By Nargis Nooristani
ORINDA — The turkey on their plates, drenched in gravy and served alongside the stuffing, wasn’t the only one the ladies of Sison Salon encountered this past Thanksgiving.
Possibly an attempt at escaping a similar fate as its ill-fortuned brethren? Perhaps an act of protest against the November rituals that make any turkey quiver under its feathers? Whatever the reason, a turkey didn’t fly in to the Orinda hair salon — exactly one week before the national holiday of gluttony and indulgence — for a cut and color.
“We had the door propped open because it was one of those beautiful days” said salon owner Charlotte Peebles, recalling the day’s incident.
Peebles recalls sitting with her back to the door, leafing through a magazine while waiting for a client.
When the could-be Butterballbreezed past, her first thought was a dog from the neighboring pet store must have gotten loose and ducked into the salon.
Toni Mayell, Peebles sister and the salon’s co-owner, was in the middle of a haircut in a station near the back of the business.
“All of the sudden, half flying, half running, it flies right in and makes a direct b-line into the back room,” she said.
Perched atop a stack of stored beauty supplies, the bird got cozy in front of a full length mirror and didn’t move for more than an hour.
Word got out about the gobbling guest and neighbors in Village Square flocked in to take a peak, while the hairdresser and their patrons patiently waited for animal control.
All was quiet until hairdresser Marilyn Samuels showed up for work. With a client waiting for a color and the necessary tools stored in the turkey’s den, Samuels saw no way to avoid the store room any longer.
“I walked back slowly and it was just sitting up there. It was just ugly, sitting up the there with its long neck,” she said. “I walked very cautiously.”
But as she pulled open a drawer, the squeak spooked the bird.
“It jumped down, started to fly and hit the cabinet door next to me,” she said. “And I just screamed.”
The crashing and screaming echoed into the salon room, followed by the flapping of brown wings crashing into the walls and mirrors.
At that point, Mayell took charge.
Grabbing a couple of aprons, she began flapping the colorful fabrics together and chasing the bird toward the exit.
The visitor made its way to the front door and strolled out, leaving behind a few messes as a memento.
“Animal control never did show up,” Mayell said. “So it was good we took matters into our own hands.”