Monday, June 16, 2008

WKRP - Who Knew? Referenced Poultry!

OK, not only is this story a bit odd, the commentary on it is just freaking strange. And it's coming to us from our neighbor's up north in Canada (America's Hat), Now, from what I can tell, the folks at are really into retelling a story that is masquerading as news in such ridiculous detail that you will actually be able to picture yourself at the horrific scene. (OK, not all scenes are horrific, and this one isn't even really all that close, but you get the point. Detailed. They're very detailed.) They also seem to think that certain knowledge is just common among everyday people with TVs who watched them in the 1970s. Wait. What?

Apparently, over up yonder in Canada (America's Hat), a busload full of students was involved in an accident with an animal. It would seem that the bus, loaded with 7th and 8th graders (school grade levels = irrelevant) from St. Mark's School (school = irrelevant) was driving east (direction = irrelevant) on Regional Road 55 (road = irrelevant) at around 11 a.m. (time = irrelevant) and a bird flew out of a wooded area (bird = really relevant, but why is it just a bird?! We have every other freaking detail that we so do NOT need, but the bird is just a bird?).

The bird smashed through a window in the middle of the bus and ended up inside of the bus (did you really expect that the bird would go all the way through the bus? Me neither. Location of bird after crashing through window = obvious). Finally we get to the good stuff when the folks at tell us that the bird was, in fact, a wild turkey (the bird, not the liquor. Although this story has me wishing that is WAS the liquor right about now.). So now we have a busload of kids and an uninvited turkey aboard an eastbound bus before lunchtime. Then what?

Glad you asked! The driver of the bus, sensing something was amiss (perhaps it was all of the crashing glass or the BIRD waddling through the aisle. When they left on this trip, there was no bird there.), pulled the bus off to the side of the road (which road? Correct. Regional Road 55!) and opened the door. And here is your anti climatic ending: "The bird got off the bus." Again, no duh.

The rest of the article is longer than the article had been up to that point. It rambles on about how "wild turkeys look similar to farm turkeys but are smaller." And that information could only be useful if I knew what a farm turkey looked like in the first freaking place! I have knowledge of the appearance of one kind of turkey, that of the Thanksgiving variety when it is crispy brown and in the middle of the table surrounded by family, loved ones, and a heckuva lot of yams. Other than that, I'm going to need a field guide or something to differentiate between the various species of turkey.

The article then goes on to say that it took about an hour before things were straightened out. They felt the need to summon a couple of police vehicles and a couple of ambulances as well. And then things start to get a little weird. What you are about to read has not been altered one iota. It is straight from the article and is being reproduced here, verbatim, in hopes of an explanation from someone. Ready? Here we go:

"Thanks to the 1970s sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati,” everyone knows farm turkeys can’t fly. But wild turkeys are capable of flying about 90 hm/h and cover more than a kilometre at a time while airborne. They can weigh as much as 10.8 kilograms (23 pounds). Males can stand about four feet tall, while females are a foot smaller, according to several websites about wild turkeys." Wait. We do? What?

And so I ask all seven of you who are reading this, WTF?

What in the hell did WKRP in Cincinnati have to do with farm turkeys?! And why does "everyone" but me know this?! Or DOES everyone know this? Apparently, up in Canada (America's Hat) they think that we do or at least that we should!!

I remember Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap. I remember bimbo Jennifer, annoying Herb and the boss guy, Mister somebody (Dithers? Carruthers? How come all bosses have names that end in "-ers" on these shows?). I can't remember his name, but he went on to become the Maytag Repairman guy. (Mid life career change, I guess.) I remember Bailey, Les Nessman and the dude with the gold chain and the pretty, pretty feathered hair, a la Farrah Fawcett (see example below). But I do not remember a wild turkey premise on that show! It WAS about a radio station, wasn't it? The radio station wasn't on a farm was it?

Turns out that no, it wasn't on a farm. Now considering that "everyone knows" line from the folks, I'm thinking that it shouldn't be all that hard to track this thing down online. It was harder than you'd think. But I finally found it and I have to tell you, I wasn't overly amused. Nor did I catch the part about the farm turkeys not being able to fly. For some reason, in the episode that is referred to in a God-like manner by those journalistic Canucks, a helicopter doing a promotional fly over throws a bunch of turkeys out over a shopping center and, according to Les Nessman, they all "are plummeting to earth like sacks of wet cement. Oh, the humanity!" Maybe they thought they were throwing out wild turkeys but ended up with a bunch of farm turkeys instead? I don't know. But I do know this much: I know that those up there in Canada (America's Hat) give way more credit to the significance of American sitcoms from the 1970's than the Americans do. They also know way more about American sitcoms (from any decade, really) than any American would know about Canadian sitcoms ever. And I don't know if that is a good thing or a not good thing. But I think that it's nice that two countries can not only share a border, but also share a love for crappy TV with annoying laugh tracks in the background.

And for anyone who is interested, yes, here is a clip of the episode where the flightless nature of the farm turkey was introduced to Canada and the rest of the world nearly some 30+ years ago.

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