Wednesday, November 24, 2010

60 Second Stories - The Turkey Drop

When I went to the University of Alberta it was well known that the agricultural students and the engineering students did`t get along. I was a feud from way back and things usually played out with harmless pranks on each other's deans or study lounges.

This one October, the Engineering kids set up an air guitar event right after midterms. They had the stage set up in the center of the main floor of their building. The building had eight stories and from the top story you could look all the way down to the stage. Perfect for anyone who wanted to make mischief like the dropping of water balloons.

A lot of us showed up hoping to see what the 'Aggies' had planned. No sooner had the groups started to perform when about ten or so chickens were dropped from about a height of seven stories.

I suspect that the students (who were studying agriculture, if you remember) expected the chickens to float to the stage gracefully and they would scatter about after they landed causing much chaos and hilarity to those below.

Now we all knew that chickens and their cousin the turkey don't really fly. We had all seen that famous WKRP episode. We knew the aerodynamic nature of the chicken was akin to a small bag of modelling clay - if fell as fast and did as big a splat as you would think. I suppose one of the Aggie organizers figured that in the enclosed space and with smaller chickens there would be just gentle gliding down to the floor below.

Well if was a bloodbath as you would expect. People screaming and running away as half dead chickens tried to rush anywhere to avoid the stampeding humans. The lucky chickens were the first to die. The other badly damaged survivors had to have their necks snapped to save them any further pain. Almost everyone had inside or outside parts of the chicken on them.

It was a scandal. Several kids got heavy fines by the SPCA and were threatened with expulsion. The university's chapter of PETA went nuts. However that wasn't the kicker. My roommate's brother was on the school newspaper and was looking for someway, anyway to include that famous line from the WKRP episode.

("As God as my witness, I thought turkey's could fly")

He asked the rep from the Aggies (who was from Pakistan) if he knew that chicken were not good fliers. The kid agreed and further discussed how they did not have an aerodynamic shape for flying but they were excellent at gliding. Then the reporter asked if the Rep would swear on a stack of bibles that he meant the chickens no harm. On the record the kid said 'hand to god' he didn't mean to hurt any chickens. The headline the next day read "Agricultural rep swears on a stack of bibles that he assumed chickens were better at flying than they eventually displayed.

Now read it allowed with a thick Pakistani accent and you can see how funny the whole thing turned out to be. We funny for me and my friends - not so funny for the chickens, may they rest in pieces.

WKRP Turkey Drop from Mitch Cohen on Vimeo.


M. D. Jackson said...

That's astounding. It's horrid and funny all at the same time.

And the funniest part is that it was the Agricultural students who didn't know that chickens wouldn't fly. That's hysterical.

Sam G said...

I can just see them dropping like little sacks of cement. Damn.
Thanks for the WKRP fix.

Kal said...

Well in retrospect they were there to learn about agriculture. I doubt that the aerodynamics of egg laying birds was covered on the first day.