Expect the Unexpected … questions

Zoë Sharp

Today is my turn to take the wheel for Expect the Unexpected Tuesday here at Murderati. So, I thought I’d share a few of the strange questions we’ve all been asked as writers when we go to do signings or events. I emailed round my fellow ‘Ratis and asked for their oddest Q&A, and also another oddball question.

So, in no particular order, here are their anwers:

Zoë Sharp (I thought I’d kick off, just to make things fair)

My oddest question has to be from someone at a library event. “If you were asked, would you write the autobiography of Tony Blair (then Prime Minister of the UK).”

My answer? “If it’s his autobiography, he can write it himself.”

What’s something my main protagonist would NEVER say?

“What a pretty motorcycle. Do they have them in pink?” Charlie Fox.

And finally, what’s in my fridge? Fresh coriander, the last of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, half a melon, grapes, spinach leaves, chillis, live yoghurt (might not have been live when it went in there) three different types of olives, feta cheese, chorizo, Marmite chocolate, cherry tomatoes, 1% milk, and something growing fur that growls when I open the door.


Alex Sokoloff

Well, my most-asked question is a completely expected one, given what I write, but I’d say an unusual one in general: “Have you ever had a paranormal experience?” And my answer varies, but very early on in life I noticed what seemed to be a correlation between mental/emotional illness and paranormal events. Emotionally disturbed people seem to have a high level of psychic awareness, and they attract synchronicities and even weirder occurrences, and I’ve been around for some of those weirdnesses. That’s a theme in a lot of my writing.

I can safely say that none of my main characters would ever say: “I’m voting for Newt Gingrich.”


Jonathan Hayes

What’s in my fridge? I live in New York City, and am pretty busy, so I tend to order for delivery most days. I have the fridge of a supermodel, nothing but condiments and wine. I have to do regular purges to dislodge various hangers-on – sandwich ends, the rotting husks of formerly fine French cheeses etc. On the plus side, it’s usually spotless, thanks to a combination of under use and my excellent housekeeper.

Stephen Jay Schwartz

My question? “How did you do the research for all the sex-addiction stuff in BOULEVARD and BEAT?”

My answer? “Uh … next question?”

What’s something my protagonist would never say?  “I’d rather you not wear the fuck-me pumps tonight.”

What’s in my fridge?  Tofu, non-fat milk, the last of the crusty old cake we made for Halloween, yogurt, Manchego cheese, ketchup and mustard.


Gar Anthony Haywood

Oddest question? Somebody (don’t remember who or where) asked me recently how I manage to get all my manuscripts to conform to what he perceived was my publisher’s general page count, as if I plan for them all to end at page 435 on the button.  Wish I could say I had a snappy comeback for that, but I was too stunned to say much more than, “My manuscripts end where they will, I don’t have any page-length expectations whatsoever.”

What’s in my fridge? Asparagus I will never touch.  (It belongs to the wife, who loves the stuff.  Me, I can’t stand it.)

Rob Gregory Browne

Questions I’ve been asked? The only thing I can think of is:  When my first book came out, I did a signing for Book Soup at the LA Festival of Books. I had a stack of hardbacks in front of me and guy comes up and asks me when Michael Connelly would be signing. I told him I didn’t know, but the schedule is posted, and gestured to the wall behind me. He looked at me and said, “You’re a poor excuse for an employee. You want me to report you to your supervisor?” 

I wish I could tell you I had a witty retort, but I was too dumbfounded to respond before he walked away in disgust.

Got nothing on the character front.  Half the time I don’t know what they’re going to say, so it’s hard to predict.  As for my fridge, I’d say that at any given time there are usually about two weeks’ worth or leftovers that nobody has the courage to look at, let alone eat.

Brett Battles

So, would you mind giving me a quote of something you’ve been asked? And your answer to it?

The question: Are “you” in any of the characters you write?

