The Stranger and the Christmas Turkey
Turkey. I haven't had a taste of the bird in over three years. And no one's flipped me the bird since my asawa and I moved to the Philippines in July 2009. I was excited as a 16-year-old boy watching his first Ara Mina flick knowing I would be soon enjoying this delectable treat (the bird, that is.) I prayed that it would not meet the same fate as the Old Man's Christmas turkey stolen by the neighbor dogs in "A Christmas Story." There were a lot of canines prowling the premises. I was getting nervous.
This was going to be our new friend's first Christmas in the Philippines. He had previously made a visit to the SM City Supermarket and had asked if he could reserve one of the two turkeys in stock for Christmas. He was advised they could not do that. So when Fergus made a return trip some time later for a Christmas turkey, he discovered that all the birds were gone. Probably taken by some selfish American expats in Iloilo that wanted them for Thanksgiving.
No more turkeys were expected to arrive. My Canadian expat friend was understandably disappointed. But sales associate Mabel had already made a call to the SM Delgado store in Iloilo City, who had some turkeys in stock, and asked them to reserve a Christmas turkey until the end of the week, Saturday. The day Fergus had returned to purchase the bird was Sunday. Plenty of time to pick up the precious package. An exemplary example of exceptional customer service.
Fergus, armed with a meat thermometer, was continually checking on the condition of the bird as we anxiously awaited the arrival of the featured dish to the dinner table. The heavenly aroma that hung in the air and the anticipation was only heightened by a steady stream of chilled bottles of San Miguel Pale Pilsen that our gracious host kept me supplied with. My asawa sat with a contented look on her face as she lovingly gazed at her cold bottle of T-Ice. I used to get those looks when we were first married.
We were only now an estimated 30 minutes from the turkey being done. The blessed Christmas turkey would soon be in front of my fat face. I was trembling with excitement. After over a three year wait, I would soon be stuffing chunks of white turkey meat into my mouth, savoring every delicious morsel. This had to be an inkling of what heaven must be!
But our mood was soon shattered by the sound of a motorcycle that roared up to the front gate! The rider pulled off his helmet and the stranger walked towards us. He was a cop! Were we going to be arrested for enjoying ourselves and guzzling too much Pale Pilsen ? All will be revealed in the next post.