Wednesday, December 30, 2009

THINGS I HOPE TO FIGURE OUT IN 2010


• Why do people wear face masks while using leaf blowers? The leaves and dirt are being blown away from them, and toward us as we walk by. We should be the ones wearing face masks.

• Why are receptionists at massage parlors always so tense? Shouldn’t they be mellow and relaxed in order to show how great their service is?

• Why would anyone rob a 99-Cents Only store? How much money could the register possibly have? Even if the store had a good day and sold 500 items, that would only be $500. Crack must be really good.

• Will this be the year when people will finally stop using the expressions, “Oh…my…god,” and “Hell-O!” and “I’m baaack!”?

PRESIDENTIAL STATE DINNER 2044

Security problems continued to plague the White House staff during last week’s annual state dinner.

President Trig Palin and First Lady Suri Cruise were surprised when Levi Johnston, Jr., arrived unexpectedly as part of a reality show stunt. This led to the immediate outlawing of all reality shows by President Palin’s Department of Total Lameness.

Despite this minor setback, this year’s presidential dinner was considered a success.

The dinner’s theme was “Pretty Colors,” and the menu featured snickerdoodles, nutella, gum and Lunchables.

The guest of honor was retired Secretary of State Dakota Fanning. She introduced the evening’s entertainment, the cast of “Yo Gabba Gabba,” who were later awarded the Medal of Honor and the Ashton Kutcher Memorial Humor Prize.

The evening reached orgasm when a speech was given by the cryogenically frozen disembodied head of Dick Cheney, former vice president and current Fox News Network commentator.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

REASONS TO NOT BE THANKFUL

• One of Adam Lambert’s dancers stuck his face in the singer’s crotch during a performance on the American Music Awards.

• Adam Lambert was on the American Music Awards.

• “Mad Men” Season 3 ended.

• There is a nationwide shortage of Eggos, the delicious frozen waffle treat.

• Sarah Palin’s book is #1 on Amazon.com

• Law enforcement officials could sniff out a Canoga Park pot warehouse, but didn’t notice the sex compound in Philip Garrido’s backyard.

• L.A. teachers: 12% pay cut?

• This guy at work still has a Howard Dean and a John Kerry bumper sticker on his car—and it drives me crazy every time I see it.

• The older I get, the more often I fart.

• One day, chickens may no longer be fun.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

THINGS WE CAN ALL AGREE ON (can’t we?)

• When someone describes something as being “phenomenal,” it never really is. (A colleague once actually told me that the entertainment on her cruise ship was “phenomenal.” Uh, yeah.)

• Nobody over the age of 10 should ever use the phrases, “Sweet!” or “You rock!”

• At lease once during any meeting in any workplace, someone will say either (a) “Why reinvent the wheel?” or (b) “At the end of the day…”

• Hairdressers and barbers always have the worst hairdos and haircuts, just as people who work at cosmetic counters or beauty supply stores always have the worst makeup.

• We already know who will win “The Biggest Loser.” It will be the one who loses the most weight. (Oops, spoiler alert!)

• Approximately 75% of plays that win the Tony suck.

• Approximately 75% of books that win the Pulitzer Prize suck.

• Nobody—that’s right, nobody—looks good in a sleeveless shirt.*

(* This comment provided by Sleeve Makers Union, Local 17, 33/34.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

CHICKENS DON’T GET THE FLU

Many scientists the world over, including France, have recently come to the realization that chickens never catch the flu.

This discovery, like all great discoveries such as America and frozen waffles, came about quite accidentally.

As most people of average intelligence know, the method for developing the flu vaccine is based on a 50-year-old method of injecting the flu virus into eggs.

The virus feeds on the egg whites, the eggshells are cracked, the virus is killed and the substance is purified. Many of you have already practiced this in your own home using the Heath Kit Lil’ Egg Flu Vaccine Maker.

So, if you are one of the hundreds of paranoids waiting in line for your flu shot this year, perhaps there is an easier, more holistic approach:

Be more chicken-like in your everyday life.

As explained by Cal State Dinuba scientist Messugah Chalaza, “The chicken egg is not upset when the flu virus is injected, and therefore chickens are immune. I therefore urge every man and woman to immediately renounce his or her homo sapienness and embrace their homo chickenness. Unfortunately, pygmies will get the flu no matter what. Now, where’s my pap? I want my pap!”

Local poultry rights activists are providing another reason to become familiar with your inner chicken. They believe that injecting a flu virus into an innocent egg is murder, and that the vaccine should instead be tested on non-living things such as homeless people.

Thos who still wish to tap their inner chicken are advised to follow the teachings found in the recent best-selling book by Deepeck Cluckra, “The Way of the Chicken,” which outlines how humans can become more chicken-like.

The book’s main advice includes:

• Do not be ashamed of your pecker. Display it proudly at all times.

• Associate with more cocks on a daily basis.

• What you think may be a bowel movement could actually be an egg. As you are upon the bowl (or “porcelain nest”), repeat the mantra, “Round, white, round, white,” for at least an hour. Check carefully before you flush.

• Remember the basics:
1. Cluck on a daily basis, no matter how loud and sweaty you may get.
2. Flap your wings (or arms) erratically, not matter how futile and annoying it may be to others.
3. Avoid rotisseries.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

THE TORTURE OF STARBUCKS

You would think that ordering a cup of coffee would be easy. Mindless. Something a monkey could easily be trained to do.

Think again, my presupposing post-primate.

Today I visited my local Barnes and Noble. Following the lead of Mrs. Jerry K, instead of actually buying books and contributing to the local economy and supporting the authors, I begin a book in the bookstore, make a note of what page I stopped at, then continue at said page on my next visit.