My answer: Definitely. Most obvious would be in my main protagonist, but with this caveat: pretty much any of their faults are mine, but, as much as I wish it weren’t true, few of their strengths.

What’s in my fridge? Seven hardboiled eggs, 21 cans of Diet Dr. Pepper, 2 bottles of Champagne, various condiments, 3 bottles of Pilsner, 3/4s of a bar of Toblerone Chocolate, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 bag of marshmallows, and a partially used 6 pack of 5-Hour Energy Drinks. (Wow, what happens at five hours and five minutes, Brett? Do your energy levels suddenly just crash? ZS)


JT Ellison

Fridge: Apple cider, wine, milk, caffeine-free Diet Dr. Pepper, 7Up, water, four different types of cheese, spinach, Dulce de Leche pudding, hummus, pizza crust, pepperonis, mushrooms, eggs. BORING.

Funny question: “So why don’t you write children’s books?”

(answer unrepeatable) Because sometimes I get huffy about it. My honest answer is usually because I don’t have kids. Then they logically reply but you were a kid once. Sisyphus.


Tess Gerritsen

It’s not a question  but a comment, meant to be complimentary, that startles me whenever i hear it: “Your English is so good!” (Said because they can’t quite fathom that even with an Asian face, one really can be American.)

What’s in my fridge?  Always a bottle of white wine!


JD Rhoades

I couldn’t begin to repeat to you the strangest question I’ve ever been asked. It was at a bookstore event, and during the Q & A, an older lady who my very well have been off her medications stood up and launched into this long, rambling, and nearly incoherent…well, the only way to describe it was “word salad.” After a couple of minutes, everyone was sort of looking at each other uncomfortably. When she finally wound down, I couldn’t resist; I said “can you repeat the question?” I felt kind of bad when everyone laughed and the poor mad woman just looked confused. Fortunately the host stepped in at that point and called on someone else.


My other favorite comment (not necessarily a question) was at one of those “moveable feast’ events where there’s a luncheon and the authors move from table to table to talk about their books with people who’ve bought tickets. I’d been getting a polite reception from the various tables, but it was clear they hadn’t read and probably hadn’t heard of any of my books. Finally I sat down at a table of attractive young women, one of whom immediately announced “we’ve decided we all want to sleep with Jack Keller.” Made the whole trip worth it for me.

 What’s something one of my characters would never say?

“Dang it, I’m fresh out of high explosives.” -Sgt. Thomas Calhoun, GALLOWS POLE

“Screw it, they’re not my kids, I’m not going to get involved.” -Tony Wolf, BREAKING COVER.


 Toni McGee Causey

The question that I still shake my head over is the lengthy one someone asked at a romance conference where we were talking about sex scenes and how to write them. First question out of the box from a woman in the back of the room was: “How would you go about writing a sex scene where the heroine, who is over fifty, is having sex for the very first time and is… excited… and [the questioner added] let me assure you this can happen–she was well… lubricated… so how would you describe that to the audience?”

The answer? “Very carefully.”

The rest of the answer? We don’t need a play-by-play of these details unless they are somehow extremely relevant to the development of the character and story. Most of the time, less really is more.

What’s something your main protag or one of your characters would NEVER say?

Bobbie Faye would never say, “Oh, dear, I shall just sit here on the porch and let the strong menfolk handle everything.”

What’s in your fridge? Sadly, very little, as I’ve just gotten back from a long trip and there is a desperate need for a grocery shopping in my near future.


PD Martin

This is hard, Zoë! Most of the questions I get asked are just ‘regular’. You know, how long does it take you to write a book, how long did it take you to get published, how do you do the research … One I get a lot is do I think crime fiction contributes to the crime rate. Has anyone done that one? Want me to give my official answer?


Something my protagonist would never say. I must be having a completely non-creative moment so I’m going with the fridge.


