The Post Where I Finally Curtail Rumours That My Mother-In-Law Is A Romanian Prince Who Likes To Stick Spikes Up Bottoms.

Every now and then I get a little obsessed with stuff. This will come as no great surprise to anyone who’s read my insane mutterings about zombie chickens ( see.. pretty much the rest of the blog ).
Currently I’m a bit gripped by the concept of Cartesian doubt ( I’ll probably come back to that at some point ), but previous to that I was getting all thoughtful about the concept of karma.

I think a part of me *needs* to have karma at play in my universe, everything seems so dreadfully unfair otherwise, and that ticks me off a bit.
Not the traditional concept of karma – the paying for your sins in the next incarnation – but the all-new modernised instant karma that smacks you upside the head right now if you screw up. If I fiddle my taxes ( And I don’t. Please don’t report me ) I don’t want to come back as a colon-slurping tapeworm next time round. I want shit to rain down on me ( not literally – we appear to be back at the tapeworm scenario again ), and I want it to rain down on me NOW. I want to pay for my sins, and being a member of the disposable generation I’m not prepared to wait. Hit me!

And I have screwed up in the past. Some stuff I think I’ve paid for, some stuff I’m not sure I ever can, and in that respect I think I’m not so different from anyone else on this dirtball. Being agnostic I don’t have a heaven or hell in my future, so I have to rely on my own code of ethics to stop karma biting me on the ass. Fear of what comes next doesn’t motivate me, for me death is just a flicking of a switch from one state of being to another of nothingness. One minute I’m alive, minding my own business, sneaking down to the mailbox to see if the crap I ordered from eBay has arrived, the next I’m slowly cooling fertiliser. Death is a non-issue to me, I’m not scared of it. What totally terrifies me is pain and fear itself. I’m absolutely OK with being decapitated in a freak cheese-slicing tragedy, but being slowly and agonizingly grated myself…well, I’m going to have to go change my underpants just thinking about that.

For a lot of folk fear is stronger than morality. Horrifically, fear is currently fuelling the US Presidential circus. In an ideal world people would vote for whoever gave them the greatest hope instead of whoever tapped into their deepest terrors. I like to think that people are basically good. I see no difference between the darker skinned Muslim lady who lives downstairs, and my entirely paler Christian Mother-In-Law. Both have a warmth that extends to random strangers. Both like to feed my children snacks. Sure, the Muslim lady *could* be building a bomb in her dining room, but in all fairness so could my Mother-In-Law. Comparing my Muslim neighbour to a suicide bomber is like comparing my Mother-In-Law to Vlad The Impaler. It could be the truth but I’m thinking probably..not.

There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin that goes, “Even peace may be purchased at too high a price.” If peace comes from eradicating everything that we fear – and we fear everything and everyone who does not reflect ourselves – it is an acceptable price for us as a species? Of course not. And as far as Master Races go the ants have beaten us hands down anyway, so lets hope we never really piss those guys off.
Chances are even genocide will not halt the fear spiral, there will always be something that keeps us awake at night. I speculate that in a generation or two it will probably be intestinal worms.

 

 

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Sign up for the New Religion. I take Paypal.

Things aren’t going well on the new religion front, and already it’s become clear that it’s going to be tough to sell the concept of undead poultry as the saviour of mankind. Strangely. A certain amount of conditioning has taken place to imprint the idea that zombies are the bad guys, based purely on the fact they try to kill and consume you.
The very same could be said for tigers, various virulent bacteria, small yappy dogs, and daytime television, yet people still love these things ( with the exception of the bacteria, who only seem to be adored by deeply unhinged scientists who’s eyes move independently in B movies ). Generally folk seem to frown on anything that doesn’t stay dead, with the exception of Jesus, who got away with it for the following 2 reasons:
1) He was a sandal-wearing hippy, and they tend not to be threatening in any way, and
2) He didn’t leap from his tomb and sink his teeth into Mary M’s forehead.