Hey, what do you want from a guy who actually washes and reuses plastic forks?

So, I grab my book and head to the in-store Starbucks area. Now, as everyone knows, your penance for sitting in this most hallowed of areas is that you have to purchase something. Bastardos!

The area is usually filled with high school or community college students who gather there to work on homework. Except that 90 percent of the time, they are too busy talking to get any work done.

And that is why we need to immediately stop funding all educational institutions! Shut ‘em all down, I say! That's the only logical conclusion.

Anyway, I just want to buy the cheapest thing possible and read a book that I’m too cheap to buy.

Now, I considered embellishing this little exchange in order to make it—I don’t know—funny. But I swear on the life of my pet chicken that the following actually happened and that I am repeating it verbatim.

Can I have a small coffee, please? (I refuse to say dente or stupende or schmente or whatever made-up words they have up there on the menu.)

Would you like room for cream?

Yes.

Would you like to have anything from the display case?

I would, but I better not. (That’s me being friendly and reaching out to my fellow human beings. Usually results in blank stares.)

Would you like to also purchase your book?

No.

I’m sorry, did you say you wanted room for cream?

Yes.

There’s a fresh pot brewing. Would you like to wait for that?

Sure.

Do you have a Barnes and Noble membership card?

No.

Would you like to purchase one? It will save you ten percent off your purchase today.

No thanks. (Notice how polite I am?)

What is your name? I will call your name when it’s ready.

Jerry.

Did you say “Garry”?

No, JJJJJJJJJerry. (That’s a hard “J” sound, folks. Pretty common name, wouldn’t you say? Yet, you would be amazed at the questions I get. “Is that Jerry with a “J” or a “G”? “Is that J-e-r-r-y or J-e-r-r-i?”)

Now, I ask you: What about all those movies when a guy walks into a diner and asks for a cup of joe. It’s always such a simple transaction, and usually goes something like this:

A cup of coffee, please.

Comin’ right up.

That’s it! That’s all! Sometimes the counterperson says nothing at all. Instead, I get a freakin’ interrogation.

It’s enough to make you think that movies aren’t like real life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

THE YENTA CHICKEN

Hi there once again all you clucks and cocks. This is Feathers Mendelbeak, your local Yenta Chicken, checking in with all the latest gossip around the old henhouse.

Item #1: Guess which white and unmarried hen recently surprised everyone in the coop when she popped out a brown egg? I won’t name names, but let’s just say she’s been known to spread her wings on several occasions…and it wasn’t to do any flying either!

Item #2: A certain cluckster has been leading a double life at night as an exotic dancer at a local barn. She goes by the name of “Chicken Tenders,” and rumor has it that she partakes in some kinky behavior for the right price.

Examples:
• For a pound of chicken feed, she is willing to dress up like she’s been barbequed.
• For two pounds of extra grade feed, she will allow the client to pluck her all night.
• She’s been known to swing both ways: chickens and roosters.

‘Nuff said for now.

Item #3: Yours truly recently attended the World Premiere of “Impecktuous Clucksters,” the latest opus by that bad boy of poultry cinema, Chirpy Beakatino.

Had a fabulous time dirt-bathing with some of the hottest scratchers on the big screen, and the movie itself was a hoot, offering an alternative history to one of the darkest eras in chicken history. Believe me, the Poultry Rights activists clucked in delight as the foxes got their comeuppance at the film’s end. And might as well polish off an Oscar now for that fabulous supporting actor who chirped in four languages!

That’s it for now. Until next time, this is Feathers Mendelbeak saying keep your wings clipped and your eggs warm. CCFN!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE RESTROOM KIND


Ah, life, why must you taunt us so with your endless mysteries?

How many of us have not marveled in awe at the wonder that is Stonehenge, the inscrutable Dead Sea Scrolls, the perplexing and annoying three-legged chickens of Pacoima?

Since I have written several extensive volumes on these enigmas in my prize-winning tome, “Great Mysteries of the World: What Up With That?” I will now direct my attention to perhaps the greatest puzzle that has taunted mankind since time began:

Why can’t I find a decent faculty restroom on a public school campus?

Sure, on occasion I strike it lucky with the first restroom I visit. But with God as my witness (and I know He is watching this unfold closely), I often have to enter four or more faculty restrooms before I find one that is acceptable.

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I am not being fussy or particular. I’m just looking for a decent facility so I can drop the kids off at the pool as quickly and safely as possible.

Here’s what happened just the other day as I hunted for a restroom, and trust me, this was not unusual. (Keep in mind that each faculty restroom has only one stall.)

• First Restroom: Sign posted on front door saying “Out of Order.”

• Second Encounter: No sign on door. OK so far, and I open the door as if I’m in a horror movie and anything could appear on the other side. No go: the toilet is clogged up with a bouillabaisse of bowel movements.

•Third: OK, a couple of dead cockroaches, but no live ones and no spiders that may want to pitch a tent in my tuches. But then, alas, no toilet paper. On to the next one.

(Now keep in mind that on a large high school campus, these restrooms are miles apart from each other, so I am clenching my buns and trotting from one corner of the campus to the other, waiting for my sweet release like Rush Limbaugh waiting for his maid to bring his oxycontin or Michael Jackson begging for his injection of propofyl.)

• Fourth Try: All right! This is a newer facility. Even has air-conditioning, instead of a pipe that leads outside directly in front of someone’s leaf blower. As I do my business, I’m feeling like Donald Trump depositing gold bars in one of my tacky hotels. All is well, time to wash my hands, but then: no water from the faucet.

