I needed help before I began to write. I needed to know which was better: “Don’t Squeeze My Wattle” or “Don’t Pinch My Wattle”. It was a takeoff on the Gadsden Flag’s Don’t Tread On Me, but with an American-original turkey instead of a snake. I don’t know why Gadsden used a snake. I’m using a turkey because Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be America’s national bird instead of the eagle. In times of national distress it seems worthwhile to lean upon those who have gone before us.
I asked my sister for her opinion because she shares my sense of humor. If anything her sense of humor is even more irreverent; and she’s creative. She was pleased to help. Her email arrived with “Don’t Snap My Wattle” and “Don’t Roll On My Wattle,” and then it deteriorated to the point where we had to stop because all ideas ran to the sexual; good for a giggle but common, and ultimately boring. I needed a rallying cry for today’s patriots not an advertisement for the Love Palace’s latest tool. See? Tool is just where we were going and had to stop ourselves.
After laughing so hard I had to stop and clean the tear-juice from the inside of my glasses I decided (for the time being) on “Don’t Pinch My Wattle”. This beat “Squeeze” because squeezing can be a sign of affection; pinching is never a sign of affection.
My great-uncle used to pinch my cheek after he’d had a few drinks of Scotch, which could be anytime in the late afternoon, and I don’t know if he pinched too hard because he wasn’t used to pinching little girl cheeks or if he pinched so hard it hurt because he lost control of his motor skills. He scared me and everyone laughed because they could tell he pinched me too hard and it hurt and made me mad, and then I was embarrassed because everyone laughed at me. I avoided my great-uncle when I could.
Pinching puts the pincher in the high-and-mighty position and the pinchee in the “be a good sport and don’t fight back” position. Pinching is tyranny on a minor scale, unless you’re a little kid and an adult is pinching, then it’s tyranny on a grand scale and should never be done.
The American turkey suggested by Mr. Franklin as the national bird is just as worthy a bird as an eagle, maybe better because it’s edible. It suffers a lack of respect because of its face; even if the wattle is small and barely noticeable a turkey face reflects a constant state of panic, like Norma Desmond in the movie “Sunset Boulevard”.
Now imagine a grand big turkey saying to itself “Here I am, a grand big turkey, minding my own business. Someone has just pinched my wattle, and I am expected to be a good sport about it. No sir, that is not the way this story’s going to be written.”