A few weeks ago, Ms. X and I agreed to help a relative get to and from the hospital for a minor surgery.
Yesterday was the day. There were no complications, but the procedure ended up taking four times longer than everyone expected. That left us with several hours to drive around the area, desperately searching for time-wasters that would limit our minutes in a stuffy, overflowing waiting room.
We found a bunch!
It all started with the turkeys.
For reasons I’ve never been clear on, one of our city’s hospitals plays home to dozens of giant, wild turkeys. They’re everywhere.
It’s been like this for as long as I can remember, and it’ll never stop amazing me. I don’t live in a city that seems in any way conducive to the Wild Turkey Lifestyle, and yet, there they are, all the time, walking over the streets and sidewalks like they own them.
If there are other turkeys parading around Staten Island, I haven’t seen them. I’ve only ever spotted them at this one hospital, and in a surprising bit of compassion, everyone treats them with respect. The hospital is bordered by streets that would be busy even if they didn’t lead to so many parking lots, but everyone is still very patient with these turkeys.
Over the years, my too-many visits to this hospital have completely changed the way I look at them. What great animals! So proud and expressive!
And they make fun noises!
And their heads and necks look like something out of a drug-induced nightmare!
We were especially fortunate yesterday. Aside from the many adult turkeys waddling around, there were even some babies!
We spent ten minutes watching a mother turkey coach her kids across the street, and I could not mean that more literally. Cars were passing by, and the baby turkeys clearly saw them as enemies not to be trifled with. The mother, who’d already crossed, just kept yelling at the poor things until they took the plunge.
She’d been through this before: The cars always break for turkeys.
I wouldn’t recommend living where I live, but Staten Island does have some unique charms. A hospital overrun by wild turkeys should really be in our brochure.