A Fowl of the law

The Pick Your Part auto-salvage yard in Anaheim, Calif., hatched an intriguing Thanksgiving promotion: Buy any car part and get a live turkey for only 25 cents. In much the same way they roam the scrap yard to find a part, customers had to climb into a pen and abduct their own turkey.

What could be the harm?

Well, it turns out California has many laws about this type of thing. After People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals made a stink, a battery of county and state officials descended on the scrap yard and pulled the plug. Now the company’s president, Glenn McElroy, is left with 320 turkeys that, thanks to various laws, he is not allowed to give away to customers, keep or kill.

But it doesn’t end there. After the Los Angeles Times ran a story with the headline “Man eats crow over turkey hunt,” at least five TV news crews flocked to the scene, eager for a juicy story.

Far from a fiasco, it has turned into a publicity bonanza, said a woman who answered the phone at McElroy’s office. (He was busy doing TV interviews.)

“We’ve never had anything like this,” she said. While the birds’ plight remains uncertain, one frequently proposed solution was rejected out of hand. “No, we can’t just let them fly away,” she said. “They’re too fat and, I guess you’d have to say, too domesticated.”