Our central deity, and I’ve decided this will be a monotheist religion, needs to be a benign figure. Poultry that attained enlightenment and achieved godly status by returning from the dead yet abstained from chowing down on grey matter. Marketing a brain-eater is way beyond my current capacity and I may have to wait until I’ve got a few more religions under my belt before I attempt that one.

The more you think about it and attempt to fine-tune the basics, the more insanely convoluted and implausible the whole issue becomes. Where does the religion stand on the issue of life after death? Or the seemingly more pressing issue of devout millinery?:

Where oh where to start?

And then, almost as if people at WordPress actually read my crap, in comes today’s prompt:
“If you were God, how would you have started it all? “
… and we suddenly have a kicking-off point.

Me, I wouldn’t want to be a God. Too much pressure, no holidays, too many complainers, and I suspect beards might be compulsory. Luckily, I’m not God though, I’m merely attempting to set up a fairly rickety platform for his / her fledgling believers to achieve… erm … whatever it is we’re aiming for but haven’t decided on yet.

Being a poultry-based religion ( Hentheism ? ) I can’t help thinking that in the beginning should be vast unimaginably huge endless nothingness. And an egg. I’ll stop here for 5 minutes while you try to get the poster for the movie “Alien” out of your head. Back with me? Good.

I even think I can get away with not explaining where the egg has come from, as Logic appears to be the spandex tights-wearing nemesis to Religion’s caped superhero. And vice versa, depending on your particular leanings. Me? I’m leaning on the fridge door hoping that Hubby will return from the shops with a huge bar of chocolate, but then I’m ( as yet undiagnosed ) cocoa dependant. Show me a religion that worships at the altar of Hot ChocFudge sauce and I’ll drop all this chicken shit in a heartbeat. I’m fickle that way.

From this impossible egg hatched, in a blaze of light and funky CGI effects, our God.. who in this case I have decided is going to be female. After all, she *is* a hen and not a rooster. And she shall be known as ….. Bernard. I’ve always been partial to the name and I’m not going to let a little thing such as gender bias ruin what is supposed to be a moment of etherial beauty.

Bernard’s years were long and lonely, with no company or cable tv, and finally in an act of divine inspiration Bernard plucked the feathers from her breast one by one and set them free. Each feather became a tree, a plant, a rock, a glimmering droplet of dew upon a newly created blade of grass.
And Bernard saw that it was beautiful and reached a state of true enlightenment.

Unfortunately for Bernard, with enlightenment came the realisation that she was, to coin a phrase, totally plucked. The combination of shock ( chickens are easily startled, and that’s why you won’t ever catch one in the queue at the cinema to see any of the “Saw” movies ) and extreme cold killed our budding deity stone dead.

She fell to her newly created Earth, where after 15 minutes ( which celluloid will have us believe is a fair average regeneration time period ) Bernard resurrected into The Benign But Pulse Disadvantaged Poultrygod we shall hopefully be devoting ourselves to in a financially advantageous ( to me ) way.

As creation stories go, it has it all. Drama, pathos, beautiful imagery and a complete void where a grounding in reality should be.

Truly, what more could a religion wish for?

 

 

Lead me not into temptation. I know a shortcut.

It’s probably best we don’t mention I took a 3 month “sick day”, yeah?
Good. I just *knew* I could trust you.

Today I’m going to write about religion. It’s not something I write about often ( if at all ) because in all honesty I don’t know much beyond the basics. This is quite possibly why I scribble the odd ( very odd, occasionally ) entry or two about zombie chickens. It’s so much  easier to appear authoritative when nobody else knows what on earth you’re talking about, and whilst I’m a hopeless liar I’m also an olympic – standard bluffer.
“Reanimated poultry flesh? Yeah man, bane of my life… ”
See? Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Props to me for being the only person on the planet to still be using that phrase.

So, religion.

