With the season of the turkey upon us, 45 million are about to be sacrificed at the altar of familial harmony this Thanksgiving. But as America gathers round the holiday table – moms and dads, grandparents and in-laws, exes and step-kids – to carve up and devour the stuffed and tethered foul, The Sultanette gratefully raises a glass to the members of The Male Harem who have so nourished her life. Not a turkey among them!
That’s not to say that a few turkeys haven’t infiltrated the harem along the way. And so I first offer some helpful tips for recognizing the genus meleagris, in the hope that learning from my mistakes, you may avoid similar pitfalls.
First, if you’re tempted to engage with a turkey, note that he has no external ears and so is a lousy listener. He can see in color but it’s not been determined if he dreams in it. If he attempts to get you into the sack, note that he’s been known to sleep in trees. And as for the prospect of unbridled sex, be warned that he’s prone to heart attacks, as documented with turkeys near an Air Force base that dropped like flies from the shock of passing jets.
As far as flying away with a wild turkey, he may become airborne but he’ll make it about as far as the nearest Duane Reade. And if you need to chase down a domesticated reprobate, be warned that he can reach a groundspeed of 0-to-25.
If as Plan B, you’re considering hooking up with an eagle, I refer you to infoplease which offers that Benjamin Franklin endorsed the turkey over the bald eagle as our national symbol. With his characteristic diplomacy along with The Sultanette bets, drawing from the example of the French madames whose Parisian salons he frequented, BF argued that while the turkey might be “vain and silly,” it offered a far better calling card than the eagle who was “a coward.”
Following on Franklin’s philosophy, if you consider that the 200-plus million turkeys raised annually result in over $4 billion of sales, they’re doing at least as much to prop up the economy as the turkeys in Congress and on Wall Street.
Nonetheless, The Sultanette remains filled with gratitude for the poultry-free Male Harem accrued over the past two years. And so as they go forth to their lives or wives this Thanksgiving to eat their Butterballs and sleep in the beds they’ve made, she gives special thanks to each and every one of them as follows:
To the W.A.S.P. Meister for hosting Harlem gatherings with impeccable style, and for his incorrigible wit that would induce multiple orgasms if laughing were sex.
To Dr. Zhivago, edgy mensch, urbane artiste, cat-whisperer, and sexy beast. I would love him even if he didn’t have the coolest boho chic rooftop in Manhattan.
To Monsieur Bogey for the extravagant Madison Avenue shopping spree after a long lunch and a puff on his cigar.
To The Aesthete for his art appreciation and cultural gatherings from boxes at Carnegie Hall to boîtes in Little Italy, and for his gorgeous accent.
To E-Laureate, ribald bard of email innuendo, rock-and-roll animal, and fellow thrasher in the retail lagoon.
To Young Preppie for sending me the silliest card by snail mail to make me smile, just like in those Hallmark Moment commercials.
To the guileless but never clueless MOFW (Man Of Few Words) for his resourceful use of my candelabra as a sock rack.
To Naughty But Nautical for 3D ruminations on the earthly and unearthly from Gurdjieff to Beelzebub.
To The Impresario for his erudition in all things sacred and profane, for revealing the eroticism in good manners, and for letting me let him always win.
To The Dervish for his fanatical artistry in our creative collaborations and for the bird painting that soars un-turkey-like in The Sultanette’s parlor.
To The Aficionado for lifting life out of the mundane with his musical passions, classical and classified.
To Nom de Plume for the sound bites on love and sex that I’ll remember long after dementia sets in.
The Male Harem observes no holidays but feasts on appreciation of the moment at hand. Intimacies are uncontrived and mysteries allowed. The Force, all sinewy instinct and visceral wisdom once said to me, “Everybody has a private life.” So as you face each other across the groaning board this Thursday, consider perhaps the distance, and not the closeness between you. It’s the exclusive place where The Male Harem lives and plays. And not all are invited to dine there.
With that, I bid all of you who have entered the seraglio today a Happy Thanksgiving with all the trimmings. May you find more heat than from the oven, more gravy than from a baster, and more to life than turkeys. As for The Sultanette, she shall be gobbling up wild rice and Cornish game hens.