Timely Tips

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I guess you realize that Christmas is almost here and once again you will have no idea what to do with the acres of torn and crumpled wrapping paper, bags of ribbons and bows everyone saves then forgets where they put them. But your biggest problem is “what do I do with the leftover turkey carcass?” (I’m referring to the feathered turkey here, not your Uncle Max who dropped by for a drink last Christmas Eve and was finally thrown out with the tree on New Year’s Day.)

Fortunately for you, I have just finished a timely recycling guide soon be on sale at your neighbourhood bookstore entitled Deck the Halls with Turkey Bones, Uncle Max and Other Decorating Tips” (Vanity Press – $29.95 Can.)

With hope you will see the wisdom of forking over the price of a bottle of scotch for this book, I will give you a few helpful hints from Chapter 17, Christmas Calamities, or Check the green garbage bags, Myrtle. The baby is missing.

Since children are trained from birth to fold the sheets of wrapping paper into neat little squares of approximately 4” x 6” after painstakingly recording the name of each giver and the gift, (i.e. Aunt Rose -1 pr. cheap socks) a small box should be placed in the living room. A shoebox should be about right to store the gift-wrappings of a family of 16.

In the event your children are not as properly trained as ours, you may want to place several green garbage bags around instead, or borrow a couple of dumpsters from a local building site. Park one at each door. If you have patio doors, you might borrow a third one. If that is still not enough, a lighted match in any of the three will solve the problem quickly and efficiently.

Oh, while you are at it, do yourself a favour and pitch the ribbons and bows out at the same time. There is nothing that will cheese a person off more than to realize you were so cheap you decorated their gift with a second-hand bow – especially since they gave you a CD player and you gave them a lousy 12 dollar nose-hair trimmer because some idiot told you everyone wants one.

So much for that, now for the turkey!

To begin with, the average house person has no idea how to judge the size of a turkey needed for a Christmas dinner. It should be taught in the schools, but under our education system we will be lucky if the kid learns what a turkey is let alone how to estimate how much to buy. A simple rule of thumb we use – 5 pounds per dinner guest. That allows a bit extra for pickings – enough to last until Labour Day.

The secret to making full use of your Christmas fowl (or ‘foul’ if you’re not that good a cook) is in the carving. One must be careful to remove the meat without disturbing the bones. The bones are what we will be using for our crafts once the dishes have been cleared and the freeloaders sent on their merry way.

One must be particularly careful when removing the stuffing. A craftsman would never use a spoon or trowel because of the possible damage to the rib cage. We use a Dust Buster. Once you are down to the bones, it should look just like a turkey – only very naked. If you aren’t sure what a turkey looks like naked, browse the Internet for a picture of Don Knotts without his shirt on.

There are thousands of uses for a turkey skeleton. Here are just a few.

  • A center-piece. Place the bones on a pie plate and cover with holly. My sister did this several years ago and each year hauls this unique table decoration out in early December. She is sure it could be an excellent conversation starter, but no one comes around anymore.
  • Rural mail box. Just nail it on a post and there it is. If you plan on using it in rainy weather, you may want to cover it with aluminium foil.
  • Pet carrier. Just pry the handle off an old suitcase and duct tape it to the breastbone. Think how proud your little doggie will be as you tote him through the airport. Not only that, if he is shipped to Rangoon with the rest of your luggage he can always nibble on his cage while Air Canada is trying to figure out where he is.

There are many other uses I’m sure, but they are probably stupid.

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