For a long time I proudly declared I was an atheist. It was a new word I’d learned ( Remind me at some point in the future to tell you about my Schroedinger’s Cat obsession. I was am such a strange child ) and nobody was going to take it away from me. Not that anyone wanted to. Religious preference amongst the average pre-schooler tends not to carry much weight.
Kid 1 : I believe in God!
Kid 2 : I have Dora The Explorer knickers…look!
Kid 1 : Cool !!!!!
Spiritual analysis over. Pink lace trim 1 : Faith 0

Nobody really cared what I thought did or didn’t exist, so my skepticism went ignored. Just as well really, because once I gained access to an adult encyclopedia I discovered I was in fact agnostic instead. I would have felt very foolish had anyone been taking any notice of me beyond “There’s that strange, quiet, long dark-haired girl with the huge collection of fruit-scented erasers..” Such is my legacy.

Now, I’m not entirely sure whether my agnosticism is a natural extension of my inherent apathy. And naturally, I can’t bring myself to care. But I do know , whatever your religious views, I’m cool with it. I’d just like more folk to be nice to each other. And for cakes to be given free to hormonal women. But that’s another matter entirely.
Therefore, it was a little unusual to be discussing religion and money with my dear insane friend, Shelley, a few months back. Unusual because our conversational topics in rough order of frequency are :
1) Her genitals.
2) My constipation.
3) How kids in general are driving us crazy, and our kids in particular.
4) Her lack of beer.
5) Men, and how they can be dreadfully silly sometimes.
And so on. You know, girl talk.

Then she set me a task :
“shit.  it’s nearly 11pm.  tell you what,  you design a religion – its rules, major belief points, do’s and don’ts, etc.  don’t forget that each religion has a miracle of some sort in there, and a god that occasionally speaks to followers and maybe appears in different forms for proof of existence.
do a blog.
i don’t do well in yellow, so cross that colour out, btw.”
…and being my friend and knowing me very well, she never mentioned it again. I’m not good with deadlines, pressure, or commitment, so dropping the whole issue was the best possible way to get me to do it.

Then today’s prompt crowbarred itself into my mailbox:
“Do you prefer to lead or follow? Or neither? “
and my deranged chum’s directions sprang to mind. Obviously if you’re going to be starting up an entire new system of belief you’re going to be the leader. You’d have to be 2 cartons of coleslaw short of a KFC Family Feast not to, cos let’s face it… that’s where the big shiny piles of cash are. Besides, being an agnostic I might choke on the “following” part and I’m slightly more likely to sign up if they’re my rules.

Then it gets tricky. Try it yourself. Think of one thing you’d have as a written-in-stone rule ( see what I did there? Hahaha. ), and it will quickly dawn on you that’s it’s probably featured front page on a whole bunch of slightly more advanced religions, and your little one now seems the Faith equivalent of own-label store cola.
Suddenly you start to realise that to found an entirely different way to worship is going to take considerably longer than one blog post. And you, my lovely fluffy subscriber, realise I’m going to fob you off in installments again like I did with the whole zombie chicken thing….

Unless…

The Holy Church Of The Resurrected Poultry!

Genius.

Alas, I’m seeing yellow-feathered robes though. Sorry about that, Shelley.

If it’s ok with you I’d rather go without the crap in my slippers, thanks.

Imagine, if you will, a small kitten sitting at the feet of its owner, largely going without any sort of attention. It’s small, cute, warm and furry. And it knows it ( cos cats are smarter than they let on. See a “working cat” on a regular basis? No ? I rest my case. ) And yet, despite the fact that the owner *chose* the kitten, they’re not spending 24 hours a day in adoration and they’re way behind on their daily quota of stroking, ear scrunching and sly nuzzling when nobody is looking.

Kitty isn’t happy.