My fridge is full of boring healthy stuff at the moment because the Aussie summer is less than two weeks away and I don’t fit into any of my summer clothes! Ahh!!! So, celery, carrot, low-fat yogurt, eggs. There are also some gorgeous chicken pies hubby made (but I’m not letting myself have any). And beer, Chang (Thai) – man, I’d love one of those right about now 🙂


David Corbett

So, would you mind giving me a quote of something you’ve been asked? And your answer to it?

During my first book tour, when my PI background was still a prominent part of my bio, I did a reading in Davis, CA at the Avid Reader, and only two people showed up — one man, one woman, neither with any interest in my book. Rather, both had cases they wanted to discuss with me, cases that involved vast conspiracies so insidious “no one would touch them.” I can’t recall the specifics of either now, but I was asked to take up the call and expose the faceless monsters behind the curtain. The fact I had two such characters at a single reading — and on one else — seemed odd for a campus town, and just a little discouraging. I humored both of them by agreeing the cases sounded dire indeed, but I was out of the business and sadly couldn’t help. For the most part they seemed mollified just to talk. Thankfully. Would have been nice if just one of them had ponied up and bought a book, but I suppose that’s asking too much.

 What’s in your fridge?

The severed head of the last person who asked me this question.


So, ‘Rati. What’s the strangest question you’ve heard asked of an author. Or that you’ve asked an author? Or been asked yourself?

What’s something your character would never say? Or something your favourite character would never say?

And what’s in your fridge?


54 thoughts on “Expect the Unexpected … questions

  1. Sarah W

    Lawrence Block once spoke at our library and was asked a rambling "word salad" question about politics and publishing conspiracies and his own writing so forth by an older gentleman whose habit it was to hijack the talks of every writer who came to town. Those of us in the know groaned, and I saw our assistant director and the director of our local writing center preparing to intervene.

    But Mr. Block just waited until the gentleman paused for breath and said, "I'm sorry, but I'm going to stick to questions about my books today. I know most of the answers to those," and chose someone else. The gentleman blinked and sat down–I'd never seen him handled so well. If I hadn't been a fan of Mr. Block before, that would have done it.

    "It's not a woman's place to worry about that kind of thing, Nico. I'm sure whatever you decide will be just fine." Diotima (from Gary Corby's Ancient Athenian mysteries)

    in the fridge: half a carton of eggnog, nonfat greek yogurt, Jello and pudding packs for the kids' lunches, various fruits and veggies, eclectic leftovers (including three green beans and six corn kernels in a large container and a small bowl of Disney Princess Soup with one Cinderella noodle floating in it), enough dairy products and eggs to harden the arteries of anyone within a twenty-mile radius (that isn't a criticism, but the way), my daughter's plastic shark, and half a pound of chicken sausage with artichoke, garlic, and smoked mozzarella.

    Don't ask me about the freezer . . . please.

  2. Debbie

    I recall talking to an author at a literary festival (Word On The Street) in Toronto. He was representing a writers' group and really playing up the monthly breakfasts. I was trying to figure out if this group would be a place to call home and had mentioned my writing. At one point he looked at me and asked, 'What do you do for an income?' I smiled sweetly and said, 'Nothing, I'm married.' I don't know why but that amused the hell out of me and before the conversation ended, he handed me his business card and offered to read the first chapter of my MS!

  3. Karen in Ohio

    We just returned from our daughter's wedding in Florida and I haven't yet gone to the grocery to replenish. However, we do have all the usual condiments, and some weird things, including a dab of green tomato/lemon marmalade I made this summer, the last four ripe tomatoes from the garden, some Jerusalem artichokes I want to try (they're supposed to taste a lot like potato), some hickory bark syrup from the farmers' market, tart cherry juice concentrate, and pumpkin ale. Also, a wild turkey my husband shot on our farm, which is thawing for the upcoming holiday.

    I'm still fried from the wedding festivities, so that's all I can manage this morning, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the authors' answers!

  4. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Sarah

    What a brilliant answer from Lawrence Block. I shall have to remember and steal that for answering any similar awkward questions in future.

