “Silent Night” a whole new meaning. Hopefully, we won’t encounter any turkeys.
Mike Murphy of Pocatello retired after a 35-year teaching and coaching career. He has a master’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is an Associated Press award-winning columnist.