Turkeys do not vote for Christmas

Turkeys do not vote for Christmas - indyki nie mają łatwego życia w czasie świąt ;)

It is the middle of November. It is time to start thinking about Christmas. It is time to think about Christmas cards, and what present to buy for Uncle George.(A nice tie perhaps, except that we bought him a tie last year and the year before). And soon it will be time to think about Christmas dinner – who should we invite to have Christmas dinner with us, and what should we eat.

Many people in England eat turkey at Christmas. This is a new tradition – if you understand what I mean. Fifty years ago, it was unusual to eat turkey, and it was difficult to find turkey in the shops. People ate chicken or goose at Christmas. But nowadays, most people eat turkey on Christmas Day. And because turkeys are big birds, they also eat cold turkey on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas) and for about a week afterwards as well, until they become fed up with turkey and never want to eat or see another turkey ever again – until next Christmas, of course.

I feel sorry for turkeys. Most of them are kept on huge turkey farms, with thousands of other turkeys. Some turkeys are “free fange” – that means, they are allowed outside to run around and scratch the ground. But many others are kept in cages indoors. The farmers feed them a special diet to make them fat. They inject them with antibiotics to keep them healthy. And then, a few weeks before Christmas, they slaughter all the turkeys and send them off to the supermarkets. And unfortunately this year many of the turkeys will not even make it to the Christmas dinner table. There is a serious outbreak of bird flu in some of the big poultry farms in the east of England. The bird flu virus appears to have come from Eastern Europe, but no-one yet knows how it got to England. The only way to stop the virus from spreading is to slaughter all the birds on the infected farms – even the healthy ones – and to incinerate (that is, to burn) their bodies. Nearly 30,000 turkeys have been culled so far, and probably more will need to be killed in the next few days.

I have however a confession to make. I do not like turkeys. They are stupid, mean, horrible birds. Once, I had a fight with a turkey, and I am afraid that the turkey won. It happened like this. We – that is, myself and my wife and children – visited a children’s farm. We saw pigs and calves; the children went for a ride on a donkey; they fed the chickens and the lambs, and ate ice cream in the cafe. There was a turkey in the farmyard. To everyone else it was a kind, gentle turkey. But when it saw me, it attacked. It pecked my feet and ankles. It chased me round the farm. There were lots of children there, with their parents, and they all laughed. I have never felt so humiliated in my life. The farmer explained that the turkey thought that my shoelaces were worms or something else that turkeys like to eat. Stupid turkey.

turkeys do not vote for Christmas

We have a joke or saying in English. We say that turkeys do not vote for Christmas. It means that people will not support (vote for) something which is obviously not in their interests. But if turkeys are stupid enough to attack my shoelaces, maybe they are stupid enough to vote for Christmas too.

The turkeys will not make it to the Christmas dinner table – “make it” is a colloquial expression which means arrive, or get to, or manage to do something.

Here are some more examples.

“Can you make it to my party on Saturday?” –

which means, will you be able to/manage to come to my party.

“The train goes in five minutes. If we run, we can make it” –

which means, if we run we will get to the station in time for the train.

“If John studies hard, he will make it to university.” –

which means, he will succeed, he will get a place at university.

“It was a long way to the top of the hill, but after an hour we made it” –

which means, after an hour we managed to get to the top of the hill.

Do you know idiom: like turkeys voting for (an early) Christmas