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This Close to Normalcy

Posted by Jim Schlender

s melum 08.jpgSusie Melum almost did it. She was nearly able to shake turkey fever. Hang up the camo. Put away the shotgun. Sleep in on Saturdays during spring … Almost, I said.

The turkeys haven’t been kind to my co-worker for the past few seasons. Then, after dealing with crummy weather and uncooperative birds last week, she confided to a friend that it just wasn’t fun anymore. Not that she hasn’t enjoyed some success. For a few seasons Susie killed turkeys with scary consistency. Then she ran into a bit of a drought, which is what happens when you use all your luck early in the game, and the thrill started to wear off.

So, Susie comes to the office this morning with the spurs from a tom she killed Sunday morning. Actually, spurs isn’t a fair description. They’re more like hooks — hooks with a sweeping curve that end in icepick-pointy sharpness. Once-in-a-lifetime, limb-hanging hooks that could put your eye out. They’re better than 11/2 inches, and that’s saying something for this part of Wisconsin, which experiences heavy pressure for six weeks every spring.

s melum spurs 08.jpgAfter many congratulations and high-fives, we made Susie recount her hunt. “Really,” she said, “after last week I was so done with turkeys. I was disgusted. But I’m OK now.”

I had to laugh at the reality of Brian Lovett’s brief answer: “Oh Susie,” he said with a sigh, “you were this close to normalcy.”

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