• Fifth Visit: Back to the doody-filled bathroom mentioned in the Second Encounter, where a trickle of water allows me to wash my hands. Finally, mission accomplished, this time with no casualties.

In the past, there have been variations on this quest—no soap, no paper towels, no toilet seat covers—you get the idea. And as far as hot water goes, that’s harder to find than a convincing performance by Jessica Alba.

So, the next time you feel self-conscious when using the facilities at your own place of work, just remember, it could be worse. You could be back at high school.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TODAY’S RECOMMENDATION: THE FLU!


If you find yourself stuck in a rut during these last dog days of summer, may I make a helpful suggestion? Get the flu!

Speaking as one who has had this precious gift for three weeks now, I think I speak with authority when I say it’s just the spice you need to sprinkle on your doldrums.

If you’re really lucky, it may even develop into bronchitis. Mine did!

Just look at the benefits of inviting the flu into your life:

Sleep: Who needs another boring night of restful, uninterrupted sleep? With the flu, your sleep pattern is full of excitement, broken up all night long with intervals of coughing spasms, cold sweats, and expectoration. Every night is like a party. It does wonders for your marriage, too; just when your spouse was complaining about how predictable you are, she will never know just when you will cough in her face!

Mucus: With the flu, say goodbye to the everyday routine of breathing in and out. Boring! Instead, each breath you take is like a new adventure, and usually results in a wonderful mucous mélange spewing out of your throat.

Drugs: If you can finally get to see a real doctor, you can enjoy the benefits of miracle pills to tackle your flu. (Actually, it’s a miracle if they work, so don’t worry.) One possible side effect is diarrhea, so you may have a chance to create your own personal poo stew.

Diet: Still need to shed a few pounds from all those BBQ parties you’ve been enjoying over the summer? No worries! With the flu, you won’t feel like eating a thing. Watch the pounds melt away. I’ve already lost 10 pounds and counting.

So what are you waiting for? Go lick some doorknobs. Hang around toddlers. Use a public rest room. Visit a Wal-Mart. And soon you will know the delights that the flu can do for you!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BEWARE THE TURTLE!


People say there are no adventures in suburbia. That they are sterile, overly planned, anally retentive communities divorced from the excitement of a big city, the natural wonders of a rural setting, or the cozy cement comforts of a mental institution.

Well as a suburb dweller, I am here to tell you that suburbia can be the best of all these worlds.

Why, just today, the so-called predictable suburbs threw us a curve ball when the lovely and angelic Mrs. Jerry K discovered a turtle—yes, a turtle--in our garage.

How did this mysterious, prehistoric creature get in the garage? Was he there to deliver a message to me? Was he a time traveler? Or did he just lose his way? Speak to me, turtle, I beg of thee!

After spending two hours questioning the turtle and receiving little more than a shrug in return, I realized this would be one tough shell to crack.

Soon, I was faced with a predicament that we all face at some point in our lives: What do you do if you find a turtle in your garage?

Drawing upon my vast knowledge of Turtology, I sprang into action. First, I needed some sort of device to pick the turtle up. My forklift was in the repair shop, so I resorted to my bright yellow Playtex gloves.

Now, some of you may be wondering why I just didn’t pick him up with my bare hands.

I laugh at your ignorance. And at your funny hat.

If you knew anything about turtles, you would realize that these exotic marsupials secrete numerous poisons to which there are no antidotes, despite the continuous efforts of our finest scientists and yearly telethons.

In addition, you may have seen the Japanese documentary know as “Gamera,” in which it is proven that a turtle can recede into his shell and then shoot flames out of his opening, launching himself into outer space. No way I’m gonna risk that; hence, the protective Playtex gloves.

Just as I was ready to call 911, Homeland Security, and Appleby’s, I discovered that turtle X actually belonged to the next-door neighbors.

Amazingly, said neighbor picked up her turtle with her bare hands, and returned it to her backyard.

Oh well, it’s her funeral.

Monday, July 6, 2009

WHY NO TEARS FOR BOZO?

The nation is busy mourning Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays, Moishe “Clucks” Beakman, and other big-name celebrities who passed away recently.

Yet amid all the hubbub (that’s right, damn it, I’m angry enough to say “hubbub”!), no mention is made of the fact that almost a year ago today Bozo the Clown passed away.

Think about it. Who gave more kids pleasure?

Ed McMahon? His job was to sit on a couch on the “Tonight” show, or introduce bad acts on “Star Search.” That is, when he was sober enough. I would have done his job for half the salary.

Farah Fawcett? She may have fulfilled a service for young boys just discovering jacking the dum-dum, but just try sitting through one episode of “Charlie’s Angels.” It sucks! Almost as bad as the movies.

What did Michael Jackson do for kids? Scared the shit out of them!

Meanwhile, Billy Mays just tried to sell us crap, and the less said about Beakman, the better. We all know about that scandal: the feathers, the bloody spatula, the deep fryer, the caws for help.

But then there was Bozo. The red swooping hair. The bright nose. The big painted smile. The cartoons.

He just wanted to be our pal, make us laugh, forget our childhood worries for a while. Sing us a song.

And yet, no one mourns the death of Bozo, one year later. There are no tears for this clown. No tributes at the Staples Center. No day of mourning called for by Reverend Al Sharpton, who even looks like a black Bozo.

Well, Bozo, my friend, if you’re up there in clown heaven reading this, please know that some of us still care, and still remember. So, grab your big fake nose, Bozo, and honk twice if you can hear me:

It’s Bozo, Bozo,
Always smiles, never frowns,
Bozo, Bozo,
Bozo the Clown.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

AM I A LIBERAL?

