The Turkey Incident


Do you have a hilarious holiday story? If not, make one up.

Our Dad had been a Chef and it was his job to roast the Christmas Turkey.

His Turkeys were great, they were perfect and he took great pride in his work.

The turkey  skin was golden, the bird was always seasoned and stuffed to perfection. I swear to God when he pulled it out of the oven it looked like something you’d see on a magazine cover or cookbook.


When I was 12 I had saved up my money and bought the most adorable little Alaskan Malamute puppy I named Sham.

I should have named him Godzilla because Sham grew up to be the size of a horse.

Not some regular horse.

Oh no.

He was Clydesdale sized.


Sham never liked being in the house when we were cooking because I think it was too warm for him.

But one Christmas  me and my brother and sister wouldn’t let him out when he asked because we were having fun with him.

You know kids- our parents went to wrap some gifts for our family members that were going to be coming for Christmas dinner and we decided to power our way through the candy in our Christmas stockings and we forgot Sham was in the house.

My brother went to the kitchen to get some cookies and he came running back into my bedroom.

His face was white and I thought he was going to faint.

He couldn’t speak, he just grabbed me by my hair and pulled me down the hall to the kitchen.

All my brother could do was point

Sham was standing at the counter and he had this huge turkey in his jaws.

I slapped my hand over my mouth to keep from screaming.

My sister was right behind us and we piled on Sham and held him still while I pried his jaws open.

He dropped the turkey on the floor, I grabbed the cooling platter from the counter and dropped the turkey on it.

The  platter was made of wood had little spikes on it to hold the turkey in place. I pushed the turkey back on the spikes and burned my hand shoving the stuffing back in because some of it had popped out and oozed on the counter.

Me and my brother lifted the platter and put it back up on the counter.

” What are you kids doing?” my Mom called ” You’re to quiet!”

” We’re playing with Sham.” my sister answered.

I looked down at her in horror. ” Shut up!” I hissed.

I stuffed turkey bits in the little holes from Sham’s fangs and we ran back down the hall and into my bedroom.

” Hide him!” my brother said.

I threw a blanket over Sham and he layed down and we could hear him licking his chops under the blanket.

He fell asleep and the three of us sat there on my bed waiting to die.

The doorbell rang and the rest of our family started to show up for Christmas Dinner.

Then my Dad went into the kitchen to carve the turkey.


Dinner went off without a hitch.

Dad carved the turkey, there were a million side dishes and everyone said it tasted great as usual.

I wouldn’t know- me and my siblings didn’t eat turkey that Christmas.

Come on. It was in our dog’s mouth. It was on the kitchen floor at one point. We wouldn’t have eaten it for more Christmas presents or money.

Besides, every time we lifted a slice to our lips the other one would bark or pant and we’d start laughing so hard we’d start choking.

I don’t know if this was the funniest Christmas memory I have- but it is one of the best.

Now it’s tradition:

I give my dogs their own slices of turkey freshly carved and still a little warm

And I tell them it’s from Sham



Sham during the Year of The Turkey Incident

Sham during the Year of The Turkey Incident

Needs Must When The Devil Drives

Because the Night

Are you a night owl or are you the early bird? What’s your most productive time of day? When do you do your best work?


I can’t write- because I’m tired.

I can’t write because I’m fresh out of ideas.

I don’t want to write because I’d rather eat pizza and watch Cupcake Wars.


When you write that down and look at it, you’d think a writer come come up with better excuses than that.

The problem is I stopped writing and I got a little rusty.

So my excuses got lame.

They were so lame I never said them out loud.

I just did them.

Until the nightmares started.

In the blink of an eye

I was having dreams about being lost in abandoned buildings,  fancy grand hotels and empty streets

The signs on the buildings and street signs were a jumble of letters and numbers- which isn’t a surprise. When I dream I can’t read , everything is a collection of letters I don’t even recognize.

I thought I was looking for a way out of the dream. Maybe I thought I could walk through the right door, go down the right street and I’d be back in my bed safe and sleeping.


I would dream a man- sometimes I talked to him directly. Sometimes he would walk by me in a crowd or I’d saw his face in a picture hanging on a wall.

In the last ghost town dream I had he was walking towards me and as we passed each other he said, ” Needs must as the devil drives.”

I asked what.

He stopped.

” How would you like to come back here every night?”

” It’s daytime.” I looked up into the dream sky- which was blue and the sun was shining.

” You know what I mean. Lost in one place or another every night of your life until the day you die.”

” Lost in my own head?”

” No. Lost in mine.”

” This is my dream.”

He looked around.

I looked around.

” This.Is. My. Dream.” he insisted.

It was true.

That’s why nothing was familiar in these dreams.

I screamed myself awake.

Needs must as the devil drives- no matter how tired I am or how tasty the cupcakes look,  I write every night now before I go to sleep.

And when I dream, they’re my dreams.

For now.