Friday, May 01, 2009

Today on Oprah: Chickens Who Let You Pet 'Em and the Men Who Love 'Em



This week has been a bear. I know people say that all the time, but I'm calling it a bear because that's what it's been. My son, the Big Dog, came down with Influenza Type B and has been quite ill.

Influenza Type B - all of the aching misery of the Swine Flu but with no chance of being interviewed by Matt Lauer.

Because my Mama micro-chip has kicked into overdrive, I am sort of near complete exhaustion. I fought his fever like a soldier and after many, many hours of straight up battle, I finally got it down to less than 101 where my round the clock Tylenol/Motrin vigil has caused it to remain. While that's been good for my son, it's meant I've slept roughly 16 minutes since Wednesday.

This has made me a natural pleasure to be around. The chick who usually laughs hysterically at least a couple times a day has laughed dangerously close to none times. Nothing has been truly LOL funny. In fact my funny bone has largely been left untickled.

Until today.

There was a visitor to my house who shall remain nameless, but only because he nearly had an infarction when I said I was definitely going to write the story he told. Like if I said his name the entire nation would be abuzz and Entertainment Tonight would open with it. Maybe he's in witness protection or something. Come to think of it, he does seem like the kind that would be involved in nefarious activities and then later turn state's evidence.

"Well, one of the chickens got sick," he said, catching us up on what has been going on with him and his wife. Yes, they are the kind of people that have chickens, but not in the way you may have seen others have chickens. They live in a beautiful country home on many acres that is just beautiful. It's hardly the kind of place you'd expect to see poultry running around and yet there poultry is, being all free range and what not.

"Did you ring its neck?" That would be me showing my upbringing there. Back home if an animal so much as sneezed, Daddy felt the need to put it down immediately. If he was too busy to chop its head off or shoot it between the eyes or smush its little head, I had some brothers that were equally as interested in making sure nothing suffered in sickness.

Nameless looked at me as though I'd told him to ring his kid's neck. "No!" he said while making a face that indicated he may have just swallowed some old, warm cottage cheese. "We took it to the vet."

I burst into laughter because to my mind taking a chicken to the vet is the same as taking my steak to the gynecologist.

"You don't know this chicken," he said in defense. I realized that not once in forty-five years has anyone ever said that to me.

"He's like a dog. He'll follow you around the yard and let you pet him." I could see this man had some deep feelings for his chicken so I tried to stop LOL'ing with admittedly little success. "We got him to the vet and they took some x-rays."

Insert here the noise I make when I'm trying not to laugh but it sorta bursts out between my lips anyway. Sounds a little like letting the air out of a balloon.

"You got chicken x-rays? Is that what you're telling me?" I could barely get the words out.

"Yeah, but they had to send them off to the big city because we don't have a chicken specialist in town. Nobody knew what they was looking at."

I almost peed my pants. I'll admit that now. I honest to God nearly peed on myself. First of all, are there actual chicken specialists? Really? And second, I'm pretty sure the reason no one knew what they were looking at is because this vet had never before known someone who wanted his chicken x-rayed.

"Shut up!" This is my go to phrase when I don't know what else to say. It's been in all my wedding vows.

"Well they finally figured out what was wrong with it. Something had grabbed it by the neck and injured it!" The way he said it, with such horror and shock spreading across his face, led me to believe he felt perhaps there had been a chicken assailant who had crept into the chicken house in the middle of the night, grabbed the chicken by the throat and tried to commit chicken-cide.

I couldn't take it any more.

"Nameless! Of course something grabbed it by the neck! You live in the country where any number of animals think you have set up a KFC. It was probably a coon or a coyote or something - not some guy who had found out Chicken was having an affair with his wife!"

He just shook his head as if to say again, 'you don't know this chicken'. I'll admit though after this conversation I felt like I should take the time to get to know it better.

I thought we had reached the end of the chicken saga and I secretly congratulated myself for not laughing and pointing any more than I had.

"Well I gotta go," he said, "if the chicken's breathing treatments went OK then he might get to come home from the hospital today."

Cut to Sher lying on the floor laughing so hard I thought I blew a gasket. At least I got to lie down for awhile.

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2 comments:

Cher said...

Being country people we laughed our sweet little arses off at that story. But our favorite line was:

"Shut up!" This is my go to phrase when I don't know what else to say. It's been in all my wedding vows.

Oh, girl. That's funny.

The Texas Woman

Sher said...

Can you even believe it Cher? It was a regular chicken emergency. I thought it was hysterical.