Blathr Wayne Lorentz

What is Blathr?
Showing blathrs with the tag “🦃.”

Beat it, turkey

Saturday, November 18th, 2023 Alive 19,198 days

A Cornell computer confirmation

According to the Cornell University bird app, the bird Iʼve been following through this stand of piney woods is a wild turkey.

Itʼs smart of the turkey to hang out in a nature preserve a few days before Thanksgiving.

But itʼs also a bit surprising, as Iʼm just on the very southern edge of wild turkey range, and according to the newspaper, wild turkey populations in this part of the world have been plummeting for the last decade or so.

❖ ❖ ❖

♫ I said, “The womanʼs good, and she put the love in my heart.” ♫

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 Alive 19,194 days

The title slate from WKRP in Cincinnati showing the WLWT-TV transmitter

Many Americans of a certain age range remember Halloween Eve, 1978 when we all watched a WKRP staffer huck turkeys out of a helicopter over the Cincinnati skyline — a radio stunt that proved fatal for the flock of flightless fowl.

Except that it didnʼt happen.

In the decades since, Iʼve spoken with dozens of people who swear they saw video of the turkeys falling to the ground. Some remember seeing video of the flailing birds being thrown from the helicopter, feathers scattering in the wind. Some remember seeing them cratering parked cars “like sacks of wet cement” from the sky. But again, none of those things happened. Even if they had happened, it wouldnʼt have been possible to film them. Youʼd have to have a camera hovering in the air just below the helicopter, and another on the ground in exactly the right place to capture the Sakrete impacts.

What we all saw was the power of radio.

Les Nessman reporting live

The episode of WKRP in Cincinnati that depicted the turkey toss only showed Les Nessman standing in front of a store, excitedly craning his neck toward the sky, one hand clenching a microphone, the other trying to keep his headphones on; and the WKRP air studio, with Dr. Johnny Fever, Bailey Quarters, Venus Flytrap, and Andy Travis listening in anticipation and eventual dismay as the episode unfolds.

Disbelief in the WKRP booth

In spite of what seemingly millions of otherwise rational people think they saw, at no time was a single turkey shown. Not in the original airing on CBS, nor on the countless annual reruns since. Spoken word sowed the seeds, and each of our imaginations did the rest. The result is a common social memory of an event that never actually happened.

Thatʼs the power of radio. Even on television, it was the power of radio.

❖ ❖ ❖


Tuesday, September 27th, 2022 Alive 18,781 days

A package of H.E.B. Holiday Stuffing potato chips

An object can be both well done, and not good at the same time. To wit: “Holiday Stuffing” favor potato chips from H.E.B.

The San Antonio supermarket chain has leapfrogged pumpkin spice season and landed firmly in the fuzzy, nostalgic quagmire of Thanksmas season.

Opening the bag, I took my usual deep breath of snackmosphere to preview what was ahead, and I nearly gagged. It really does smell very much like Stove-Top stuffing. It also tastes more like stuffing than a lot of brandsʼ actual boxed stuffing does these days.

So H.E.B. gets an A+ for execution, because when someone said “make stuffing-flavored potato chips,” someone else made it happen. But as food goes, itʼs just not good, because when you eat it, you expect one thing and get another.

Iʼll still finish the bag, though. And let the “Holiday” term slide because stuffing is traditional for both Christmas and Thanksgiving.

❖ ❖ ❖

Bird brain

Thursday, November 28th, 2019 Alive 17,747 days

I think the best recent Thanksgiving invention is the Thanksgiving panini at Starbucks. If you havenʼt had one, try it. Theyʼre a little better this year because they left out the cranberry sauce.

Iʼm so dumb, it only occurred to me yesterday that I can make all of the Thanksgiving paninis I want with my Thanksgiving leftovers!

❖ ❖ ❖

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 Alive 17,376 days

Yaʼatʼéeh Késhmish Yazhiʼ!

Thatʼs Navajo for “Happy Thanksgiving.”

The Navajo have a phrase for Happy Thanksgiving because, as I learned on the rez, real indians do celebrate Thanksgiving, complete with paper turkey decorations, because they know itʼs a celebration of community and giving thanks for the things we have, and actually has nothing to do with Pilgrim oppression, and all that is a fairy tale from white east coast college professors who need to see conflict in everything order to keep the grant money coming.

If the Navajo can celebrate Thanksgiving, so can you.

❖ ❖ ❖

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 Alive 17,376 days

A passed out cat

I havenʼt had Thanksgiving with relatives in 24 years. But I still have a family member who gorges himself on turkey and passes out in front of the TV.

❖ ❖ ❖

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018 Alive 17,376 days

A half-done turkey

Half way there!

❖ ❖ ❖

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 Alive 17,375 days

I think this is the cat equivalent of a dog drinking all of the water from a Christmas tree stand.

❖ ❖ ❖

Friday, September 7th, 2018 Alive 17,300 days

Thanksgiving decorations on offer

Thanksgiving decorations for sale on September 7. I guess the good part is that people can stop moaning about stores putting out Halloween stuff too soon.

❖ ❖ ❖