Don’t get me wrong, kitty knows it’s loved. Kitty knows it will be fed, but dammit… what’s a kitten to do to get a little attention around here?
I’ll tell you what.
Kitty shits in your slippers, that’s what.
Kitty will get away with it, cos you love them. But from that moment on you’ll be keeping one eye on the cat and your slippers in the wardrobe.
The moral of this gripping tale?
Sometimes you have to crap where you shouldn’t to get the response that you should.

On an entirely related note, this is today’s prompt :
“An out of control train is about to run over a pile of happy puppies, do you…”

It made me chuckle. I can recognise kitten poop when I smell it and having had cats for a long time I keep anything I don’t want used as a latrine off the floor.

Sure as little brown nuggets usually aren’t raisins this post is going to have the following responses :
1) Outraged bloggers are going to post their outrage to the perilous position of the puppies that don’t exist being potentially massacred by a train that isn’t there. There will be indignant blogging or a pointed lack thereof.
2) Bloggers with a conscience tempered with a sense of humour will show their displeasure at the thought of implied peril, but will blog about it nonetheless with a view to tingeing it with a touch of silliness.
3) Bloggers who like to entertain will turn it into a comedy.
4) Bloggers who take things literally will attempt a reasonable reply to make the best of the situation and thereby the least possible casualties. And will feel warm and fuzzy inside as a result.
5) Tech bloggers will invent a device that manages to save all the puppies, and the global fuel crisis as an encore.
6) Surrealist bloggers will view the scenario from the standpoint of an aubergine.
7) The PostADay team will be smug about the sudden peak in blogging caused by deliberately posting a provocative topic where some cute little puppies are going to end up pate no matter whatever way you cut it.
8 ) Bloggers who like to whip people up into a frenzy will relish the opportunity and blatantly post something outrageous just cos it’ll make them giggle.

My answer to the topic then?

“An out of control train is about to run over a pile of happy puppies. You are standing at the control switch and can pull the level to direct the train onto a different track, saving their lives. But that other track has a smaller pile of equally happy puppies on it.”

Mash those suckers, scoop them up and serve them for dinner. That way you end up with lots and lots of very happy reprieved chickens 🙂

Zombie Chicken Death Peck-O-Rama.

What would I do with a sudden and totally unexpected $1 million windfall?

3 words.

Zombie Chicken movie.

I was reminded of this by this post last night by one of my blog buddies.
So, Yes, that’s right. Today I am going to discuss the issue of undead poultry, and how the concept would make a totally kick-ass movie.

Now, before I get started I just have to say up front and with complete seriousness..
1) Do NOT Google “Zombie Chickens”
2) If you do, do NOT click on “Poultrygeist : Night Of The Chicken Dead”
and
3) If you’re still going to keep ignoring my advice anyway please feel free to scroll past the reviews and watch the trailer at the bottom. Go on. In fact, watch it whilst eating spaghetti and meatballs with lots of tomato sauce. That’ll teach you.

*ahem* Annnnyway…

When discussing any zombification a couple of issues always arise :
a) How did they become zombies? and
b) Exactly what sort of zombies are they?

Old school zombies are usually either a “Whoops, bit of a cock-up there, sorry.” moment by the local nuclear testing facility, some dodgy virus, a meteor, or a new and entirely plausible ( to zombie aficionados ) GM crop munching. So let’s assume a meteor has crash landed in the middle of Old MacDonald’s GM Poultry Feed And Free range Chicken farm and BAM, in the morning a shrill scream shatters the otherwise tranquil but slightly misty fields as Mrs Old MacDonald discovers her husband’s corpse buried under a mass of glassy-eyed yet slightly un-nerving hens. Yes, that’s right… death by uber-pecking. It’s a long, drawn-out, and especially irritating around the ankles way to go…

Hold on a sec though… why just the chickens? Why not all the birds? Hitchcock demonstrated quite clearly how menacing our feathered friends could be. OK, so not entirely terrifying if you’re being maliciously flapped at by, say, a blue tit, but I don’t care how much bravado you show – an undead ostrich comes hurtling towards you at top speed with the sole intention of chowing down on your grey matter and the world is going to shoot out of your bottom pretty damn fast.

