The Learning Curve

New tricks for an old dog.

Best laid plans – the turkey drop

Turkey Drop
by Terrence Williams
reprinted in “The Next Whole Earth Catalog”, 1980

“Last Saturday the Junior Chamber of Commerce in the small town nearest us held a Farmer’s Appreciation Day to let us know how much they love us. Their love is matched only by that of politicians in an election year. They have a free dinner and all store clerks dress up in funny clothes. The merchants dragout the seconds and imperfect goods, jack up the price thirty-five percent, put up a red bargain sign, and we lap it up.

“This year as an added fillip they decreed a turkey drop. This was a gimmick thought up in the late Forties where they took a hundred ping-pong balls, put special marks on six, and dropped them over a town. The finders of the specially marked balls got turkeys. The Junior Chamber of Commerce had heard about the turkey drop, but not about the ping-pong balls.

“The advertising said “Catch Your Thanksgiving Turkey”. Alas, this was not to be.

“Turkeys don’t fly very well, and never more than a few feet off the gournd. So when the earnest young men pushed them out of a light plane 3,000 feet above Main Street, the birds knew they were doomed. They accepted their fate with great dignity. They folded their wings and dropped straight down onto the crowd below like six huge, black rocks. One hit the roof of the bank where it will doubtless remain until the directors can see a way to profit by its removal. The rest hit the pavement with enormous splats along the full length of the street. Fortunately no one was hit because being hit by a forty-pound tom at terminal velocity would be fatal to man and bird. As it was, it was abundantly fatal to bird.

“One tight-skinned matron was standing a few feet from the second to strike, and her south-west exposure was instantly and generously covered in blood and fowl guts and two fronds of entrails festooned her hat. She was able to contain her glee better than I.

“In fact, I thought the day a complete success. The town cats and I have suggested that next year the Junior Chamber provide us with an Easter dinner of Ham. After all, hogs fly about as well as turkeys.”

Written by Tom Fox

09/26/2007 at 11:44 am

Posted in Idiots, Marketing

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