The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Classic Thanksgiving Memories

Johnny: (in outro from music) All right, fellow babies, and now it's time to go to our live man-on-the-scene at the Pinedale Shopping Mall for the big WKRP Turkey Giveaway. So take it away, Les Nessman!

(cut to outside shot at Pinedale Shopping Mall)
Les: This is Les Nessman, your man-on-the-scene at the Pinedale Shopping Mall, where the excitement is mounting. We're here to witness the big WKRP Turkey Giveaway...
Shopowner: Hey...hey you got permission to be out here?
Les: What?
Shopowner: You're blocking my store here, buddy.
Les: Don't you know who I am?
Shopowner: Eh?
Les: I'm Les Nessman. I won the Buckeye Newshawk Award last year.
Shopowner: Good for you, Buckeye. Now get outta my doorway.
Les: I'm sorry. (moves away)
Shopowner: (going back inside) Freak.

(cut back to station, in the booth)
Andy: So far so good, huh?
Les: (broadcasting) I'm here with hundreds of people who have gathered to witness what has been described as perhaps the greatest turkey event in Thanksgiving Day history. All we know for sure is that in a very few moments, there are going to be a lot of happy people out here.

(cuts back to live Les outside)
Les: Now the crowd is...the crowd is...(reacting to people staring at him and brushing by) the crowd is curious, but well-behaved. Oh! I think I hear something now. Uh, the crowd is moving out into the parking area, and...oh yes, I can see it now. It's's a helicopter, and it's coming this way.

(cut back to Andy in the booth)
Andy: A helicopter?

(cut back to Les, on scene)
It's flying something behind it...I can't quite make it out. It's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From... W.... ... K... ... R... ... P!!

(as Les spells the station call letters, cut back to booth, with everyone making hand gestures as if pulling the letters out of Les; then, back to Les, on-scene)

Les: What a sight, ladies and gentlemen, what a sight! The copter seems to be circling the parking lot now, perhaps looking for a place to, something just came out of the back of the helicopter! it's a...a dark object, uh...perhaps a skydiver, plummeting to the earth from only 2000 feet in the air...and a second, and a third! ...No parachutes yet.

(cut back to the booth)
Les: Those can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but-Oh my God, they're turkeys!!! Oh, no, Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, this is terrible.

(cut back to Les on-scene) The mob is running around pushing each other...oh my goodness. Oh, the humanity! People are running about...the turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Folks...I don't know how much longer they're...the crowd is running for their lives. I think I'm going to step inside...I can't stay out here and watch this any longer...(stops short of going into the shopkeeper's store), I can't go in there.

(cut back to booth) Children are searching for their mothers, and...oh, not since the Hindenberg tragedy has there been anything like this! I don't know how much longer I can hold my position here, Johnny. The crowd...
Johnny: Les? Les? Les, are you there? (pause) Les isn't there. (composing himself) Thanks for that on-the-spot report, Les. And for those of you who just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven.

And then, the denouement...

Venus: Les! Are you okay?
Les: (with a vacant, haunted look) I don't know. A man and his two children tried to kill me. After the turkeys hit the pavement, the crowd kind of scattered, but some of them tried to attack me! I had to jam myself into a phone booth! Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys gets pretty strange after that.
Andy: Aw, Les, c'mon now, tell us the rest.
Les: I really don't know how to describe it. It the turkeys mounted a counterattack! It was almost as if they were ...organized!!
(Mr. Carlson enters with Herb, both bedraggled and covered in turkey feathers)
Mr. Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.


Anonymous D.K. Raed said...

Ah, hahahahah ... you found the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey, mel! Brings back a lot of good memories of Dr. Fever and Venus Flytrap. Thank you, this was great. or, um, were you trying to sneak by some kind of metaphor for iraqis standing up so we can stand down here? hmmmm, i'll have to think about that. tomorrow, when the wine buzz has flown the coop. ~~ D.K.

9:36 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

I'm just glad you had wine out of a bottle with an actual cork - instead of the low-rent bag-in-a-box variety. Although after the third glass, I have a hard time telling the difference.

So how'd them new 'taters turn out?

12:05 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

Man Oh Man I remember this episode very well. I'm sure we were stoned and laughed our heads off. It's still funny even now, wen I'm not stoned.