But no, just the chickens this time. I may explain it in the director’s cut on the limited edition holographic dvd or something.

So, what type of zombie?

Traditionally zombies of all varieties are slow-shuffling bumbling-around-and-casually-losing-limbs-without-noticing-it creatures, which in the case of chickens lends itself more to mockery than gut-twisting terror. Imagine a flock of hens stumbling slowly towards you, none even big enough to reach past your knees, staggering around like they’ve been on a Dublin pub crawl and are all totally shitfaced. What are you going to do? Yep – you’re going to wet yourself laughing, that’s what. And then you’re going to film yourself smacking them about a bit with a cricket bat a-la-Shaun Of The Dead on your camera phone and post it on YouTube.

However, New Wave zombies are an entirely new and scary kettle of piranhas. Imagine instead if those zombie chickens were FAST. “28 Days Later” fast. Not so funny now, eh? Im not sure at what point it was decided that the undead weren’t scary enough and that making them damn near impossible to finally kill OR outrun would be a fun adaptation, but I don’t like it. Chickens hell-bent on eating my brains is so much more amusing when they don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of actually managing it.

And finally, one more issue. With your average run-of-the-mill bumbling animated cadaver you can usually stop their casual strolling by something akin to decapitation. Now think about those chickens again.

See where this is going?

Those buggers can still keep going after you lop their heads off!! In fact, whilst the average survival time with nothing above the neck is apparently a few minutes at most , the record is 18 months .

W. T. F. ?!?

Bad bad bad news if you’re mounting a counterstrike, and even more unsettling when you’re sitting down to your Sunday roast and the lemon-stuffed main meal suddenly leaps up and attempts to head neck-butt your offspring. Well, I say unsettling, but I’d probably laugh hysterically for the 12 seconds or so it took me to become a vegetarian.

Time to work on that screenplay.

The One Where She Talks About A Chicken’s Bum.

So…. chickens. Bet you thought I’d forgotten, eh?

Fast forward a few weeks and every now and then I’m having a private little poultry-related moment. Which sounds a tad kinky, but I can assure you it was entirely consensual. One night I’m thinking about my little feathered posse, hoping they’re ok, and I expressed my concern to Hubby. His considered response was ,”I don’t understand this chicken thing, they’re just stupid fat birds.”

“Well maybe, but possibly you’re not seeing the bigger picture…”

“I should know, I used to have chickens.”

Silence.

Long stunned silence.

“Seriously?”

“Yeah, we had a few for eggs.”

“Did they lay many?”

“Uh-huh. Most laid…..”

And then he said it.

“….one a day.”

Cue slack-jawed amazement.

“Chickens can lay an egg EVERY DAY?!”

“Ye…s… Why?”

It’s possible that never having experienced the “miracle of childbirth” ( the miracle being that anyone should ever choose to have more after the first ) he just couldn’t comprehend the enormity of the task. I’ve had 3 children, though admittedly one was delivered by Caesarian, and another was so tiny and premature that she shot out with the very first push – you could almost imagine the midwife at the business end wearing goalie gloves, crouched and ready to catch that sucker.

The other child though… Holy Jesus Christ On A Bike… I was walking like John Wayne for months, so I could relate. ( Too much info ? Ooops. Forget you just read that then and we’ll just pretend nothing happened… *soothing humming* ). Chicken bums are tiny, and their eggs…aren’t. It must be like having to accommodate a cantaloupe on a 24 hr rota. Please note I’m using a fruit-related analogy for convenience, and it’s not something I have first hand experience with obviously. Let’s just say that “Causing a disturbance in the fresh fruit section” is just over-dramatising the whole affair and leave it at that…. *ahem*

But that’s only one aspect. Take a good look at an egg. Crack it open and look at the thickness of the shell, the yolk, the white, and then imagine having to create that every single day. It’s mind-boggling. It’s not like taking your daily morning poop as a response to your regular bowl of weetabix and a double espresso mocha chokka zippedee doo dah with a dash of cinnamon, the bird is producing a little life capsule. It’s a bloody miracle! It’s almost enough to put me off eating eggs out of guilt. Almost. But I’ll be over it by the end of this paragraph. Hmm. Yup. Fine again.