    Like your answer to the ‘what would they never say’ bit. I can imagine Judith saying much the same thing … 🙂

    Erm, what is your daughter’s plastic shark doing in the fridge? And don’t say “keeping cool” …

  5. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Debbie

    LOL. On the other hand, I just read a lovely joke which has a young kid showing his friends old pictures of his parents’ wedding and telling them, “And this is the day mummy came to work for us …”

  6. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Karen

    I love the way you just so casually throw in the bit about “…and a wild turkey my husband shot on our farm, which is thawing for the upcoming holiday.”

    That’s so cool – if you’ll pardon the pun 🙂

  7. Allison Davis

    I remember Robert Crais telling us about a book signing he did at Costco and no one showed up. The way he told it was both funny and poignant but that on the road thing doesn't sound all wine and flowers. (Tess: ouch. ) Maybe I'm not cut out to be an author; on at least three different occasions, I would have found it hard to suppress the word "asshole" or worse.

    In the frig: Fresh squeezed pomagranate juice from farmer's market, a brand new pot of yellow pea soup, leeks, rutabagas and turnips (see recipe from yesterday), two bottles of high end sake and two bottles of white wine, ginger beer (for "dark and stormy's"), cheese to be tossed, some to be eaten, Tunisian cured olives, Martha White's self rising corn meal (the best), condiments and other assorted stuff.

    (Fun, loved hearing from everyone)

  8. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Allison

    We do say "asshole" or at least, being a Brit, I say "arsehole". It's just that between our brain and our mouths, good sense turns it into, "Really? How interesting…"

    And you can always use it in a book 🙂

    I have to ask and reveal my ignorance – what's a rutabaga?

  9. Allison Davis

    Rutabagas are like turnips only bigger, sweeter and a big yellow colored and their greens aren't as good. The tradition with rutabagas, a cold weather root crop, came from my Dad's side, which is Manx (yes, Isle of Man) and my g'ma who was born in Liverpool (and took me to see the Beatles when I was young). We mixed it with carrots for Thanksgiving but more recently I've discovered a few more interesting recipes.

  10. Lisa Alber

    Oh, I've got a good one. At a party one festive evening, a friend introduced me to an older woman with a deep, leathery tan and girly barrettes in her hair. I mentioned that I write fiction, and she asked me, So, do you think it's true that creative types tend to be mentally ill?

    I laughed my mentally ill laugh.

    My protagonist, Merrit, would never say: I give up, this is too hard, I'm going to back to bed. (I, however, have been known to succumb to this sentiment.)

    Fridge: stir-fry veggies (pre-cut, from store), tofu, bottled water, cuties, 1% organic milk, spinach, kidney beans, lentils ready for eating (cross fingers haven't gone slimey yet), soy yogurt, olive oil, balsamic, cilantro, about 20 condiments, sauces, and seasoners of different types (most furry, I'm sure), flax seed meal, fish oil vitamins, and one very nice bottle of champagne that I'm saving for a special occasion–you can probably guess what occasion comes to mind.

  11. Gayle Carline

    First of all, I think the rest of you are lying about what's in your fridges. There can't be that many people in the world with THAT much interesting food. I have milk, OJ, butter, eggs. Normal. Stuff.

    My weirdest question came from the mom of one of my friends. When we were introduced, my friend told her I write a humor column for the newspaper, so she asked me about it. I explained that it was an Erma Bombeck-style, slice-of-life, sort of essay and she said, "You know what you need to write about? Recipes." Poor woman, she thought I could cook.

    What would the protagonist in my mysteries never say? "You're right. 'Minneopa' is so hard to pronounce, I think I'll change my name to 'Smith'." At least, she'd never say that and MEAN it.

  12. Sarah W


    I was going to say "Sitting on the spaghetti," but my daughter just came home from her half-day, so I asked.

    Apparently, it's a salmon shark, and salmon sharks swim in the northern Pacific, where it's colder.

