What is it with women and chickens?
My Singaporean Missus has wanted chickens for as long as I can remember. So, counting her, that raises the number of “pro-chicken” voters in my household to one.
I am in the “Over my dead chicken pluckin’ body will we have chickens” demographic.
Thankfully, I have managed to postpone/delay/sidestep the sensitive “chicken issue” for years and years.
Lately, I’ve increasingly felt in my bones that my chook-less days are numbered.
It really started last year when I, quite stupidly, took the Missus to a country fair that was beak-deep in chickens of the Foghorn Leghorn variety.
It’s gotten way worse since then, as chicken karma has gotten more and more clucky. And unless your name is Col. Sanders, you cannot beat zen chickens.
In the last month, every other time I have turned around, I’ve found myself in chicken-related activity.
Like two weeks ago. We were gardening, when the Missus’ X-ray hearing kicked in. Her ears perked up and she started sweeping the area. After a few sweeps, she locked onto a sound coming from wayyyy down back, at the bottom of our primordial jungle. It was a sound so soft that I could not hear it even with my hearing aids cranked up to the max.
“The neighbors have chickens! I can hear them clucking! I love that sound!” said the Missus. “Stupid, chicken-pluckin’ neighbors,” thought the husband.
Second, we recently were coming back from a small chapel which is sort of nearby but also sort of in the boonies. Some homeowner further down the road (think “Deliverance”) has always kept at least one rooster and several hens, which roam free. This chap now has THREE roosters who are like a freaking street gang.
I have named the head rooster “Booger”. Like all Booger Roosters, everywhere in the world. this Booger stands right in the middle of the road when you try to drive past. Defiantly. Giving you that cocky rooster look that says, “I could open your head, and possibly your Honda, with my talons”. Then he flaps his wings threateningly while cock-a-doodle-dooing you, which is rooster-speak for “I am your father”.
This prompted me to suggest that if my foot slipped off the brake, the Missus could, ha-ha, have a new feather duster! Let me tell you, sleeping on the couch is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Third, and here is the kicker, my former boss — a career woman who has risen to the top of the CEO tree — has moved into a rural area and entered semi-retirement, which I totally understand. Sadly, she also has started keeping chickens, for which I will never forgive her. Because, being a helpful kind of man (who likes to mock people), I took photos of her original cute little $300 chicken coop on wheels, and the plantation that it has mutated into (see photo).
I figured that the sheer enormity of my former boss’s project, and the fact that it probably cost $1,000 all up to build, would scare off my penny-pinching Missus. I thought the fact that one of my boss’ chooks insists on insanely clucking every morning at 4 a.m. when she lays what I can only assume is a square egg, and that she only shuts up when the man of the house goes outside to calm her. (Did I mention this is at 4 a.m.? Every morning?)
Instead, my Missus oohed and ahhed over the chicken coop photos, much like last year when I stupidly recorded a crowing rooster to show how annoying they are, but it was music to her ears. And, just to prove I can be as dumb as I look, just the other day when the Missus got back from her Singapore trip, I presented her with six organic eggs from my former boss’ chickens.
And she got that look in her eye, like when she first spotted the Crack Puppy and went into a trance, mumbling “must have shih-tzu puppy, now…”
She is now scoping out where exactly to locate the coop: deciding whether it should be deeeeep into the back jungle so her chooks can cluck with the neighbors’ birds. Or, maybe (!), they should be up close to our house, so the Missus can enjoy hearing their “lovely clucking” all the time. Maybe we could put wheels on the coop and drag it around so the chooks could eat bugs from all over the garden.
I’d say my goose is cooked, but that would just be wrong. So I will simply wave the white flag and prepare to construct the Missus’ Chicken “Tara” plantation.
I will also start saving my used Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes. Because I plan to make it abundantly clear to the Missus’ chickens that this is not Club Med for the feathered set. They will be laying for their keep, else they will find themselves on my dinner table, right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy.
Yeah, right. Knowing the Missus, it’s way more likely that she’ll knit them little hats and matching sweaters, and give them names like Gwendolyn and Pollyfrock.
Sigh. The zen of chookdom is just around the corner. I can feel it.
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