Naturally I thought he was just having me on, so I did a little research. And he was right! Some chickens really DO lay an egg daily. I was suitably impressed whilst at the same time a trifle dejected for those poor battery birds who never see life outside of a cage. I hate it when my conscience sticks it’s leg out and trips me like that. So now I want a chicken of my own. And a house with a nice large secure garden for my chicken to wander around in. Just you wait, when I win the lottery I’m opening up a chicken sanctuary where poultry will live happy and stress free lives. I’ve even decided on a name for it.

“Clucky Buggers.”

Warning : It’s a teeny bit sweary in parts. Not to be confused with “sweaty in parts”… which hasn’t happened in this case because this post is wearing cotton underwear.

I’ve missed quite a few Topics since I started the Post-A-Day challenge. Some have been because I had nothing to say on the subject ( can you imagine? ), other times I’ve been ill and fobbed you off with a bit of light misdirection so I can get an early night. But one or two I really needed a bit of time to think about.

One such topic was this :
If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?

There’s a quaint Dutch saying to describe someone who has an almost obsessive attention to detail and absolutely MUST have everything precise or they go doo-lally batshit … and that’s “Antfucker”. My Hubby is an antfucker, and so am I ( when I can be bothered. If that makes sense to you please explain it to me cos it makes no sense whatsoever to be hysterically precise one second and not really give a crap the next ).

So why did this question rub me up the wrong way like a sweaty executive on the London Underground during a summer rush hour?

1) There are two options… forward in time or back. Anyone with a grain of a brain will choose to nip forward, get the lottery numbers, look smug, pop back and wait to be knee deep in huge piles of cash. It’s gotta be done, hasn’t it? As the saying goes “Money doesn’t buy you happiness, but it will bring you a better standard of misery.”
“Ahhhh!” say those people with more conscience than people they’re in debt to, “I wouldn’t do that… I’d go forward in time where they’ve cured cancer / AIDS / lovehandles and then come back with it… thereby saving millions of lives!”
That’s all well and good, and a nice sentiment, but you’re limited by the initial restrictions, namely “only let you spend one hour in a different time”. That’s a pretty narrow timeframe to work with… what hour are you going to choose? Will they have sorted it in a year…. 20 years? 100 years? How far ahead do you go with your one choice? Too soon and you’re buggered. Might as well write down those lottery numbers anyway and try to ignore the mocking glances of your fellow travellers when you return to your own time without the medical knowledge of how to cure chronic hemorrhoids.

How about hedging your bets and flipping forward a thousand years? Surely humans would have got their act together by then? Well, assuming that we survive the next 2 years ( which will pretty much piss off any closet Mayans who will be spending November 2012 maxing out their credit cards without a care in the world ), who’s to say we won’t have killed ourselves by then? We’re not a terribly conscientious race in general and sooner or later the Earth is gonna go “Y’know? I don’t feel like sustaining you anymore. I’m going to evolve chickens into vicious carnivores. You’re *so* screwed…”

Alternatively a huge flaming meteor could hit us, sending us hurling towards the universal equivalent of the corner pocket. The time allowance of one hour on Future Earth becomes pretty immaterial then as you’d only have time to say “Crikey, it got a bit nippy, didn’t it?” 59 minutes later  your fellow time travellers get back a traveller ice lolly with a slightly surprised look on its face.

