When I was about 12, I had a kid I grew up with, Cole Long, scare the hell out of me twice in one day. First we traded bikes, and we made our way fom my house down the infamous Platt Hill. For those of you who have grown up in Sac City, you know how stepp Platt Hill can be. It starts off going down at about a 45-50 degree angle, and then about halfway down it gets worse. For a kid going down it for the first time on a bicycle, one would think it was a straight drop. Well, as we hit the hill, Cole informs me that his bike doesn't have breaks. Rather than being sensible and getting the bike to a full stop and walking it down, I attempted to slalom down first, ten found myself taking the ride of my life. As I near the bottom, I see the school bus coming up on the intersection with the cross street. I was too young to have my life flash before my eyes, so my mind played the reel of me plastering up against the side of the bus while the bike got crsuhed underneath the big old bus' wheels. At the last second, I make an amazing 90 degree turn and stop on a dime. As the bus passed by safely, and probably obliviously (it was a blind corner for the bus to look up the hill), I took a moment to check my pants and make sure I wasn't going to need a new change of superhero underwear. I came pretty close to beating the crap out of my cackling friend who stopped next to me.
Once everything checked out okay, we proceed over to his place. They had some animals on their property, including a penned up turkey. My experience with turkeys at this point was Thanksgiving dinner. Cole decided we would go inside the pen, as he "had to feed the turkey." My job was to just usher it to the back of the pen. Being the big tough boy that I am, I thought this was a legitimate responsibility that I could handle. I step through the gate, and then, it closes behind me. I hear first laughter, and then experience fright as I hear and see a demon turkey coming after me in this tightly confined pen within a small shack. After 11 thanksgivings of me partaking of the turkey portions, I guess this was karmic revenge. This turley was going to carve me up and have me for dinner. No doubt he would've spoken in Satanistic tongues as he gave thanks to the Dark Lord of the Poultry Underworld. After being let out, I again almost beat the crap out my friend.
Fast forward about 12 years from the Day of the Turkey, and I am working a security gig at an office building in West Des Moines. Geese had begun nesting in the tree islands of the park lot. While I was patrolling the building, apparently one of the workers leaving the office thought that getting an up close and personal look at the geese would be a good idea. Then she got too close to one that was nesting. Out of nowhere the Gander swoops in and goes chest to chest with this lady, flaps its wings once, and the lady was on her backside. And this was no stick of a woman. She was short and a bit shall we say, on the thick side of things, with a nice low center of gravity. It wasn't until that day that I realized both the level of protectiveness and strength in geese. But let me tell you, the footage from the security cameras was played over and over that night as I and my partner had a good old time laughing at replay after replay of this gander absolutely owning this lady! When I left work that night, under the cover of darkness in my big old black Cutlass Supreme, I decided to venture towards the nest with my car, safely tucked inside the 2000 lbs of American built steel. Once I got close, out of nowhere again this gander comes to his maiden's rescue. This damn bird was ready, willing and did go toe to toe with my tank of a car. Once he realized that he might get run over, he shifted from a full frontal attack to beating the crap out of the front quarter panel with his wings, as he ran into the car repeatedly. I decided for the safety of my aging vehicle that I would bow out of this competition, before it did any more damage than me or my buddy Jay had already done to the vehicle over the years.
Not exactly, Alfred Hitchcock's redition of The Birds playing out in real life, but quite clearly I have shown the active and aggressive prejudice that birds have against people.
So last night before we went to sleep, my wife was telling me about some instances in life when she was growing up on a farm. Well, okay let me backtrack just a bit. The other night I was hungry and I was felling liek having some chicken for dinner. Well, for a few bucks you can get a nicely prepared Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store. I threw on my shoes and a jacket and grabbed the car keys. My wife asked me where I was going. I told her I was going to pick up a chicken. She looked at me as though I was stupid. "WHAT?!?!"
"I'm going out to pick up a chicken," I stated pretty matter of factly.
"We don't have room for a chicken," she replied.
"What do you mean we don't have room for a chicken? I'm getting a rotisserie chicken from the store to EAT!"
"Oh...I thought you meant-"
"NO honey, I'm not the kind of guy who would bring a chicken to our apartment as a pet," I said. What is it about men and women trying to communicate cross-species like this. I'm hungry, she assumes I'm just following up on a crazy thought in my head. For the record, I generally don't follow up on crazy ideas. I just blog them here, so that you people can keep a good eye on me and my insanity. Anyways, back to last night...
