Wild Turkeys On The Run

BE AFRAID. Be very afraid. No one is safe from the gangs that strike terror in the hearts of people who cross their paths. The Town Crier is a witness to their aggression, having encountered them twice in the last week.

The first time was near Skyline High School, where a dozen or so came down from the hillside and blocked the road. My instinct was to run, but I got out of the car and challenged the ring leader. He assaulted me with a blow to the ankles. I barely escaped with my life. Days later, I ran into them again. At least I thought it was them, but I couldn’t be sure. Roaming the Canyon near Pinehurst, it was clear they were up to no good. I rolled down my window and shouted at them and they screamed something back that I’ll never forget. A loud, shrill GOBBLE!

Alfred Hitchcock has got nothing on us. The wild turkeys are taking over the hills and their demeanor is alarming. Mary the walker (I’m not printing her last name for fear of reprisal) says her neighbors had to rescue her from the wrath of a giant, prehistoric looking creature near Broadway Terrace. Witnesses say the bird was a behemoth with a wingspan the size of a minivan.

“I thought it was human,” one man told me. “It was that big.”

What can we do to protect ourselves? Hunting is not really an option. These roasters are way too big for most ovens, and they’re tough old birds, to boot.

“Not even cream of mushroom soup will moisturize these babies,” one witness told me. Besides, they seem wise to the whole Thanksgiving ritual anyway. These birds have attitude and they’re not to be messed with. Take it from the Town Crier. Just leave them alone and hope they’re not roosting above you on your next walk through the woods.

E-MAIL BAG: The building of many faces (it’s been the Thornhill Café, La Taza de Café and numerous other restaurants in the last decade) has been transformed, once again. Reader Jackie Sisich says she and her husband had a great dinner at Viva Voce Café on Thornhill (next to 7-Eleven) the other night.

“We split a shrimp wrapped with pancetta and both had a wonderful pasta dish and a class of wine,” she writes, for about $43.

DIRTY AIR: Walking the streets at night, you have to wonder, sometimes, what your neighbors are burning in their fireplaces. Your eyes start watering, your nose starts twitching — and the air smells thick and nasty. Reader Sue Oscher says despite all we know about wood smoke pollution, folks still love their fireplaces.

“Would you encourage a factory next door,” she asks, adding the smoke doesn’t help our soaring childhood asthma rates.

FLOWER POWER: You’ve got to love the local color on Park Boulevard. No, I don’t mean the people — I’m talking about the plants in the center strip, brought to you by the Glenview Neighborhood Association. Organizer Roxie Kellam says the community spirit has been great and they’ve especially enjoyed working with the youth groups that help on planting days. With the city’s cooperation they’ve made the once barren boulevard a feast for the eyes.

Speaking of eye candy — reader Pat Schwinn says a wonderful native garden tour is coming up May 7, which lets you meander through 60 East Bay bird and butterfly gardens that are low maintenance, pesticide free and drought resistant. You can find out more online at www.bringingbackthenatives.net or by calling Kathy Kramer at 236-9558.


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