    I mentioned that she'd told me it was a coral reek shark last night during her bath.

    "Oh . . . He was just visiting the reef to warm up."

    So there you go.

  13. Reine

    I've only been to a couple of book signing events. Both were fun (Hi Zoë) and all questions and comments were very interesting. Sherman Alexie's at the Harvard Coop had an interesting start in that someone had approached us (a group of his Native friends and well-wishers standing in the back of the room) and asked if one of us would like to introduce him).

    A very lengthy and culturally-appropriate discussion started . . . as in . . . Oh I think you know him better . . . or . . . Oh I think she does . . . or . . . You could do that . . . or . . . SILENCE . . . . for a long time . . . like 5 minutes or so of all of us looking at the ceiling and such until someone said, "Angela's his wife's best friend." We all looked at Angela, who waited a sufficient length of time before walking to the podium to introduce him.

    After he finished reading an excerpt from his book, RESERVATION BLUES, someone asked a question regarding communal decision making. He just looked at us in the back. We started laughing. The audience looked at us. We kind of looked off into space. Giggle, giggle.

  14. Reine

    Oh, my fridge:

    Green Taco Sauce
    Cornmeal and Molasses Bread
    Gilroy Garlic
    Carrots from Grimmway Farms in Bakersfield
    Wild Rice
    Siggi's Strained-Creamy-NONFAT Yogurt from Iceland — OMG! http://skyr.com/
    Egils Appelsin orange soda from Iceland
    The Turkey Scout won
    Cholula Hot Sauce
    Three Jars of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
    Fresh Flour Tortillas
    Triple Cream Blue Cheese – like really soft and gooey
    Wine (from 3 years ago?)

  15. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Lisa

    I was once asked if I needed some kind of multiple personality disorder to write from more than one character’s viewpoint, so I sympathise with your questioner’s logic … a bit.

    Like the quote, and I too have been known to succumb to that one.

    Pre-cut veggies? Really? Last time I was at the supermarket I saw pre-sliced mushrooms, but they hadn’t been cleaned. It was a proper WTF moment, as everybody knows what mushrooms are grown in, and cleaning them AFTER they’ve been cut up just makes the job twice as hard, doesn’t it?

    Hope you get to crack open that bottle of champagne soon 🙂

  16. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Gayle

    OK, so I made up the bit about the growly fur in my fridge. I beat that back with a stick when we got back from being away last week, at which point I also discovered that the small piece of leftover cucumber in the salad drawer had turned almost entirely to liquid.

    Don’t you just love people who try to give you their ideas? And how tempted are you to say, “If it’s so good, why don’t you do it?” Love the quote from your protag, btw.

  17. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Reine

    I do quite a few events at libraries and public buildings where the staff are obliged to do the standard ‘what-to-do-in-case-of-fire’ briefings as part of their intro. I’m always desperate to stand up and start doing an airline cabin crew-style mime. “In the event of an emergency there may be a loss of cabin pressure and a reduction in the number of wings …”

  18. PD Martin

    Ooops, I never did give you my official response! Sorry. Here it is…

    No, I don't think reading my books or crime fiction in general will inspire someone to commit a criminal/violent act. I think if people are wired that way, they'll commit the crime. And if they're not wired that way, reading every single crime fiction book on the planet wouldn't change their behaviour!

    Thanks for the post, Zoe. Great idea and great fun…Except for Tess's comment. Tess, that's so horrible. It just baffles me sometimes that there's still racism in today's multicultural world.


  19. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    Great blog idea, Zoe! Thanks for putting it together and getting all the Rati, past and present, involved!

  20. Reine

    Yes, Scout won a 15lb turkey at the grocery store! It's beautiful. I have to send him back for more garlic now.

    Stephen, I ditto that.

    Tess, your experience reminds me of the comment most Native Americans hear at one point or other:
    You're an Indian? But you're so articulate! Or my personal favorite: Oh, that explains it. [Huh?]

