Hands down, my favorite part about living in Davis, CA was the turkey sightings. Massive flocks of random turkeys scattered all around, trolling the most densely populated areas in town.
In the middle of the street.
In retirement community gardens.
In parking lots.
In your front yard.
In your backyard.
And, best of all, on top of cars.
My personal all-time favorite sighting happened as I was getting off work one afternoon. I stepped outside and the first thing I saw was a turkey just chilling on top of a cop car.
I’m sorry but seeing a gargantuan turkey standing on the roof of an unoccupied police SUV is the ultimate image of rebellion. I basically heard it squawking “Who’s boss in this town now, boys?!” and, at that moment, I knew human authority had been successfully overthrown and the residents of Davis would hereto bow down to the turkey. We hail to you, O mighty beast.
Back in 2013, turkey sightings were rare in Davis. They’d congregate to make occasional appearances in empty fields here and there, mostly keeping to themselves… but by my fourth year living there, people were referring to them as a “problem” because turkeys were everywhere. These animals finally allowed themselves to reach their full potential and were beginning to overpopulate within the city limits, which seemed to annoy residents everywhere. I didn’t see how it could possibly be construed as a problem because they were hilarious. And no way it was just me who found their behavior so hilarious. Yes, it’s true… you’d never see this kind of thing where I’m from in L.A. so maybe that added to my delight… but c’mon, I don’t care where you’re from, you should be enjoying these magical creatures attempt to dominate and infiltrate enemy lines. Even if you get woken up at 5 a.m. because a turkey gang is down your street gobbling up a storm.
These feathered fuckers didn’t give a single shit, and I laughed every time I saw one. They frequently walked out into the street and blocked traffic… and would, like, just stand there while cars honked at them but nevertheless refuse to get out of the way. Maybe they were protesters. And drivers would get pissed. One guy even inched up on a huge turkey standing in front of his car and bumped it with his fender hoping it would move to the side, but it didn’t. I was crying laughing from the sidewalk as I watched this beautiful scene unfold.
And these turkeys were smart little devils. Sometimes a crew of them would perfectly cross through a pedestrian cross walk when they had the green light. But other times, their infantry would stomp out into moving traffic and take control of one of the city’s busiest intersections. I’m not sure what their plan or intention ever was with these stunts, but it usually seemed pretty devious.
“Alright, Bert. You block the northbound section here and I got the south.”
“Copy that, Patricia.”
“Uhmm this silver Nissan don’t look very happy over here, Patricia. He just tapped my behind!”
“Fuck em all, Fred. We’ll go wherever we damn well please, to hell with it. We own this town now.”
“Gobble gobble, muthafuckas.”