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Revised 7 December, 2009
TURKEY PAN SYNDROME©
Anyone coming from the Midwest as I do knows about "turkey pan syndrome". Turkeys are very nervous, high-strung birds. The least little thing upsets them.
You cannot put something new in their cages lest the whole flock trample itself in a rush to get to the other side of the pen to get away from the strange object. As they finally get used to it, they gradually wander back over to see what this strange and unusual thing might be. Pretty soon, most of the birds have decided that this new thing is useful in that it holds their food or water or whatever sustenance is desired. But some birds never accept it and starve themselves to death rather than accept the idea of something new.
I must tell a story of my aunt, who, during her first year on the farm, had to learn how to do home canning. She had been canning sweet corn. When she finished with all the husking, shelling, steaming, slicing and jarring, she threw the remains in the turkey trough so as not to waste any of the produce.
Unbeknownst to her, the corn mash soured, and created a very intoxicating mixture. The ignorant turkeys ate themselves into a drunken stupor and passed out. My aunt thought all the turkeys had died and, being a thrifty woman plucked the birds and put them in the smokehouse for her husband to hang on hooks when he came in from the fields. You can imagine the surprise she and her husband experienced when the door to the smokehouse opened and the naked turkeys came staggering out, still alive but stewed to the gills.
I guess the moral of this story is that you don't want to be so unwilling to accept change that you cut yourself totally off from all others and risk a death of friendship and camaraderie. On the other hand, you also don't want to blindly follow every suggestion put on your plate without understanding the consequences or implications of your actions. Somewhere in between these concepts there has to be a middle ground that allows us to agree to disagree. If you cannot live with change or responsibility, then your next best choice is simply not to be a turkey in the first place.
Gillies and cockleshells