A little wild turkey chase for holidays

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My Views

By Stephen Thomas

SHEPHERDSVILLE - Citizens and local officials are on high red alert due to a loose turkey now considered to be a vigilante outlaw.

Godwyn T. Byrd, originally from Browningtown, had been selected as this year’s official Bullitt County turkey. Now he is public enemy number one according to Bullitt County Sheriffs.

The alert was issued following a recent Bullitt Fiscal Court meeting. County Judge/Executive Melanie Roberts was scheduled to pardon Byrd as part of a special Thanksgiving holiday ceremony.

Roberts, a Republican and long-time supporter of George W. Bush, decided not to issue a pardon this year, believing Byrd would then be allowed as Democratic president-elect Barack Obama’s fowl.

However, Roberts later claimed foul when she learned that Byrd was only designated as the county turkey and was scheduled for her own personal meal. By that time, Byrd had flown the coop.

“We were discussing depression and recession,” Roberts recalled. “I guess (Byrd) was depressed so then he recessed.”

A quick search of the Bullitt County Courthouse showed neither snood nor feather of Byrd, already dubbed by the Sheriffs Office as “The Turkey Outlaw.”

“Byrd, Byrd, Byrd... Byrd is the word,” said Sheriff Donnie Tinnell.

Sheriffs contacted all local law enforcement agencies to implement the largest area turkey hunt since a turkey rebellion took place in the county four years ago. Joining the hunt were volunteers from the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Bernheim Chapter. Local NWTF president Eddie Orozco said it was unusual for turkeys to go underground.

“I didn’t even know turkeys could flee,” he admitted.

Local turkey organizations distanced themselves from Byrd during the great turkey hunt. Turkeys United for Freedom (TUFF) spokesturkey Jake Turkey said the organization by no means condoned Byrd’s antics.

“Sure, we’ve had our issues in the past with humans, but this crosses a line,” said Turkey. “We’d still likely flip the Byrd to humans if we were able.”

Early reports led police to the Browningtown area, where Byrd was believed to have family. Once they arrived, aggressive police units lost control of themselves, shooting most of the turkeys in the area. The event will forever be known by Bullitt Countians as “The Browningtown Massacre.”

With a new fiasco on the plate of local officials, other members of the traditional Thanksgiving feast threatened to boycott Bullitt County altogether. An organization known as the Succulent Independent Dishes to Enhance Suppers (SIDES) sent official letters to Fiscal Court declaring no SIDES without an official apology pertaining to the massacre.

“In trying times, we don’t need political types trying to choose SIDES for their own benefit,” said chairperson Abby “Apple” Dumpling. “If they want a square meal they can open a TV tray or go to White Castle.”

Fiscal Court publicly ignored the letter’s intent, citing dissidence within the SIDES organization.

“We’ll still be okay, we’ve heard some funny information leading to SIDES splitting,” said Magistrate David Walker.

Alton “Taterhead” Doyle, leader of the Yukon, American and Mexican (YAM) Potato Allegiance, said in a recent call to The Pioneer News that YAMs were told not to participate in any county meals.

“We will not shed our skins for this place,” said Doyle. “We have plenty of eyes and we see what’s going on there. We will stand firm and mellow in the marshes! We YAM what we YAM!”

Meanwhile, police felt Byrd was being hidden by many John McCain supporters in Bullitt County who still believed Obama’s victory was the main reason for the ruination of their holiday.

Soon the Bullitt County Drug Task Force joined in the turkey search. Task Force coordinator Kenny Hardin mentioned recent drug bust increases involving the drug tryptophan, a sleeping agent found in common turkeys.

Investigators also learned that Byrd allegedly cooked up an area turkey club. Members included other vigilante turkeys as well as members of a hog-riding motorcycle group known only as Hogs of Anti-Militancy (HAM).

“Turkeys and HAMs stewed together,” Tinnell said. “Once turkeys and HAMs had a common beef, they became a club.” Tinnell followed a tip claiming the new club leader was Rueben Dagwood, an Italian from Philadelphia. Sheriffs baited Dagwood with an undercover agent known only as “Blondie.”

“When we had (Dagwood) sandwiched he was in a pickle,” said Tinnell. “From there we controlled him with pepper spray and then charged him with assault.”

Dagwood was in custody at the Bullitt County Detention Center. Jailer Danny Fackler said Dagwood was in isolation, remaining in his own cellophane until an examination by the Mayo Clinic.

Fackler promised Dagwood would eventually be humanely consumed. He would be allowed special dressing for the event along with a visit from Rev. John Iceberg, head cabbage of the religious food syndicate known as Lettuce Pray.

Former Bullitt County Sheriff Paul Parsley released a statement pertaining to the Dagwood ordeal.

“(Dagwood) will never cut the mustard in this world, and it’s futile to wait for him to ketchup with the rest of us,” said Parsley. “I’ll relish the day when we can rid the world of this kind of thing.”

Despite Dagwood’s arrest, Byrd currently remains in hiding.

At an emergency Fiscal Court meeting, magistrates worked out a deal guaranteeing that all side dishes would appear at local Thanksgiving meals. Some conspiracy theorists believe local turkeys “stuffed the magistrates with bread.”

Officials are asking Bullitt Countians to assist the situation. Citizens are encouraged to bring in any turkeys, dead or alive, to the NWTF Bernheim Chapter. Those turkeys found edible (and not to be The Turkey Outlaw) will be donated toward local Thanksgiving meals. Orozco said donations would also be accepted toward full meals.

Anyone with questions or concerns, including information leading to the arrest of the Turkey Outlaw, should contact Orozco at the NWTF.