My dental appointments usually take about an hour to complete – approximately 15 minutes to check out my molars, incisors, and canines before a 45-minute story of the dentist’s latest hunting adventure.
Last week, the good doctor told me of his most recent hunting trip to Florida, in his quest to complete the “grand slam” of turkey hunting, by taking an Osceola turkey.
One of his dentist friends in that state had invited him to fly down for a quick, one-day hunt, for the elusive bird. The friend had also graciously offered to provide him with a shotgun so that he wouldn’t have the hassle and expense of checking his own gun on the plane.
According to my dentist, the Osceola turkey has even keener eyesight than the Eastern wild turkey, that he is used to hunting, so it would be imperative that he rise and shoot as soon as he has visual confirmation. Squatting in the heavy swamp grass together, the two dental surgeons successfully called in a big Osceola tom.
My dentist, obeying instructions from the more experienced Florida guy, sprang from his hiding place to shoot, about one second before his friend did the same. At first, my dentist was irritated, thinking that his Florida friend had purposely doubled on the bird to claim partial credit for the prize. But then, the Florida hunter ran over to where they had shot and yelled, “We both got one!” Sure enough, there were two birds down.
My dentist most certainly wanted to bring his bird back to Missouri to mount as evidence that he had, in fact, harvested an Osceola turkey. Either that, or his wife needed proof that the quick trip to Florida actually involved hunting.
Regardless, he went to the nearest local discount store and purchased a cheap cooler to fly the trophy back home. Guessing that the bird weighed a little under 20 pounds and the plastic cooler about one pound, he packed it in 30 pounds of ice, because the airline only charged $35 for one additional piece of freight, as long as it was 50 pounds or less.
With a surgeon’s skill, the dentist carefully used an entire roll of duct tape to seal the lid and reinforce the sides of the cheap cooler. As he checked the cooler at the airport, he had to show all licenses and permits to prove the contents and legality of the cargo. Documenting that all the paperwork was in order, the ticket-lady placed the cooler on the scales to reveal that the entire package weighed…52 pounds. That would be an extra $100, because it was over their limit. (Did I mention that my dentist is pretty tight with his money?) He was shocked and saddened, but he had to get the bird back home.
“Why didn’t you just remove 2 pounds of ice?” I asked.
“I would have, but I had no duct tape left and I knew I’d never get it resealed good enough to make the flight,” he quickly answered. “So, as much as it hurt, I just paid the extra $100.”
Sympathizing with the guy, I offered up my best, “Sorry.”
“Oh, it’s all right,” he replied with a wink, “Your bill for today should just about cover it.”


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