Understanding Botswana
The Turnip Disambiguation Page

Being Omnivorous

We turn left coming out of the driveway, and we are immediately confronted with: quail, seventeen adult quail, and deer, two adult does. The quail do not quail at the car: instead, they run aimlessly in rapid circles as the car approaches, and then take wing with a whir. The deer stare at us, as if wondering whether or not to approach the car for food. And then they amble off toward the lawns. In the distance there is the gobbling of turkeys--refugees seeking sanctuary from the retirement community of Rossmoor, where sharpshooters are hunting them with silenced rifles. My wife tells of once being in the car and running into a male turkey on the driveway, which looked at her and spread its tail feathers in a testosterone-crazed dominance display--thinking that it could drive off a Subaru, and thus preserve his exclusive sexual access to the hens. Truly a bird of very little brain...

Ever since my wife learned that I was on a committee with Michael Pollan, author of the truly excellent if slightly Berkeley twee The Omnivore's Dilemma, she has been pressing me to invite him to dinner. I have resisted, being scared that she would greet him at the door with a net, and say: "We're having quail this evening. Would you please catch us a dozen? They're under the blackberry bushes" or "Here's the dried corn, the mortar, and the pestle: would you please make us some masa?" or even worse, "Would you please evolve us some maize via selective breeding from this teosinte plant?"

But do go read The Omnivore's Dilemma. It is truly excellent.