Archive for November, 2015

I remember going to a turkey testicle festival a few years back. At least I think it was called a turkey testicle festival. It was some kind of strange shindig at a VFW hall in Elmhurst, one that revolved around fried turkey nuts.

And though I knew in advance that this gathering had something to do with charity and turkey parts, I still didn’t have the deductive reasoning to put the pieces together.

What were they doing with the turkey balls? Why were they frying them? Is this how we were expected to support the troops? Or were fried turkey testicles a new miracle cure for some sort of cancer (Most likely testicular).

“We’re supposed to eat those?” I asked.

I watched as a middle-aged woman walked past. She held a plastic cup at arm’s length. Steam rose from it, and on closer inspection, I noticed it was filled to the rim with fried nuggets of unknown origin. These cups put the testicle in the festival.

Full disclosure: At the time, I didn’t even know turkeys had testicles. I thought they laid eggs or something. I’m still not sure if they have testicles and/or penises and vaginas. Do they? Eh, that’s a question for google, and I’m straying off topic.

Elmhurst’s first (and apparently last) turkey testicle festival, wasn’t exactly a hit. My younger cousins went with hotdogs over turkey nuts, not that there was much of a difference. When in doubt, it’s the devil you know.

At one point, someone suggested placing the half-eaten hotdog between a pair of the fried turkey testicles, and that got a decent laugh from our table. Savages, the lot of us.

I decided to give it a go. If this festival was an actual thing (which it apparently was), and if the organizers had put in the work to host such an event (which they had), and if said event was subsequently raising money for charity (which it was), then the least I could do was gobble on some turkey nuts.

That is, if turkeys really had nuts (I still wasn’t sure on that part).

So I finally bought my cup-o-unmentionables, and stared into it for a long moment. Then I sniffed it. Then I scanned the room. Watching for any facial expressions that would give a glimpse at what my future held.

What I saw was not a comforting sight. Gags, followed by laughter, followed by a frantic hand gesture that seemed to suggest: “Pass me the hot sauce, dude. Pass me the goddamn hot sauce!”

I brought the first fried nut to my lips. I bit into it. The volcanic inner-nut (The core if you will) squirted into my mouth like an M&M forged in hell. It burned my taste buds with the force of a thousand suns, as it bid farewell to a cruel world.

And I knew there wasn’t enough hot sauce in Chicagoland to make it right.

“My nuts are in your mouth, human.”

After a long overdue google search, it appears that turkeys do have penises and vaginas. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, and I started getting nauseous trying to understand their genitalia and mating habits (Biology isn’t my strong suit). Long story short, there’s no magical stork that flies in with turkey eggs, unless he’s there for a turkey orgy, and likes cooking breakfast.

It also turns out that there are other turkey testicle festivals out there. A popular festival at Parkside Pub in Huntley IL, is apparently the home to a world famous one. I can only assume that by ‘world famous’ they mean the only testicle festival still in existence.

After tooling around online for a bit, I began to wonder what were the roots of these festivals. How did this strange phenomenon begin? Was it one overzealous cook on Thanksgiving day? A rogue patriarch who dabbled in a special brand of hijinks?

It turns out that the turkey testicle festival actually did begin this way. A mischievous pilgrim would take recently removed turkey testicles, and sneak them onto the plates of his unaware dinner companions. These devilish pranks kept escalating until it all came to an abrupt conclusion with a mass of witch burnings. And also everyone was wearing those weird hats.

Okay, that last part might not be 100% accurate. But this is a blog. Accuracy has no power here.

Since my first and last T.T.F. (it deserves an acronym at this point), I’ve steered clear of testicle festivals, and animal genitals in general. The experience didn’t turn me into a vegetarian, although it was close for a few hours there. And it also didn’t drive me to devour testicles on a regular basis. (that would be an unfortunate fetish). Instead, it firmed my belief that the world is strange place. And that some traditions are for me, while others aren’t. Thanksgiving is the former rather than the later.

If there was Thanksgiving themed music it would be playing in the background as I write this. And I may or may not be currently eating a turkey leg, while being thankful for my family and friends, and also eyeing the betting line on the Bears vs. Packers game. God bless America.

Happy Thanksgiving week, y’all!