Peter Pan and Tinkerbell were a newly married happy couple who arrived in the south that had many new things to discover. One tradition they had never been exposed to before was a turkey fryer. This new way of cooking Turkeys changed the holiday tradition of Peter and Tinkerbell in an instant. The first year they learned about the importance of injecting marinades. The next year there was the lesson of cooking chickens this new way too. The following years’ lessons were dedicated to the oil used to fry those chickens and turkeys. There is an art to cooking this way. Do it right and it is amazing. Do it wrong and you have a slimy mess on your hands.
The tasty birds brought attention from friends that came to visit the south. All enjoyed this new way of cooking. Pride beamed from Tinkerbell for several reasons. Peter was thriving in this manly cooking technique filled with fire and oil. This also meant that Tinkerbell could gladly hand over the main attraction of the holiday feast to her beloved Peter. Sounds like a wining situation!
The down side to a turkey fryer is the clean up. Several gallons of cooking oil are used. Since it was only used once a year, the oil was not reused. For safety, the oil needed to cool down completely prior to removing from the huge pot. Oh, and this cooking takes place outside the home. Every year there are fires due to improper placement and use of the fryer. If you put your fryer too close to the home all sorts of things can happen. Oil can boil out and burn you. The flame from the propane can set the house on fire. Your siding can melt if it gets too hot.
This leads to the ideal placement of Peter Pan’s fryer for safety. The front yard seemed to be the best place. There the dogs were fenced in the back yard. The front porch was stone and the hedge covered the fryer from sight of neighbors. Seemed perfect. Actually it was safe. Never did Peter set anything on actual fire with the fryer. The meals were always tasty. The clean up was left to Peter which he initially took pride in this task as well. He loved the large pot and wanted it cleaned as quickly so that he could make chili with it if he desired.
As years passed, the clean up slowed down. The final year of a turkey fryer in the life of Tinkerbell came on the 10th anniversary of its use. That year Peter unknowingly ignited a fire within Tinkerbell. It was a slow burn that did not actually turn into a blaze for several months. Peter promised to clean the fryer and dispose of the oil after it cooled down. That seemed reasonable at the time and Tinkerbell showered him with gratitude, as he had done those 9 years before. Tinkerbell was certain that 2 months was plenty of time to allow the oil to cool in order to safely dispose of. She checked with Peter to see if he needed help with the clean up or anything from her to get this taken care of. Peter proudly declined her help and pronounced that he would take care of it over the weekend. Tinkerbell felt relief as she put trust in her beloved to take care of this. She was counting on him. Also, she was sick of seeing the fryer every day.
Let us remember the safest place for the turkey fryer was in the front yard. The home that Peter and Tinkerbell lived in was lovely and from the turn of the century. The sidewalk in front of the house was lined with a dense hedge that came up to Tinkerbell’s chest, and was deep enough that she could not see into the yard from the sidewalk. You had to walk through the gate to enter the property and walk up the walkway to the front door. The hedge provided some privacy from the neighbors and street where they parked their cars. The turkey fryer could not be seen until you exited your car, gathered up your belongings, walked through the gate and started your walk to the front door. This placement provided privacy from others seeing it. However, it fed the slow burning fire inside Tinkerbell each day she came home from work to see the fryer in the same place filled with oil.
Two months and the promised weekend came and went. As did 4 more months. Apparently, a battle of the wills began on Thanksgiving and came to an end the next May. Peter Pan wanted to please Tinkerbell, but he suffered from “Out of sight out of mind” syndrome. If you could make it into the front door without looking at the fryer you could be assured that there was something to do in the house that took you away from cleaning that damned fryer. Checking the mail was enough to forget about the new spoiling yard ornament as it began to be referred to. Tinkerbell’s requests turned into timelines, then to demands, and finally she fell silent. It is never good when Tinkerbell goes silent. That either means she has given up or is plotting your demise.
Peter kept promising. Tinkerbell continued to be greeted by the fryer every time she came home. A surprising rage bubbled up inside her when she saw the fryer. It almost scared her that she could become so angry so quickly. She felt betrayed by her beloved and hated it. She tried to adopt Peter’s technique by not looking at it and then distract yourself with something the minute she crossed the threshold of the house. This out of sight thing seemed to work for about a month. Then Tinkerbell started to shout! She shouted in her head at the sight of it. “That Damned Turkey Fryer! Really? OMG! @$$%#!?~!!” Then the shouting came out of her mouth when she was alone. She would yell as soon as she got in the house. This helped for about another 2 months. Peter seemed to have no idea what was eating Tinkerbell. “Why are you so mad? I will get to it. Don’t worry about it. Just let it go, Tinkerbell, for Christ sake! It’s just a turkey fryer.”
By the time her birthday came along with spring, Tinkerbell was hoping to see the fryer gone as a gift. Nope. Well, maybe for Mother’s day. Nope. By the end of May Tinkerbell relented and Peter won the battle. He came home to see his beloved Tinkerbell struggling to empty the fryer oil into containers. Peter rushed over to offer his help. Tinkerbell put her hand on his chest to stop him. She says, “Don’t worry Baby, I’ve got this. It’s just rancid oil. ” Peter backed away and went into the house. Tinkerbell finished her task with a twist. She not only threw out the oil; the fryer and pot joined the oil in the trash.
Peter may have won the battle of wills, but he lost Tinkerbell and her love. Tinkerbell has yet to welcome a turkey fryer on her property since that day. She did have a giggle just this year as a result of Peter cooking the Thanksgiving goose in a turkey fryer with his new fairy maiden. Tinkerbell went to pick up Tiny Tink (her daughter) and noticed 2 huge containers of used oil by the trash. They had yet to make it actually into the trash can. That trash can and oil is something that you see when you walk up to the house from your car. Oh, and it was June. Apparently, some things never change. Tinkerbell giggled and sent a silent high five to the fairy maiden, for she must be stronger than Tinkerbell.