Just before Thanksgiving dinner starts each year, my mother dashes around placing chocolate turkeys next to every plate. It’s a small enough tradition that I usually forget about it until a sweet sentinel is suddenly sitting before me, watching over my mashed potatoes while it awaits its fate.
This year, I spent a large portion of dinner wondering how See’s Candies designed the chocolate turkey wrapper. Lest you accuse me of ignoring my dear family, consider that they spent a large portion of dinner chastising a feisty canine we’re dog sitting. Don’t trust people when they say their dog is well-behaved, especially when they have a deadline to get outta town.
How do you design a flat piece of foil to wrap around a 3-D object and make it look like a cute little turkey? Maybe it has to do with computer programs or something, but I like to imagine Charles See sitting in his 1920’s chocolate shop, wrapping hundreds of turkeys with different drafts of the foil sheet. That year, Charles and Florence had a whole flock of defective chocolate turkeys on their Thanksgiving table.
After dinner, I carefully peeled off my turkey’s wrapper and smoothed it out like a treasure map. The flattened foil showed a laced together double image, like some sort of crude cubist composition.
It also reminded me a bit of Rubin’s Vase, the optical illusion that shows two faces. if only the turkey’s breast formed a clever image that could only been seen when flattened.
“You ask too much!” says Charles. “Just shed up and eat yer chocolate.”