Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wet Chickens are Unhappy Chickens

If you ask almost any guy in the entire universe about a story involving him and small furry animals when he was very young, you will get a horror tale, probably involving death and mutilation.
Unless you’re a pretty girl that he’s trying to impress, in which case you’ll hear about that one time he nursed a baby squirrel back to life, which, by the way, will be an outright lie. Unless you’re talking to me. I totally nursed a baby squirrel back to life. I nursed thousands of baby squirrels back to life. Hundreds of thousands, even.
Now, cruelty to small animals is one of the early warning signs that correlate with psychopathic (sociopathic? Get your crap straight, scientists! I don’t want nit pickers all over ambiguous word choice in my posts. They should be able to call me a horrible human being without having to split hairs between similar words.) behavior, but we are, at heart, animals, and animals kill other animals.
But before we get into that, I’ve got to tell you about this. And this… is downright adorable.
I used to have two imaginary friends. They were both alligators (because giant amphibious lizards figured prominently in my formative years for some reason. Maybe I was destined to be the next crocodile hunter!) and one of them was named Jackie and one of them was named Beauford.
That’s right. I named one of my imaginary friends Beauford. Or he named himself that. I’m still not quite sure.
I do remember feeling a little confused, because one of my mother’s good friends was named Jackie, and every time she visited Jackie would disappear for a bit and I was left to play with just Beauford, which was annoying, because Beauford was kind of dull.
By the way, and I know this is barely relevant, but Jackie and Beauford lived on the roof.
There are loads of stories about Jackie and Beauford, but I’m only making this one post about them, so I’ll try to fit as many in as possible. Basically, I used them as my scapegoats.
The San Jose airport had a playground that I randomly wanted to play on one day, so I attempted to convince my mother to drive Jackie and Beauford to the airport because they had to catch a plane to Florida to visit their family because they were alligators, and that’s where alligators lived and while we were there could I please play on the playground. My mother said no.
I once had a tea party with Jackie and Beauford, but it was a disaster. Tea was everywhere. Everything was soaking wet, because alligators are freaking TERRIBLE at drinking tea.
I once asked my REAL friend Jackie if she would ever date a guy named Beauford. She said that she would, but only if it were pronounced Byoo-ferd (which it was) and not Bow-ferd (which it wasn’t.) Jackie and Beauford weren’t dating. I think they had an on and off marriage, if I remember correctly.
Anyway, on to the title story. We had a batch of adorable chickens. I can only remember two of their names. Brynn and Goldie. Goldie was the hands down favorite, although she was hilariously weird. She laid green eggs (seriously. Green eggs. I didn’t know it was possible.) routinely flew out of the pen to mess with the dogs, and, in the morning, she would crow. Goldie was a lesbian chicken.
That actually just occurred to me. Right then, when I wrote it. All these years, and I never realized…
Mind = Blown.
Where was I?
Oh yes! We had a cute little barn in which they all slept and laid their eggs and generally had a good time until one horrendous day, from which they would probably never recover (although it’s difficult to tell, with chickens.)
It was the day I discovered the hose could reach their barn.
It was like a video game! I could spray one chicken and it would squawk and jump up and then I’d turn the hose on the other. I’d try to get them all into the air at once. I’d make them switch roosts back and forth. I’d follow one around for a bit until it collapsed from exhaustion and then move onto the next one.
My mother found me after I don’t know how long. She was livid. She asked me what I was doing, and, to this day, I can remember what I told her to try to get out of it.
“Jackie told me to.”
Not “I was cleaning the pen!” or “I was trying to chase away the rats!” (and there <i>were</i> rats) or even “I dunno.”
“Jackie told me to.”
I was in therapy the very next day, working out some “issues.” It didn’t really go anywhere. I wasn’t broken, or psychopathic, or even scared. I was just a kid, being stupid.
Jackie and Beauford eventually left my life. Violently. I still remember the day that I beat them to death with a stick in the back yard, so I could make “alligator soup.”
The soup wasn’t very good, and my mother had a FIT about her rose bushes.

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