2) So that leaves back.
Answers on this one are more diverse, you know exactly what time ( down to the minute in some cases ) everything has happened because in some cases you were already there.
But with going back in time you encounter those Sci-Fi favourites causality and accountability, which in a nutshell state “Sure, you may well be knee-deep in shit right now, but convince Mummy Hitler to use better birth control and who’s to say someone worse won’t spring up in the festering void left by the now-not-conceived little Adolf?”

So… to cut a long long story down to…erm… just long, what would I do?

I’d go back to the day my Nan died 5 years ago and thank her for never giving up on me despite my parent’s divorce effectively shattering the family unit. And I’d hold her hand until she passed. Cos lottery wins are lovely, I’ve got nothing whatsoever against being stinking rich, but to be able to be there to repay a debt they never even considered you owed.. that’s beyond price.

I am the Chicken Lady. Coo Coo Cachoo.

So… Chickens.

You’d think from my response that I’d never seen a chicken before, though I’ll admit that I’d calmed somewhat once we’d returned home. In fact I’d almost forgotten about it until later that evening when I was sitting with my feet up and attempting to reverse stretch marks by sheer willpower alone.
The question occurred though, “Are there a lot of chickens just free-roaming the pavements of The Netherlands?” ‘cos Hubby didn’t seem to find it in the least bit unusual. I could have been bouncing up and down screeching “Gravel !! It’s Gravel !!!” for all the interest he’d shown. Mind you, if I’d pointed at the chickens and screamed “Gravel!!” I doubt very much I’d have made it any further than the Psychiatric Department. Unlike the chickens.
Google failed me with wildly differing quotes on local chicken populations ( Oh Google, how could you? After all we’ve been through together… )so I broadened my search and skipped straight to enquiring how many chickens there are in the world.

Go on, have a guess.
Amazingly nobody has actually counted them ( how very inconsiderate ) but the closest I could get was 24 billion in 2003, courtesy of Wikipedia.
Whoah.
The article also went on to say that their natural roost of choice would be trees. 23 billion chickens. In trees. Can you imagine it?
Admittedly, a huge amount of those birds are going to be stuffed in crates, knee deep in their own crap, just so we can get half priced “value” chicken breasts in a plastic foam tray. But still, the mind boggles. Or my mind did, but then I’d be the first to admit it probably came pre-scrambled anyway.
I can easily come to terms with billions & billions of ants on the planet. In fact, you expect there to be purely because of the fact they’re so tiny ( Unless they live near a nuclear testing site, if the movies are anything to go by. On a side note, Hubby once told me when we first met “Did you know that when ants die they always fall on their left side?” which as pick-up lines go lacks a little…erm… everything really. It apparently worked though as we have 2 children together, so I’m either over-impressed by implausible and possibly totally fabricated “facts” or I’m just easy. )
Chickens, however, aren’t tiny. Surely with all of that poultry in the world I should have seen ONE hen clucking broodily from the boughs of the local elm trees, but no. It suddenly seemed strange to have NOT seen more of the chubby fowl out and about for a bit of fresh air.
Next time I was at the hospital I took my camera. Lo and behold, there they were again, pecking away at random gravel ( Gravel !! ) and polite  enough to pose for me. I took 15 photos. Can I find a single one? *sigh* so it’s not much of a thrilling end to Chapter 2 of the Chicken Saga. I don’t know about you but personally I’m hoping that at the very least one of the birds turns out to be either a zombie or a vampire.
Hmmm. Vampire Chicken. I should *totally* write that story.

Chickens. Part 1 of 2534357. The Beginning.

My obsession with chickens is a relatively new development, so it’s not as if I was traumatised by a bucket of KFC when I was a toddler, and until recently I regarded poultry with pretty much the same viewpoint as every other animal-munching person on this planet ie chicken = stupid, often kept in disgustingly small cages, nice seasoned in a sandwich.

I was neither for nor against them, but they had a moderate interest factor purely because they’re farm-related and I fancy myself as a bit of an animal lover. Well, as much as any omnivore can claim to love animals. Colour me a hypocrite if you must, I’ll be over in the Corner Of Shame eating a hot bacon roll.