I believe in a woman’s right to choose.
I believe gay people have the right to get married.
I like good horror movies.
I have a B.A. in English.
I eat red meat.
I have never missed voting in an election.
I am agnostic.
I pay my taxes, early, every year.
I am a public employee and a union member.
I listen to more Grateful Dead than I should.
I still listen to Howard Stern every day.
I live in the suburbs.
I am a member of an art museum, and often go to the theater.
I am a native Angeleno.
I read two newspapers every day, and mostly non-fiction books.
I wish I had kept my old vinyl records and my turntable.
I am still married to my first wife.
…So, my question to you is: Does This Make Me a Liberal?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

OH, IT’S ON!

Summer is here, and that means only one thing around the old hen house: Time to battle the bugs.

• First up: Roaches.

These crap-colored creatures love to brag about how cool their exoskeletons are (“You know, we were the inspiration for both ‘Alien’ and ‘Predator’ ” they always boast), and only appear in our garage when the weather gets very hot.

As I’ve learned through my years of extermination research, it’s difficult to just step on these suckers. They have billions of sensors (I think IBM made them) that respond to any change in the air current. So, they can actually feel your shoe or newspaper approaching.

And I swear that more than once, I have smashed a roach, gone to the kitchen for a paper towel, and returned to find the roach gone! Not even a chalk outline remaining.

I’ve tried everything : spraying, boric acid, roach motels, flame throwers. Nothing.

Finally, one evening I noticed these brown demons milling about in the street near our driveway. They were coming from under the manhole cover!

After several hours feeling nauseous while pondering the word “manhole,” I realized that these little scurrying shits were crawling out of the sewer, into my garage, and then into the house.

The solution was as obvious as Rush Limbaugh’s drug habit: Plug up the manhole-cover holes, and the mothereffers can’t get out.

This discovery worked like a charm. This discovery was similar to Jonas Salk’s cure for polio, but my breakthrough was infinitely more important. Think about it: We all have bugs, but how many of us have polio?

The problem is, the holes are still plugged up, and the vile vermin are rearing their annoying antenna yet again.

Latest solution: Glue traps. Works pretty good, but you need to find only the dumbest roaches to walk into them.

• Second contender: Flies.

No solution for this. I’ve tried bug zappers, but guess what? They only work at night, and we’re eating outside during daylight.

I’ve also tried those plastic bags that you fill with water. These work great—if you want to have your backyard smell like rotten chicken livers. But you’ll still have flies.

• Public Enemy #3: Ants.

These are actually the easiest to get rid of. The solution: Get some of those diaphragm crystals, and pour them out where the ants gather for their little ant hootenannies.

Ants are so stupid, that they’ll see the crystals and think “Ooh, food! Yummy! Let’s take it back to impress the Queen and share it with all the workers! What’s the worst that can happen? And then we can all watch ‘Gossip Girl.’ ”

The real question about ants is: Why do they appear?

Some say when it’s really hot outside, the ants are looking for water. OK, fair enough.

But then when it gets very rainy, the ants are supposedly looking for dry areas.

Well, which is it, ants? Take a stand!

Here’s the bottom line: Thank the Lord above for chickens. They eat bugs. What more could you want from an animal, I ask you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

SPOILED BY CDS?

It think it’s official: I am too old for rock concerts.

You see, I turned 53 on Wednesday, and just returned tonight, disappointed, from seeing the band Wilco at the Wiltern Theater.

It’s not Wilco’s fault. They are great musicians. I have all their CDs and DVDs and can’t wait for their new release on June 30.

They really make some incredible music that ranges from folk rock, to progressive, to alternative country, to sonic experimentation.

So it’s not them. It’s two things: the sound quality and the hassle.

The hassle (you know, buying the tickets, paying a fortune for parking, dealing with crowds and traffic) is really not that big a deal for me. I figure it’s just part of the price of going out. If the hassle kept me from doing stuff, then I would really be old.

The main problem, then, is the sound quality. It was incredibly muddy and distorted. Now whose fault is this? The band’s? The theater’s? My ears? Dick Cheney’s?

As I was listening to this awful audio, all I could think about was how much better their stuff sounds on CD. It’s not that the band can’t play; it’s just that the CD sound is so refined and clear, anything less is a letdown.

I guess I’m now at the point that I would rather buy a CD and/or a DVD of a live performance than go to the concert. In fact, I did exactly that recently instead of buying tickets for this year’s Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison, and Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood concerts.

And you know what? The DVDs were far less expensive, the sound quality is outstanding, I can see everything perfectly, and they only cost about $20 bucks each. And I can watch or listen to them over and over again.

Yeah, I know that I’ll be missing out on the “communal experience” of being in an audience. But go ask the Manson family and the Branch Davidians about communes. I have a feeling they would take a pass next time.

When it comes to attending live performances, perhaps the key is to stick to small, intimate clubs. Like jazz clubs…before they become extinct altogether.

Meanwhile, I am still looking forward to the Steely Dan concert in August. Hey, those guys are even older than me, so maybe it will work out this time.

As long as I don’t break my hip by clapping too rigorously.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

OLD GUY WANTS A CAR

This really old guy at work, Jasper, was finally going to break down and buy a new car after having no other choice. He wanted to get as bare bones a model as possible, and didn’t even want a radio in the car.

“A radio? Why would I want a radio in my car? They charge extra for that, don’t they? What is it, both AM and FM? I don’t even know the difference, and you know what? I don’t care.