  21. Katherine Howell

    Great post and answers!

    Odd questions:
    "If your book is the answer, what is the question?"

    Multiple versions of conspiracy theory stories from clearly unhinged people, sometimes whispered behind marquees at festivals, and "will I write it for them?" Add on various statements about bestsellerdom and subsequent danger from the police/government/"them"/etc.

    An email – "I lead a poetry group and we want to put together an anthology of short stories and we want to self-publish because we don't want to put in all the effort to get good and then have to wait ages before a publisher gets back to us, and we want you to be our on-call person when we have questions." I replied that I don't write poetry or short stories, I believe that putting the time and effort in to make your work as good as it can be is never wasted, I have no experience with self-publishing, and for all these reasons I am not the person to help you. They didn't write back.

    A variation on Phillipa's : "How can you write crime when there's so much crime in the world – aren't you just adding to all the badness?'

    I think I have a face that attracts the crazies …..

  22. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Phillipa

    By the time I realised you hadn’t got back to me with your answer, it was kinda late to ask, so I was quietly hoping you might put it in the comments. Thanks for that!

    Sadly, it baffles but does not surprise me at all that there is racism, sexism and general bigotry in today’s multicultural world.

  23. Zoë Sharp

    Thanks, Stephen

    I asked everyone I could think of, which left a little room for those who didn’t have the time or opportunity to respond in time to be included. Thanks for your answers – although you wriggled out of one. What IS your answer to the sex-research question …?

  24. Zoë Sharp

    Thanks, Reine

    What did Scout have to do to win the turkey, or was it a lottery of some kind? And they have a competition for garlic? Those comments defy belief, don’t they?

  25. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Katherine

    I love that question, too: “If your book is the answer, what’s the question?” That could be taken so many ways.

    That email is amazing. I have no objection to helping people, if they go about asking in the right way. But that’s taking the— taking things a little too far, IMHO.

    I was interviewing Martina Cole at the Reading Festival of Crime Writing a couple of weeks ago, and one of the questions then was to ask if Martina was in favour of bringing back hanging, which seemed a little outside her remit!

  26. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Alex

    That question is a cracker, isn’t it? If you’re going to use it for one of your themes, I’ll have to start thinking of a decent answer now …

  27. KDJames

    Oh, I love this post. SO GOOD to hear the old familiar voices mixed in with the new. (Hi, Toni!) Nicely done, Zoë!

    The only question readers ask me (so far) is, "Is the book done yet?" After hearing some of these responses, I'm tempted to never finish it, so no one has the opportunity to ask me anything really strange. What amazing tact you all have.

    Right now my fridge contains one of everything, including a 16-pound turkey. My kids will both be here for Thanksgiving and that means random hungry friends of theirs will stop by, so I have to be prepared. It's like feeding the entire 82nd Airborne.

    But what's all this about "things characters would never say?" Characters are supposed to talk? WTF? Why am I just now hearing about this?


    Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! I might not get back over here until I'm done feeding everyone. And then recovering from it. At least I've trained my kids to do the cleanup.

  28. Pari Noskin

    I accidentally sent my answers to Gar yesterday when he sent you the email with his answers. I can't believe it! Sheesh.

    So . . . I didn't ignore you, but do feel quite like a dope!

    "Have you ever been abducted by space aliens?"

    When I replied that I didn't think so, the person pressed on. "Have you ever dreamed about aliens?" And when I said I had, the man sat back in his seat, folded his arms and nodded his head. "Just like I thought," he said. "You have."

    What's something your main protag or one of your characters would NEVER say?

    Sasha wouldn't ever say either one of these:
    "I love WeightWatchers!"
    "I'm going vegan. Who needs whipped cream anyway?"