But could it be better than the Turkey Trot at Yellville?

Don't they have a turkey toss there where each age group and the men and women have a contet "tossing" live turkeys? You're an Arkansas gal, Mel. Tell the folks about Yellville.

Hope you had a good day. I ate traditional undropped turkey at daughters place with my family assembled. It was great to with them.

Now, lastly, I have seen turkeys fly. I've seen them fly to the tops of the cottonwood trees in Western South Dakota. The roost at dusk so as to be out of reach of the coyotes and foxes who hunt at night. They are heavy and awkward, but they get the job done.

The humanity!

12:47 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

The wild varieties indeed do fly; I suspect the farm-fattened ones Carlson launched were doomed; possibly even had their wings clipped. So our classic WKRP episode is intact, logically speaking.

As for the Yellville Turkey Drop? I was looking that up online earlier; according to Wikipedia, in 1989, that practice was officially stopped for a few years, but has since been revived, apparently in a clandestine way. These days, an anonymous pilot drops the wild turkeys, two or three at a pass, most of which reportedly are not caught by festival attendees and actually end up in the williwags down by the Buffalo River, according to this article.

My people (she says, then drops head into hands).

2:40 AM  
Blogger dada said...

d.k. Wine buzzes can't fly.

4:54 AM  
Anonymous D.K. Raed said...

mel, never heard of yellville, but now it's off my list of possible thanksgiving destinations. we barely conquered the Red potatoes, the same way we barely conquered all those red states, or so diebold tells us. had leftovers of all else, even AFTER the dogs got their langiappe.

I was sure turkeys COULD fly, why else would they have wings? Then again, bush has a brain, doesn't he? But Spadoman's description is perfect: "heavy and awkward".

dada, wine buzzes may not fly, but my head was spinning. and get this, all from ONE glass, which took me almost 2-hrs to finish (no, the glass wasn't a gallon-jug)! what a miserable lightweight I've become. ah well it was good practice, with our 31st anniversary looming, I sense champagne bubbling my way. ~~ D.K.

9:15 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

I hear you, Deke. I hate to screw with someone's traditions, but that is a bit much. If it says anything, Yellville is in District 3, the only one of Arkansas' four districts that sent a Republican to DC back on the 7th. They still do things their own way up there in the hills.

I'd feel better if they'd just go back to launching 'em off the courthouse like they did back in the old days. That's more in the range of the trees they naturally roost in, the locals could still have their tradition...

Speaking of things Arkansas, I'm watching the Razorbacks host LSU in Little Rock. Go HOGS!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

Meldonna, This is quite a screenplay. What I want to know is how you knew that d.k. raed was actually drinking wine from a bottle with a cork instead of wine from a box.

I saw some roosters in a tree and did not know they could fly. They were in Luchenbach, TX. They were sitting in the tree listening to guitar pickers. I really liked that.

3:44 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Oh there is nothing like laughing out loud...poor Deke coughed up wine specificics in comments on the post where I sent Shrub to mountainbike down the Baghdad Airport wack is that?

May I say for the record? All of the White House, from George on down, deserve to be incarcerated. In Angola, Louisana. Let's get real.

In the mornin', in the evening...ain't we got fun?

10:39 PM  
Blogger John Good said...

Funniest episode ever! It always makes me laugh out loud to think about it. . .=)

8:21 AM  
Blogger Pursey Tuttweiler said...

I thought you may have psychic abilities for a minute, especially with that big crystal ball you hold.

8:22 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Pursey, dahling, that's just Tallulah getting ready for my close-up!

Although I should probably change to a pic that better reflects my my muse Miss Bankhead once said, these days my own arse is starting to resemble an accordian. Comedy is NOT pretty.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous D.K. Raed said...

crystal ball? and all this time I thought Tallulah was holding a big ol' fan. it was giving me fan-envy! I'm not kidding: when you hit fifty, you stop worrying about your anatomical fanny & start shopping for real fans. we really lost something as a culture when ladies stopped using their fans. and cranking up the A/C is no substitute for that lost art(ifice). Ah do declare! ~~ D.K.

9:48 PM  
Blogger azgoddess said...

too funny - LMAO..this is good...

10:18 AM  

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