“Back in my day we didn’t have confounded radios in cars to entertain us. Me and my mammy would drive along and have whistlin’ contests. You know, who could whistle the longest, who could whistle the loudest. Sometimes if we got tired of that we’d play Name That Tune by whistlin’ a little ditty and tryin’ to guess each other’s song. Of course, we only had three songs back then.”

(There was no way I was going to tell him that I have media overload in my own car, with my AM/FM, six-CD changer, satellite radio, and auto-suck installed.)

Jasper continued on his nostalgic roll.

“In fact, I think we would get along just fine without these car contraptions. When I was a youngster, we would wait all day for the Pony Express to come along and deliver our mail. I still remember that snorting, fine brown steed dropping road apples as he ran down the dirt path to our farm. Later on, Pa and I would mosey on down to the fishin’ hole for a spell and catch a perch or two. We’d grill those up, untie Ma for a while, and maybe fuck a couple of sheep.”

And it was then, as the old guy was staring skyward, eyes in the back of his head, a little stream of drool slipping down the corner of his mouth, that the clowns came and finally took Jasper away.

The next day, the entire office staff celebrated with special cupcakes. Mine was vanilla with rainbow sprinkles and a little plastic tractor on top. “This is for you, Pops,” I said as I swallowed the tractor and danced the Funky Chicken, to the amusement of all.

GOD VISITS SUMMER SCHOOL

I already have my opening speech prepared for the first day of teaching summer school this year.

“OK students, before we start let’s take a minute and hope that God is looking down on us all on this first day of summer school and is going to guide us through this experience.”

I will then look to the skies and after a dramatic pause, when all is silent, make a little muffled whispery noise out of the side of my mouth.

(Looking around, amazed and wide-eyed.) “Wait a minute. Did you hear that?”

More whispery noise.

“That sounded kind of like a kitten, but all the kittens around here were killed a long time ago.”

Whispery noise.

“You know what? I think that’s God. He is looking down on us! Shhh, let’s listen.”

Whispery noise.

“What’s that, God? You are watching over us? And you have some thoughts for us?”

Whispery noise.

“Oh, I see. Yes, God, I will pass on your words.”

(Back to addressing the students levelly.)
“God told me that you all losers better fucking pass summer school.”

Monday, May 25, 2009

THE DOODY PARADE

It seems that every year there is a research study that concludes peoples’ biggest fear is public speaking. I beg to differ.

In fact, according to a new report using laboratory chicken experimentation, the biggest fear people have is: Making a doody somewhere other than their house.

This is probably most difficult to avoid when you are work, and often put into motion only as a last resort. Even then, we need to wait for the right time.

They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I also believe there are no atheists when you have to unload at work, because soon the praying begins…

“Please Lord, don’t let any co-workers be in the restroom when I:
a. Enter the restroom.
b. Enter the stall.
c. Am in the middle of my movement.
d. When I exit the stall.
e. When I exit the restroom.”

I had insult added to injury yesterday when I visited a teacher at a different high school. Before we got down to work she asked if I needed to use the restroom.

I desperately needed to. I was hoping to hold my bowels hostage until after our meeting and I arrived home. But like an expectant mother, that precious bundle of brown joy was coming out and had a mind of its own. So, I was actually glad she offered it.

But then came the kicker. I had to get the key from the Main Office. No big deal, I naively assumed, until the key came.

I was handed a giant, four-foot piece of wood shaped like a key. It may as well have been 10 feet tall and fluorescent pink. Attached to this was a heavy-duty chain from which the real restroom key was dangling.

So now I have to prance down the hall, holding this enormous wooden key that tells the entire world that I’m going to the bathroom.

I felt like I was leading a parade, holding my giant toilet key like a baton and shouting gleefully, “Hey everybody, follow me! Come join the doody parade! Ta Ta Ta Da Da Da! Yay!”



Like this was a production of “The Music Man” and I should be wearing some ornamental headdress and be followed by trumpet players and baton twirlers. What was I, The Pied Piper of Poop?

I won’t even pretend to understand the school’s motivation for forcing visitors to cart around such a humiliating talisman just to use the facilities.

The only good news was that despite all the turmoil, everything flowed like a doody-filled river.

Good thing too, because I faced Memorial Day traffic on the way home, and my usual 20-minute drive took 60 minutes. Had I not used the restroom, I would have experienced my own battlefield with an explosion in my pants.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

CRAZY BREAD

The World’s Worst Comedian stopped by my living room the other night to share his humorous observations.

“So I’m looking through my morning newspaper and I see an ad for a pizza joint. The ad says that to make my pizza meal complete, I can add a two-liter Pepsi and an order of Crazy Bread.

“Now, I understand the Pepsi, because that’s an all natural beverage and quite healthy for you. But Crazy Bread?

“I don’t know about you, but while I’m eating a pizza--which is, um, bread—why would I want to add more bread to it?

“And if I already had bread in my pizza, how would adding more bread make this meal in any way more complete?

“Are they calling it Crazy Bread so they can trick people into thinking that it’s really not bread--it’s Crazy Bread!

“I say you would have to be Crazy to even eat it!”

…And then, as mysteriously as he appeared, the World’s Worst Comedian vanished, leaving nothing behind but the stench of stale cigar smoke, and a hearty “Hey-Oh!”

Sunday, May 17, 2009

WHY DO MEN WEAR TIES?

If you have any kids, you will know the answer to this question.

When does your kid tell you that something is due at school on Monday morning? That’s right: on Sunday evening.

My little peep has been working on his John Hancock (how appropriate!) book report for several weeks. We have been ahead of schedule, following the teacher’s written instructions, confident that he’ll be ready on the due date.

