When I first saw the story about wild turkeys terrorizing a New York City neighborhood, I thought what else is new, right? We’ve established the fact – repeatedly – that New Yorkers are terrified of basically anything wild, from opossums to snakes to city park swans to caribou mounts so saying that New Yorkers are terrified of yet another fanged, feathered or furry menace is a bit like saying heart attacks are a downer. Belaboring that point quickly becomes derivative and you quite literally run out of ways to make fun of people. When that happens all you can do is let the story speak for itself.
So for your reading pleasure, I give you…the winged, wattled wraiths of Staten Island…
From this story in the New York Daily News:
_One slice of Staten Island isn’t giving thanks for its turkey this holiday season because the wild fowl are rampaging across the neighborhood. The menacing flock is ruffling feathers in Ocean Breeze by tying up traffic, covering yards with excrement – even trapping one terrified woman in her car. “It was straight out of ‘Cujo,'” said dental assistant Gina Guaragno, 23. “I’m sitting in my car Facebooking on my phone when turkeys jumped on my windshield. “I screamed like I was being murdered. They just kept looking at me like it was their car. I felt trapped. I was so scared.”
_The frenzied birds fled only after Guaragno splashed them with windshield washer. Ocean Breeze’s turkey terror began at least a decade ago, when a local resident liberated her nine pet birds at nearby South Beach Psychiatric Center. The state Department of Environmental Conservation said there are roughly 100 turkeys in the neighborhood, though locals think it might be in the thousands. Packs of turkeys strut slowly along the tree-lined residential streets near Cromwell Ave. and Mason St. in a daily display that’s hardly mouth-watering. “It’s disgusting. It’s horrible,” said Sarah Pellei, 82, who first noticed the invasion a decade ago.
“People think turkeys are a big joke. But when you have thousands of these filthy animals surrounding my house and pooping all over everything, it becomes a living nightmare.” Standing 2 to 4 feet high, the brown-feathered fiends meander between houses and linger for hours outside some homes. “The turkeys are terrible, terrible,” said Sarina Sanfelice, 82, who keeps a garden hose by her front door to drive them away. “They come in droves by the hundreds and eat the figs off my fig tree and poop all over everything. I complain and complain, but no one will help us.” The hose is the best weapon available because city law protects wild turkeys from hunters. Nothing protects humans from turkeys, though. At Staten Island University Hospital, patients and staff routinely dodge the birds gathered outside the doors. Some seniors are too terrified to leave their homes, City Councilman James Oddo said.
Lock your doors. Top off the windshield washer fluid in your vehicle. And watch your backside, because you know they’re out there watching you. Gobble gobble…