One of the chores out on the farm for my wife and here family was the eventual evisceration of the walking poultry I prefer to call White Meat or Dark Meat (and throw in some mashed potatoes and gravy on the side). She explained the (cool to observe) phenomena of chickens who had just recently lost their heads. Apparently the saying "running around like a chicken with it's head cutoff" is based on reality. They just run round and round for a while. My wife told me that once, even as she ran in a zigzag pattern attempting to evade one headless chicken, it just kept right on her tail chasing her wherever she went. Radar equipped chickens can be scary business. "Goose, I've got lock...too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns."
She also told me about how the heads will just lay there on the ground for a bit, eyes blinking and the beak opening and shutting, until the chickens biological systems finally give out. Now I know how the chicken chased her. It's head was still able to see a little blonde girl who had just whacked his head off with a machete, and was using its last moments to hone its remote guidance system and direct the body after the chicken killer, hoping for revenge before the lights went out for good.
And now, I have an idea to get rich. I'm going to petition the government for research funds. The idea is to see if the chicken is still capable of getting scared, if I pick up its severed head and scream in its face. I figure abpout $10 million in grants should be good enough. I'l whack some chickens, pick up their heads, scream at them...and then declare the stucy inconclusive, and walk away rich. My only worry is that the chicken will scream back at me when it sees my ugly face up close, and the study will be conclusive that I do scare chickens, but not nearly as much as they scare me. I'll be forever known as the scared little chicken boy, but I'll have my money!
Then strange ideas kept creeping into my head as Dani was telling me these stories. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, big surprise right? Strangely they were all movie based.
I answered the phone, and on the other end of the voice was Golden Plump, played by Anthony Hopkins. "Hello Mookie...have the chickens stopped screaming yet?"
A troop of headless chickens trapping me in the castle, chanting (or rather wheezing like a retarded manatee like they apparently do) carrying their big fancy spears as the Wicked Chicken of the Midwest comes to snuff me out before I can get to to wonderful wizard in the Land of Oz, and go back home.
Or, in honor of my watching westerns:
Traveling in my Conestoga Wagon heading west, when all of a sudden the entire Foster Farms Nation came showing up on the ridge line. Headless chickens, everyone of them savage beasts, began to bear down on our little prairie party. As they approached, I prayed for God to breakout a thunderstorm and have these headless mongrels get dstracted by it and drown.
Or the zombie side of life:
We can't go outside just yet. We're safe here. We've got enough food to survive until help can come, and these old shotguns to defend ourselves should the zombie chickens attack. Just remember, body shots won't help. You have to separate their heads from their bodies, just like you learn in any good zombie flick.
"But Bob...They have no heads!"
"Well Sam, I guess that means we're just %$^&ed" Bloody gore ensues, part from the people being murdered by headless chickens...part from the blood coming up out of the headless chickens necks.
Or, a more happy story...
If You Build It They Will Come!!! Having toiled long and hard on a brand new state of the art chicken coop, I looked over yonder to the field of corn about 20 meters away. And then suddenly, headless chickens emerged from the cornfield. Strange that they had baseball gloves on their wings, and the ball caps kind of sat funny atop their necks. But the voices were right, I had built it and here they were Of course, I won't spoil the ending here, but lets say it has something to do with Chuck Norris jumping down from a nearby tree wielding a machete in each hand...I'll spare you the graphics and let you see the movie when it comes out.
Peacelovers everywhere would like to assume headless chickens are just misunderstood, and that we should all just get along. But when it comes to headless chickens, once I get over the laughter so hard that makes me giggle incesantly like a third grade girl for about 15 or 20 minutes before I can get ahold of myself, I am a hatemonger. I recognize those little bastards for what they are: Sadistic human-hating, feathered warmongers, plotting there revenge.
Mark my words, it will happen. You'll be outside enjoying the weather, maybe with your kids playing off in the distance. And then suddenly you'll get the feeling someone is watching you. You'l glance over and see a chicken head laying on the ground nearby, just blinking. You'll be distracted by this, and then, when you realize what's happened, it's too late. Your kids are gone. Out of the tree line, they come fast, neck skins flapping all over the place as headless chickens in a full sprint come to put you out of your miserable existence. People will look to the farmers as the one group of people capable of stopping this new scourge, but don't realize that the farmers were already taken out. Murdered in their sleep by vengeful Dark Meat Special Ops teams. And, these are powerful headless chickens. Raised up by Dr. Chickenstein himself, they thirst for one thing, well three things. They want you dead, some hot to trot hens, and a sasparilla. Because everyone knows that headless chickens can't deny themselves the tasty treat on a hot day of a Sioux City Sasparilla.