Paul Stroede

Pop Quiz

While big shots come in many sizes and shapes, few best (or baste) the United Way's official Turkey Trot turkey. Believed to be some sort of genetic hybrid, this strange bird stands six feet tall and easily weighs 200 pounds, give or take a few yams.

"I'm definitely a Butterball," says Mr. T. And he'll be hard to miss at the 29th annual Turkey Trot fundraising run/walk Thursday, November 28, in Washington Park. Thanks to Stacy Haskell, a United Way spokeswoman whose six-foot-tall husband, Steve, happens to be into costumes, Westword was able to grab a few minutes with the galloping gobbler:

What are your feelings about this day?

It's a scary time of year for me. I'm a bit apprehensive, but excited.

Are you concerned that this could be your first, and last, appearance?

No, because of my celebrity status -- and size -- I hope to be granted an exemption from the usual fate.

In order to distinguish yourself from the other turkeys, please tell us what you look like.

Fairly normal. Brown, and I have that red thing, a wattle, on my nose.

Speaking of waddle, do you run the whole four-mile course?

No, I do a bit of a turkey trot. But it's not about miles. I'm there mostly as a cheerleader for the kids. I see my job as more of a celebration than a competition.

So that you'll be around to do this next year?

Yep. Well, I hope so.

Registration for the Turkey Trot, which benefits needy families in the community, begins at 8 a.m. in the parking lot near South High School, 701 South Franklin Street; the cost is $28 for adults, $12 for children twelve and under. The four-mile run kicks off at 10 a.m., with the four-mile walk and one-mile family run following. For more information, log on to


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