It is perhaps befitting an extremely weird year that my final blog entry should revolve around wild turkeys and Baby Yoda. Though at first not obvious soul mates, these types of creatures do fit together in the menagerie of my mind as revealed during my second vaccination and immediately thereafter between February 16-17, 2021.
I will lay it all out for you.
The wild turkeys were unexpected. On February 16, I was duly driving up Otsego County Road 33 on my way to the Otsego County Meadows complex for my second Moderna vaccination. Having had my first vaccination without major side effects a month before and with the weather relatively clear for a February morning in upstate New York, I had few concerns. I was driving the sole car on a country road approaching my destination with a set goal in mind. I was listening to NPR. My second vaccination would put me on the path to immunity. I could teach the in-person part of my dual modality class with confidence. I would be protected from this awful disease and a life of normality beckoned. Which of course is where the wild turkeys came in.
Let me assure you gentle reader that when a middle-aged professor is carefully driving below the legal speed limit up a country road towards a medical rendezvous the last thing he expects is a flock of not so bright birds sitting on the road. Now don’t get me wrong. I have a certain respect for the glory of the American turkey. Though raised in Canada, I partook of turkey dinners for Canadian Thanksgiving (celebrated in October but I digress). I eagerly adapted to American Thanksgiving and have eaten my fill of this fine bird for the November celebration. However, I was less than thrilled to see them sitting on County Road 33 without a care in the world. I cursed, hit the brake to slow down further, swerved ever so slightly and that did the trick. I avoided turkey catastrophe. The ungainly birds slowly took flight one after the other and thankfully avoided making communion with my windshield. I was safe and so were they. I did reflect briefly on the historical claim that Benjamin Franklin recommended the turkey as the official symbol of the United States rather than the bald eagle. However, I got over it. I got my second Moderna shot and drove home without incident.
Which brings me to Baby Yoda. The second vaccination went well. My arm did not hurt as much as after the first one (minimal Tylenol was needed). I wisely took the next day off from major work duties and thought I would do some academic reading or light work around the house. Boy was I wrong. My brain felt mentally foggy (though I guess my wife and work colleagues would say that was only slightly different from my brain on most days). To be accurate my brain felt MORE mentally foggy than usual. My arm throbbed a bit. However, I was tired. What better way to spend the day than to lie on the couch and watch streaming of “The Mandalorian”? Which I did. I had been meaning to watch it for ages but have been too busy. As my brain drifted in and out of naps, I had some incredibly lucid dreams. I also met Baby Yoda on screen. Small, green, and wise, Baby Yoda was the polar opposite of those stupid turkeys that I almost collided with the day before. Baby Yoda endured numerous adventures, briefly revealed the powers of “the Force” and ran off with the Mandalorian’ s main character (a bounty hunter who has a fit of remorse) for safer pastures. What could be better?
In closing I hope to see much more of Baby Yoda in the future. I also hope never to see a wild turkey again.