So this is what happened. This was the turning point. This isn’t, however, the stage at which people started thinking I was a little peculiar. That was a good few decades previously.

It was 4 years ago and I was heavily pregnant and waiting patiently at the bus stop outside the local hospital after a check up. In pregnant woman terms “waiting patiently” involves lots of sighing, a large amount of shifting from one foot to another and a smattering of giving the father of the child the look that says “And you can cut that smile out, cos you’re getting a vasectomy..!” I was grumpy, it was bitterly cold and I’d lost all feeling in my feet. Of course I just assumed I’d lost feeling and they hadn’t just snapped off in some vastly improbable freak accident, but it had been a long time since I’d seen them to verify one way or another.

So there I was, a large round ball of sunshine when I caught sight of them – 2 chickens taking a casual stroll across the car park. I must have been slack-jawed and dribbling because Hubby takes one look at me and then follows my eyeline.

“Chickens!” I exclaimed, not entirely surprisingly.

“Yes.” he said by way of reply.

The chickens continue to stroll in their nonchalant manner across the tarmac like they own the place and taking the odd peck or two at stationary BMWs. There’s silence for 30 seconds or so.

“Chickens !!” I repeat, because he quite obviously doesn’t “get it”.

“….yes….” he says again, giving me that look that says “Oh Lord, the cheese has slid off her cracker again, please please don’t let her cause another scene…”

It occurs to me at this point that he’s not entirely grasping the enormity of what I’m trying to convey… the sheer improbability of feathered livestock jauntily strolling past the pathology department. After a short think, and never once taking my eyes off the duo, I attempt to clarify the situation for him.

“Chickens !!!” Possibly not the best summing-up of a situation in history.

He’d developed that slightly nervous big grin that every man who’s experienced the joy of fatherhood and the exhilaration of a hysterically unpredictable woman in her final weeks of pregnancy will be familiar with. It’s the one that says “Please give me some sort of clue what to say that won’t instantly reduce you to tears and/or physical assault”. I appreciated the effort and tried again.

“There are chickens. In the car park. Of the hospital. In a residential area. Chickens!!!”

“Ahhhhhh!” he says, relieved, “Yes.”

[silence]

“This is The Netherlands. There are chickens everywhere,” he explains.

The birds are now standing at the bus stop with us, looking like they also are waiting for a number 73 to come along, but alas.. they make no attempt to board once it arrives. It occurs to me that this is possibly because they have no pockets for change, and I watch them as we slowly pull away from the curb on our way home.

So there you have it. That was the Genesis of my chicken obsession. Next time I shall tell you how it bloomed from a tiny seed of strangeness into a sapling of weird.

Shhh. Nobody mention the poultry.

“Do you prefer to talk, text message, or a different communication method?”

For someone who writes a lot ( when not distracted by the soul-sucking lure of all things that are “Facebook games”) I’m not actually that chatty.

Sure, I can waffle on if I’m in that sort of mood or particularly agitated. For example, it’s probably best not to mention chickens if you want to get a word in edgeways. I feel the itch to sidetrack into my usual poultry-inspired rant just typing out the word, but I’ll spare you this time.

So, given a choice between text or talking I would choose silence. I’m a listener, a people-watcher. I often know more about folk by keeping my trap shut and my eyes open than they know themselves. It’s not like I have nothing to say. I have opinions, viewpoints and ideas, but given the opportunity I want to know yours first.

[ hmm. still thinking about those chickens.]

I used to spend a lot of time on the phone. In fact, I was one of those annoying telesales people, for which I feel I still have a huge karmic debt to pay, despite it being 20 years ago. It wasn’t me though, and every day I’d put on my headset and sit dreaming about

[chickens. chickens. chickens!!!!!!]

a more meaningful and creative career.

I really ought to get round to that. After all, I’m no spring chi…. ARGH !!!!