  29. Zoë Sharp

    Thanks KD

    I always avoid asking “Is the book finished yet?” which has a certain amount of challenge to it that I feel is unfair. Everybody writes at their own pace. Instead I favour, “How’s the writing going?” or even, “What are you working on at the moment?” Much more diplomatic 🙂

    Actually, when we were building the house we got equally fed up of the common question, “Haven’t you finished yet?” To which we eventually developed the answer, “No … why – how long did it take you to build your house?”

    My God, a 16lb turkey? Are the floors stressed to take something that big?

  30. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Pari

    No need for you to feel like a dope. I know life’s totally crazy for you at the moment, so I didn’t want to send out any more reminders than I did. I hope you didn’t read the post this morning and think I was ignoring you.

    Wow, I’ve never been asked the alien abduction question although I find being able to say (with absolute truth) that I signed the Official Secrets Act more than twenty years ago covers a multitude of sins 🙂

    Love the quotes from Sasha, btw. VERY her … not!

  31. Reine

    David, that might almost discourage me for having book signings. I've read of wonderful authors not having anyone show for a signing. It's hard to imagine doing that more than once. There must be a benefit somewhere? Yeah, Davis of all places. Are campus bookstores any better? I can't always be that way? Readers love you.

    This brings up another question. Here in Tucson I missed two readings a few years ago. I didn't hear about them until after there was a small article in the local throw-away about one with a notice of the next (too late for me to attend). I wouldn't have even seen that if Kendall hadn't missed the bin which caused me to show him the paper up close.

  32. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Reine

    Sadly, failure to get the word out can lead to a very poor turnout, regardless of the venue. I did an event recently where the ticket seller got the number of tickets sold mixed up with the number left, which resulted in a smaller audience than we would otherwise have got, as a local writing group wanted to bring 20 people and were told there weren't enough tickets left for them. Ah well, it happens.

    I love the idea that you had to show Kendall the paper closely because he missed the bin. I have visions of that dog in full basketball gear now …

  33. Karen in Ohio

    Zoe, we've had a 24-pound turkey before. They do take up a lot of room, and I suspect wouldn't fit in either your European fridge or oven!

  34. Zoë Sharp

    Wow, Karen – I think you're right, although we do have a US-style refridgerator. The thought of going out and hunting something that big is pretty scary, though. That's practically velociraptor territory 🙂

  35. Karen in Ohio

    That's hilarious, Zoe! Turkeys are the least scary of game, especially the wild ones, who run from people. The domestic turkeys, though, are nasty beasts who use those barbed hooks on the backs of their feet to fend off humans. They terrify me.

  36. Zoë Sharp

    From what I understand of it, domestic turkeys bred to that kind of weight are so heavy they dislocate their hips very easily. A turkey on a zimmer frame is not quite so scary …:)

  37. Karen in Ohio

    The first wild turkey my husband shot, with my help, was 23 pounds. We've never had another one that big, though.

    Tee,hee, thinking of the turkey in the walker. 🙂

  38. Reine

    Hi Zoë,

    Oops, missed this:
    "What did Scout have to do to win the turkey, or was it a lottery of some kind? And they have a competition for garlic? Those comments defy belief, don’t they?"

    I think if a star comes up on your über $100 register receipt, you got a free turkey. I won a twenty-pounder one year in the store raffle. I have an uncle who wins one every year at a trap-shooting event, called a turkey shoot, at his rod & gun club.

  39. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Karen

    There must be something very satisfying about going out and shooting your own turkey for the table at this time of year. Sadly, we can't do it over here – no wild turkeys and the farmers would be very upset if we went and shot one of theirs!

  40. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Reine

    LOL on the turkey shoot – how appropriate.

    Garlic left whole is amazingly mild, but chopped up I wouldn't think you'd have to worry about vampires for some time …

    Oh, and congrats on winning the turkey!

  41. Karen in Ohio

    Very satisfying. We have a farm in northern Kentucky, and loads of deer and turkey there. So even better when it comes from our own property.

  42. Karen in Ohio

    If you're ever in this part of the country, let me know. I'll be happy to show you around. It's pretty darned spectacular.

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