I have always believed that our society’s devotion to freedom of expression is only tested when an unpopular message is communicated. It is easy to permit people to say things we agree with, are indifferent to, or do not find more than slightly offensive. But it is only when we allow people on the fringe to express themselves in ways we find abhorrent and annoying that we truly prove we cherish this inalienable right.
This explains why I have concluded that I do not live in a home where freedom of expression is valued – at least by some. I realized this shortly after Jenn declared martial law and decreed that all turkey calling is abhorrent and annoying. She then proclaimed – unilaterally, mind you – that it would have to be practiced outside of the house from here on out.
Of course, I did not take this sitting down. I pointed out that this sort of declaration is likely forbidden by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. She then conceded that I might have a particularly good legal argument too, but also she uttered what I can only assume is a veiled threat about making a tofu-based meal for dinner every day for the remainder of the turkey season.
This left me with no choice but to capitulate. So, as much as it pains me, I now have to practice my turkey calling outside, whenever Jenn is home – which is essentially all the time.
Clearly, the brave and moral thing to do would be to rise up against this sort of tyranny with peaceful protests, sit-ins and prolonged turkey-calling sessions.
But, in fairness, when Patrick Henry uttered the immortal words “Give me liberty or give me death” he did not know there were things worse than death – like any meal containing tofu, for instance.
Tofu is the kind of food that makes you want to unionize your stomach so it can go on a hunger strike.
The good news is we live on a street where only one other family currently resides – and a hunter lives in that house, too. This means I can strut up and down my road clucking, yelping, purring and cutting like a hen while maintaining my dignity.
Still, having to do this is not fair at all. For turkey calling is, at this time of year, the way I express myself most eloquently.
For instance, when Jenn mentioned tofu, I used my call to make a series of “putt” sounds, which as we all know is the wild turkey’s way of indicating that it is feeling panicked and perhaps even a bit frightened. At no point did I make the soft purr sounds that indicate contentment, however.
The fact that Jenn did not pick up on these very obvious signals this tells me she is simply not listening. Or, even worse, we are in the midst of one of those communication breakdowns that you hear about. Strangely enough, the same thing happened during duck season.
Sadly, a combination of the COVID pandemic and turkey season probably rule out the possibility of couples counselling. So, if I want to call in the house to practice – and I do – I will have to settle for many meals containing tofu. Rest assured, however, if it comes to this, I will do my best to gobble them down.