But what I didn’t know was that the teacher told him that he also needs to dress like John Hancock as he delivers his oral report.

Which led him to ask Mrs. Jerry K, “Mom, do we have a tux?”

Now, realize that I work in public education. Translation: I have no neckties, one old sports coat that is forced to match with everything, and nothing even approaching a tux.

By some miracle, my hen produced a black sport coat, and something resembling a tie. And it didn’t look bad on him. The length of the coat even fit in with Hancock’s era.

He was a little hesitant about the faux-tie, however. And that was when I informed him that ties are just there to cover up the shirt buttons anyway.

Well, you thought I had farted at a tea party or something.

My hen shot me one of those looks. “Why are you making up such stupid stuff?”

So, off to the Internet I went, because everyone knows that everything on the Web is true.

Turns out that no one is exactly sure why men wear ties. My answer was among the many, so I felt somewhat vindicated.

One answer I found frequently was that men wear ties because they point to their crotches, thereby communicating an image of power.

I never heard of that before, probably because my penis is so enormous, I figured I would never need to point it out to anyone.

THE WORLD'S MOST PERCEPTIVE BANK TELLER

Somebody made my day--perhaps my year--yesterday.

A young, blonde, beautiful bank teller asked me, “Did anyone ever tell you that you look like Tom Hanks?”

This is the first time anyone ever told me I looked like someone who others may actually consider handsome.

Now, when I related this story to Mrs. Jerry K (aka The Hen), I was met with a fusillade of guffaws. I milked the teller’s remark for all it was worth, as husbands will do. Now, two days later, she refers to the teller as “some blonde bitch.”

I just respond by explaining how this teller not only had perfect eyesight, but was also quite intelligent and perceptive.

I have actually been told before that I look like someone else. For example, students have told me I look like Jon, Garfield’s owner in the comic strip. Then again, those students were on crack.

Usually, I will get compared to the actor Daniel Stern. In fact, I was once in a video store, and a little boy approached me and asked, “Were you in ‘Home Alone’?”

“No,” I replied, “I just look like him.”

I’ll never forget the disappointed look on that little boy’s face. If I had to do it over again, I probably would have lied to him. After all, everyone knows that it's perfectly OK to lie to a kid if it makes him happy. That's why my son thinks I wrote "Harry Potter."

The funny thing is, all these people are mistaken, because I think I really look an awful lot like Brad Pitt.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

EROTIC SERVICES BANNED ON “CLUCK’S LIST”

An online classified ads website known as “Cluck’s List” was ordered to eliminate its “erotic services” category today on the grounds that some ads were actually offering poultrytution.

Was this decision a justifiable one, or just another case of walking on eggshells? Read these samples from Cluck’s List, and you be the judge:

• “Looking for a fine, upstanding young cock to take care of me and scramble my eggs. Interest in taking dirt baths a plus. Open to swapping incubators. No turkeys need apply.”

• “Do you like breasts? I am a young French hen with two juicy ones and am into grilling, frying and breading. I enjoy large peckers who like to cluck all day. I am open to Egg Beaters and like to keep a kinky coop.”

• “I am looking for that special cock who would like to pluck my feathers. I love to lay eggs, and prefer it sunny-side up.”

Sunday, May 10, 2009

AN INVITATION

If you get a chance, check out the new blog by my friend Jesus C. This is his first blog and he could really use the encouragement.

You'll find it at http://funwithjesus.blogspot.com/

Thanks.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

THE FIVE POLYPS OF THE APOCALYPSE

Today was my follow-up visit, two weeks after my first colonoscopy. The results are in: I had five polyps. One was quite large, another was medium-size, and the last three were small.

I have decided, with the guidance of my life coach Moishe, to call the big one Smegma, the medium one Yonkel, and the three little ones the Jonas Brothers.

The two large polyps showed “a tendency to develop cancer,” according to the doctor, while the other three were as harmless as an Owen Wilson movie.

But because of those two big suckers, I need to return in one year to have another colonoscopy. (I can only pray it will be as delightful as the first one!) That doesn’t mean I’ll need to have the procedure every year, but only that it is precautionary. Most people over 50 only need to have one every five years. I think I hate those people.

Bottom line (pun intended): It looks like I dodged a bullet, and that people the world over can rest assured they will continue to receive more much-needed chicken-related humor.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot to tell you that I saw Jesus. He appeared to me as the doctor’s news echoed in my head.

He floated before me, and in each outstretched hand he held my two largest polyps. He was much shorter than in his pictures.

He said softly (and, surprisingly, in a heavy Yiddish accent): “Jerry K, my son, I have spared your life this time. But now you must go forward and tell my flock about the importance of having a camera shoved up one’s tuches.”

He finished by saying, “It is your duty,” and I could swear I heard him laughing at his own joke.

And then I realized something: I bet Jesus has a difficult time finding an audience for his jokes. For all we know, he may be quite the jocular fellow, but it’s not like he has the chance to hang around and banter with his co-workers or friends. He probably feels pressured to be philosophical and serious all the time, like he’s a 20-year-old Comparative Literature major or something.

And here I was feeling bummed out that I have to have another colonoscopy so soon, when in reality, it’s better than being Jesus.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

THE REAL/FAKE NEW FALL TV SEASON

It’s that exciting time of year once again when the major television networks—ABC, NBC, CBS, CluckTV—begin to promote their new shows for the fall season.

As a special treat, we present to you the original pitch ideas for new Fall TV shows. But here’s the twist:

CAN YOU TELL WHICH OF THESE SHOWS ARE REAL AND CURRENTLY IN PRODUCTION, AND WHICH ARE FAKE?
(Answers below.)

