The Day I was Sexually Assaulted by a Turkey

Joey Rizzolo
6 min readNov 23, 2020

With the autumnal equinox comes the onset of seasonal rituals: the frippery of the dead, partisan feelings about candy corn, a pumpkin-spice version of everything, hooded sweatshirts, the Halloween routine of going door to door and demanding confection (and in lieu of that…well…let’s just say there are threats), and, of course, Thanksgiving. For every American, Thanksgiving evokes something unique and personal. For you, perhaps it is a time of communion, politics, football, gluttony, potlucks, (bio)logical family, or maybe even thanks. For me, this season transports me to my halcyon days when I was young and beautiful and — by turkey standards, at least — incredibly fuckable.

I was on a farm in West Point, NY on the day I was sexually assaulted by a turkey. As with many farms, there were a number of animals roaming freely about, including one tom turkey. There may have been more turkeys on that farm but I never saw them, probably because they were all hiding from this tom who, for the purposes of this story, we’ll assign a random name: Let’s call him ‘Brett Kavanaugh.’

Brett Kavanaugh photo by Will Kimeria

I should note that I’ve been a city-dweller for most of my life, so my expertise of the animal kingdom is limited to three very general spheres of understanding: urban animals (like rats and pigeons), whatever I learn from David Attenborough (exotic species that I will likely never encounter in an uncontrolled environment), and dogs. I’m a dog person — I have two dogs myself, Marty McFly and Dolly Parton — and because of this, the lens through which I observe animal behavior is often filtered through that of dogs. Any naturalist would rightly call me an idiot for this worldview and on this chronicled day, one such naturalist (assuming the role of a farmer) did exactly that, but not before Brett Kavanaugh would have his way with me.

The infallible Dolly Parton

When dogs are friendly, they seek out humans and find ways of soliciting attention. Marty McFly, for example, will stand in front of you and stare expectantly, filled with the audacious (albeit correct) assumption that he will be scratched behind the ears. Dolly Parton will grab your hand and place it where she wants it to scratch her and groan until scratching commences. It is my experiences with behavior like this that enabled me to mistake Brett Kavanaugh’s forward actions as friendly (if not professional) interest.

So when Brett Kavanaugh flared his feathers and gobbled and bumped into me, I thought he was just being affable. Admittedly, the bumping was weird. It seemed as though someone very drunk was driving this turkey. I assumed his collisions were accidental; the domestic turkey is not an elegant animal by even the most generous standards and, acknowledging this, I dismissed his impacts as the byproduct of poor natural design. After the third bump, it became clear that these collisions were intentional, but again, it was behavior that I interpreted as congenial interest, and I figured Brett Kavanaugh just wanted a scratch behind the ears, which I couldn’t for the life of me find. So I pet his feathers for a good minute and thought we’d continue about our respective days with the mutual respect of two creatures who wouldn’t try to fuck each other without explicit mutual consent. As it happens, Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t bump as a gesture of congeniality. Brett Kavanaugh bumps because Brett Kavanaugh wants to bump. Not knowing this, I kept petting his feathers, and this bump-pet transaction continued throughout the day. I can see now how someone might think that I lead him on, but I swear this was not my intent.

For a city boy, farms are vacation spots. If you grew up on a farm that probably sounds bananas; I don’t know why you’d want to come to Times Square either, but if buying M&Ms at five times their retail price and getting photographed with knockoff superheroes is your idea of a vacation, have at it. For me, the pastoral environs, relative quiet, and earthy smells make for a peaceful retreat. These conditions also have something of a soporific effect on me, so surrounded by the bucolic calm of this farm, under the shade of an orange canopy, I reclined beside a quiet brook with the company of my new friend, Brett Kavanaugh.

Now, I love taking naps with my dogs. I don’t care what they say about fleas, lying down with dogs is fantastic. They are eager to sleep beside you, they keep you warm on chilly days, and they bite the shit out of anyone who fucks with you. A dog companion would have been perfect on this day, because it would have protected me from sexual assailants like Brett Kavanaugh. Having attributed the behavior of this tom with that of a dog, I assumed that he would likewise protect me from harm. But Brett Kavanaugh is not a dog. Brett Kavanaugh is not a companion. Brett Kavanaugh is a monster.

When I started to recline, Brett Kavanaugh got excited. This didn’t surprise me, because my dogs also get excited when they think we’re taking a nap. Just as a canine might jump expectantly into bed and burrow into the blankets, Brett Kavanaugh danced about and flared his feathers and crashed into me like he was the divine wind of edible birds. I took this excitement to be akin to that of a dog when presented with this behavior: ‘Oh shit! We’re gonna nap!” Except for a turkey, that excitement translates as: ‘Oh shit! I’m going to vent jizz out of my cloaca and all over this dope!’

Back then, when I was young and beautiful and fuckable, I could fall asleep in a blink. These days I need to read for an hour and watch a 30-minute video of someone trying to solve a Rubick’s cube, but once upon a time, I was a goddamn napping professional. I was asleep in seconds and, as is common with the unconscious, for a period heretofore and still unknown. So I don’t know how long I was out before Brett Kavanaugh was upon me, but upon me he was. He mounted me, hopping from one foot to the next and flapping his wings while coming the closest I surmise a turkey comes to screaming.

Disoriented and trapped beneath the weight of a 30 pound caterwauling bird whose full mass was perched on little stilts no wider than pencils, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Imagine having two thin rods each bearing a 30 pound load punching into you in quick alternate succession while making a sound akin to Bobcat Goldthwait gargling boiling bacon fat. That’s what it’s like to get fucked by Brett Kavanaugh. I wanted to get him off of me before he got off on me and this turned into a Thanksgiving bukkake party, but I also didn’t want to hurt him. Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist, sure, but he also lacked the mental acuity required to make logical or compassionate decisions, which is why we don’t let turkeys drive or babysit or sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. The farmer who tended this bird, however, had no such compunctions. He saw my predicament, ran over, kicked Brett Kavanaugh off of me like he was trying to score 3 points, and (as noted) called me an idiot.

That was a long time ago. Now, as with every Thanksgiving since, I eat birds like Brett Kavanaugh, and I relish the fact that I can soak my repast in turkey gravy before it has the opportunity to soak me in the like. These days, we have another Brett Kavanaugh in the world. One is a squawking rapist, the other is a bird.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!