My day as a turkey

About three months ago, I learned about the sub-culture of Furry Fandom and have not stopped talking about it – especially to my softball teammates. We’ve even adopted “Do it for the furries!” as our rally cry when we’re up to bat. After one of our games (losses), we went around the happy-hour-table and discussed what kind of furry we would be, if we were to engage in “furry play.”  There were a few variations of tigers and bears, but when the right fielder proclaimed to be a Telletubby with a little too much enthusiasm, we all grew suspicious. He denied really being a furry, but then he never came to another game, so I couldn’t exactly ask him any follow-up questions. In his honor, I thought it would be a fantastic idea to get my hands on some sort of animal costume for the play-off game. And this is how it all went down:

Google search:

Google result:

Transcript of phone conversation:

DIXON

Dixon Costumes, good afternoon.

MARI

Hi, do you have a turkey costume?

DIXON

We do! We do!

MARI

Awesome!

DIXON

Are you short?

MARI

I am! I am!

DIXON

We’re open until 6.

MARI

Perfect.

This was the preamble to my day as a turkey. I thought I’d get my money’s worth by wearing it all day at work, seeming that we had our departmental Thanksgiving luncheon that same day. I figured it would be like the time I showed up to a friend’s baby shower in a maternity dress stuffed with pillows and claiming that the party was indeed in my honor.

So, the next morning I waddled into work in full beakage and observed as coworkers gasped in a mix of surprise, confusion, joy and more confusion. I kept a detailed journal of the comments made to me throughout the day, hoping it would expand my understanding of the human condition and maybe a little insight into the appeal of furry-ism.

Here are some of the best exchanges:

IN THE ELEVATOR

Why are you dressed like a chicken?

MARI

I’m a turkey.

IN THE ELEVATOR

Oh.

IN THE CAFETERIA

Are you going to eat yourself?

MARI

I’m really not a turkey.

IN THE CAFETERIA

Oh.

IN A MEETING

Are we doing business with Chick-Fil-A?

MARI

I’m a turkey.

IN A MEETING

Oh.

IN THE HALLWAY

Oh, a turkey! I thought you were an Angry Bird.

MARI

I’m an Angry Turkey, actually.

IN THE HALLWAY

Oh.

IN THE BATHROOM

Is there an event happening today?

MARI

It’s Hallow-giving. It’s the day people dress up as turkeys and ask for candy. Haven’t you heard of it?

IN THE BATHROOM

No.

MARI

Oh.

AT MY DESK

Really, tell me, why are you dressed like a turkey?

MARI

Lots of departments are having their Thanksgiving pot-luck luncheons, and this is the best way to get invited to all of them.

AT MY DESK

Oh. That’s genius.

Results from my findings:

1. Generally, people enjoy costumes. But Furry Fandom is still weird.

2. Human beings need to know the “why” of absurd things.

3. The more you don’t explain something, the more they want to know.

4. People will take anything as an answer – as long as you answer.

Photo courtesy of Kelley Rodriguez

After a day of social experimenting at the office, I was ready to let loose on the softball field.

But, about an hour before game time I received an urgent note from the coach:

Team, please be advised that due to lack of player this evening we will not be playing. The game is going to be forfeited on our part. I apologize, however these things happen as people have schedules and unexpected circumstances. 

I couldn’t believe it. I was devastated. I had bought a turkey costume, for Christ’s sake. What was that bullshit of “schedules and unexpected circumstances” really about? So, I did a little Google research:

There was a furry meet-up on the same night as our softball game. Apparently, my teammates are a bunch of fur-verts and I’m the turkey that didn’t catch on.

Busted

Last night I went to the batting cages. You know, to practice my mediocre swing in the hopes of making it on first base. To bring you up to speed, I joined a co-ed softball league although I had never played the sport. Well, maybe once or twice when I didn’t skip out of my P.E. class, but that was two decades ago.

If you’ve never been inside a batting cage, it’s pretty daunting. While a ball launches from a machine every thirty seconds (directly aimed at your temple), there are rogue balls from other batters that at times end up in the cage. In the case of last night, one of the batters broke his bat and one of the splintered pieces ended up directly in front of my machine. Instead of waiting until I was done, the batter decided to play real-life Frogger, which gave me a new target to aim for. Lucky for him, I’m really, really bad.

After finding comfort in a sweet cup of frozen yogurt from Menchies, I headed home. Happy to just jump in the shower and collapse until that horrifying alarm jolts me out of bed. Only, upon opening the door, my dog, who regularly greets me with howls and tail wags, was eerily quiet and had a suspicious look on her face.

I called out to her in the way that one would when you hope you haven’t walked in on someone having sex.

“Poopie Monster?”

I inched closer and found that there wasn’t another dog hiding around the corner, but did notice she had what appeared to be chocolate on her chin. Under her paw was an empty wrapper with tiny teeth marks all across it, making it look like one of those carnival games that makes you shoot out a red star out of a piece of paper to win a stuffed penguin.

Upon further inspection, the last piece of the dark chocolate and cherry cashew deliciousness was on her bed, where she was, I can only imagine, hoarding it for a later date. Without having to say a word to her, she coiled up like an earthworm.

I threw away the last piece, picked up the wrapper, cleaned her face all without uttering a single word.

A few hours later, she came into the bedroom where she asked politely to get into bed with us. The librarian picked her up as I was still fuming.

A few hours after that, while the librarian dreamt of books and card catalogs, I was awake, staring at the dog who could not stop hiccuping.

A few hours after that, that stupid alarm sounded. I haphazardly threw clothes on my body, slipped into my flip-flops, as I customarily flippity-flop to work and switch into heels once at my desk. I placed sunglasses on my face and ran my hands through my hair to shake away the pillow mark from the back of my head. With my backpack filled with equipment for my evening softball game, I drove like a maniac to make it to work.

At 9:01, I flipper-skippered into the cafeteria, poured myself a cup of Starbucks Bold Roast and grabbed a dark chocolate and cherry cashew flavored protein bar. At 9:05 I boarded the elevator with coffee in one hand and a protein bar in another. Sunglasses, flip-flops, and backpack still in their original positions. As the doors inched closer, a hand jolted them apart and in come not one, but four vice presidents. Four. I tried to coil up in the back corner of the elevator, but one of the four, an executive vice president, looked at me and smiled without saying a word.

When I stepped out of the elevator, I noticed my reflection, which clearly showed I had chocolate all over my chin.

Not so soft

Should've joined the soccer league.

Who knew that the ball could bounce right off of home plate and into your forehead?

What would possess me to join a softball league if I’d never played a sport in my entire life?

Where is my insurance card?

When did I agree to be moved from Right Field to the Catcher position?

Why do they call it softball when it has the consistency of a brick?

How is it that this shit always happens to me?