• “Clown Dick”:
In this gritty one-hour drama, a circus clown (portrayed by Senator Barney Frank) enjoys entertaining the masses under the big top during the day, but at night leads a secret life as a private investigator.

• “Senior Cribs”:
Based on the popular MTV “Cribs” show, this documentary-ish series offers a voyeuristic look at the moist and confused lives of the residents of an assisted living complex in Barstow, California. In the first episode, Murray gets high when he mistakenly chug-a-lugs Polident, Evelyn tries to remember the name of a movie she saw the night before, and a disoriented Sylvia yells at her kasha.

• “My Little Jew”:
In this new sitcom, a washed-up supermodel (Anna Faris) gets drunk and finds herself married to a midget rabbi (Peter Dinklage). She tries to make the best out of it in this knish-out-of-water story.

• “America’s Favorite Geek”:
This new reality show is not about the nerdy guy who ends up being your boss or marrying your niece. It’s about actual geeks who bite heads off chickens. As we learn more about each geek by watching their sappy, heartbreaking yet oddly hilarious back-stories, viewers vote each week for the most deserving geek. The final winner gets a bag of shit. Sponsored by KFC and PETA.

(Answer: They are all real!)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

THE SCOOP ON MY POOP

Every since my first colonoscopy a week ago, I have been obsessed with my doody…at least more so than usual.

I was consumed with questions:
Will I ever make a doody again?
If so, how long will it take?
What will it look like (e.g., color, shape, consistency)?
Will it be able to play the piano?


Well, I will no longer keep you in suspense, for I am here to tell you that, so far, my doodies have been absolutely fascinating.

The first doody reared its bulbous head exactly two days after the procedure, and I am proud to report that I created a ginormous mound of the brown magic. That was quite surprising; I figured since my colon was starting from scratch, so to speak, I would embark down this newly-paved Doody Avenue with a series of small doodies. Imagine my delight at the precious plethora of poop.

To paraphrase Kahlil Gibran (or was it Morris Schmeckman?), “This was the first doody of the rest of my life.”

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the following day I had not one, but two bowel movements: one in the a.m. and one in the p.m. This was becoming more intriguing than Season Four of “Lost.”

However, nothing prepared me for what happened today. It was another a.m. visitation, and this time, nestled next to each other in the bowl like two innocent newborn (brown) chicks were two magical turds—each the exact same size and shape, each complete with a pert little tail. If I ever doubted the existence of God, this put the kibosh on that, fella.

It was akin to laying eyes upon Donny and Marie, or Sonny and Cher, and other great humanitarians of the early 1800s. I had to fight back the temptation to dress them up in cute outfits and take them with me to the L.A. Times Festival of Books.

Needless to say, my anal region explodes with excitement in anticipation of what will happen next.

HOW DO THE “SURVIVORS” SURVIVE?

Around the old chicken coop I like to call home, my hen, my little peep and I never miss an episode of “Survivor.” It’s a little more sophisticated than “Masterpiece Theater” and twice as entertaining.

Perhaps the most amazing part of “Survivor” is when the contestants’ occupations are superimposed on the screen, underneath their names. It doesn’t take long to realize that the vast majority of these people do not have real jobs. (They are also a bunch of dummies, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

Here are some of the actual job titles that belong to this season’s contestants:

• Soccer Coach:
First of all, nobody plays soccer in the United States unless they are between the ages of 5 and 9, and those soccer coaches are all voluntary. They don’t even keep score at those games, and every kid gets a trophy.

• Former Pop Star:
This player is African-American and quite overweight, but no, it’s not Aretha Franklin. Case closed—no one has ever heard of her.

• Bicyclist:
Again, it’s not Lance Armstrong. Therefore, no one is paying him to ride a frickkin’ bike.

• Hairstylist:
Like most hairdressers/stylists, her hair looks ridiculous. That must be a job requirement.

• Principal:
OK, now at least we have a real job, but I’m still suspicious. She must have filmed this season during summer vacation; otherwise, how could she leave her school for 30 days? Secondly, she is going to be a major distraction when she returns to school, because you can bet that every single one of her students watching this season is scrutinizing every square inch of her. When she returns to school, she is in for a world of hurt, and the sarcastic comments will be passed down for generations.

• Entrepreneur:
Do I really need to even comment on this one?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

THE DECIDER CHICKEN ASKS: "WHICH IS SADDER...?"

• A three-legged puppy…or…
A woman over 45 dirty-dancing?

• Goldie Hawn’s forced smile…or…
Madonna’s sinewy arms?

• Martin Scorcese’s “Bringing Out the Dead”…or…
Oliver Stone’s “U-Turn”?

• Two-Buck Chuck…or…
Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill?

• The American Music Awards Show…or…
The Grammy Awards Show?

• Lifetime Television…or…
The Hallmark Channel?

Monday, April 20, 2009

ORIFICE WORLD TOUR 2009 CONTINUES!

Forget about frying chickens at Coachella. Don’t molt in the sun at Bonnaroo. The hottest event this year is the Orifice World Tour 2009.

In case you’ve been living in a shell, let’s bring you up to speed:

The Orifice World Tour is just beginning, but so far is making a big splash all around the world, and beyond. Here is the schedule so far:

March 27
Sherman Oaks, CA
Headliner: Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Opening Act: Novacaine

April 21
Mission Hills, CA
Headliner: Colonoscopy
Opening Act: The Cramps

To get the most out this unique experience, please remember the following:

• Avoid solid foods.
• Clear liquid diet only.
• Don’t do drugs; instead drink four liters of this shit called Tri-Lyte before the performance.
• As always, use Kirkland Signature for all your paper needs.

More dates will be announced soon. Keep checking this blog, or look for listings in Peeple Magazine.

Friday, April 10, 2009

“THE TRUTH ABOUT EASTER”

Best Bet for Sunday:

A television special entitled “The Truth About Easter” will be premiering Easter Sunday on CluckTV. Hosted by the late talk show host Larry King, the program focuses on famed Easterologist and poultry rights activist Doctor Moishe Peckerman. Here is an excerpt:

King: What problem do you have with Easter, Doctor?

Peckerman: First, we have an animal known as a “bunny,” that for some reason lays eggs all over the Christian world. As a scientist, Larry, I have seen many bunny fetuses. Let me tell you, they are twisted, vile, disgusting things—much like human babies—and not at all smooth, perfectly shaped, and full of wisdom like chicken eggs. And then, just to add another layer of perversity, these so-called eggs come out in various colors. Some of my interns report that they have actually seen stripes on eggs, but only in Fresno.

King: But, doctor, don’t the goyishe children color the eggs themselves?

Peckerman: I have done extensive research, watching numerous Easter cartoons, and in every one the eggs are already colored when the bunny creature distributes them.

King: I myself cannot read, but someone on my staff mentioned something about an Easter toy you saw that you found particularly disturbing.

Peckerman: This was in a Target ad, which we all know is an anti-poultry organization. The toy being advertised was called “Cluckers.” It was, I kid you not, a wind-up chicken that lays jellybeans while it walks!

King: My God!

Peckerman: This is wrong on so many levels. And I won’t even go into the whole “ham” controversy, which according to my research comes from pigs—not chickens, not bunnies. It makes no sense, I tell you.

King: And yet, despite all these inaccuracies, gentiles the world over continue to celebrate Easter. To what do you attribute this, Doctor?

Peckerman: Larry, I have concluded there can only be one reasonable answer to that: radiated spores from outer space. Either that or zombies.

To see more of “The Truth About Easter,” be sure to check your local UHF listings for station and time zone. Not available in Greenwich Mean Time.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

"FUN WITH CHICKENS" MAKES ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Hi folks. Check out my letter published in this week's edition of Entertainment Weekly magazine. Unfortunately, you can't just click on the link. But you can type in this strange URL, or copy and paste it,  and then read my letter titled, "Not 3-D Again!" 

Here it is: http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20269579,00.html

Hopefully, your efforts will be rewarded.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

MY FINAL CLUCK?

I do not want to alarm my millions of readers, but this Friday may be the last time I scratch the earth looking for chicken feed and defecating in an open field. That’s right, on Friday I will be going under the knife.

Do not be misled by the happy-go-lucky photo that accompanies my profile, for I will be having a very serious operation. The survival rate is low. I of course will be heavily sedated, and if I should pass away I hope to reunite with all my fellow clucks who were sold to KFC and are now in that giant nest in the sky, wingless and dripping with barbecue sauce.

You see, it is my misfortune to suffer from a rare malady that the finest medical experts in the land have defined as a wisencalia toothalia, or in English, a “wisdom tooth.” I know--I never heard of such a strange, exotic thing either. I happen to have a mutated tooth far back in my mouth that has decided to grow out of my gum sidesaddle. It speaks to me at night, but it is not my friend.

As you can probably guess, this has been quite traumatic for my loved ones. My wife, Henrietta, can barely look me in the eye, her insane laughter masking the tears deep within her skinless, hormone-free, boneless breast.

Because she cannot bear these tragic circumstances, she is leaving the day before my operation for a spa retreat so she can cope with the possible loss appropriately. We all deal with tragedy in our own way. She is being accompanied by Rory, the strapping new rooster next door, just in case she isn’t strong enough to make the trip alone.

Upon my demise, I instructed Henrietta to bury my pecker in our nest, so that she can sit on it and think of me.

My littlest peep, Clucky, is becoming traumatized, as there is nothing sadder than being an orphaned chicken. He has been burying himself in his latest video game, not even looking up when I enter the coop. I know he too is afraid of bursting into tears. Or losing his place in the game.

As for yours truly, I have been praying day and night to the Mystic Chicken that I will survive this procedure. I suppose my biggest concern is this: Why would I have a wisdom tooth since it’s common knowledge that chickens have no teeth?

Hmm, I hope this doctor isn’t some sort of quack.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"DEAR EGGY" ...More Advice from a Poultry Perspective

Dear Eggy,

I have been married to “Stan” for five years now, and he has been a good rooster and a fine role model to my little peeps. Lately, however, I have noticed a difference in him. His once robust and hearty crowing is now a limp caw. I heard he has been fighting other roosters lately, and I know that is illegal. Furthermore, some of my friends have told me he’s been seen dust bathing with other hens, and I have notice some strangely scented feathers in my nest lately. Next thing I know, he’ll be visiting the red-light hatcheries. When I confronted him, he gave me the lame excuse that all chickens look alike. Stan is still the only cock for me, but I don’t know what to do.

Signed,
Clucked Up

Dear Clucked Up,

It seems that Stan is having a lack of confidence due to his impotent cock-a-doodle-doo. He is fighting other roosters in order to prove his manhood to himself. Be assured that this is just a phase. I suggest you be extra nice to him. Compliment him on his pecker. Send the peeps out to the slaughterhouse for an evening so you too can be alone and then surprise him by wearing a sexy thong. As far as seeing other hens: Hello! We do look alike. The thong should put the kibosh on that.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

CONFESSIONS OF A CHICKENSHIT

Full disclosure time.

I can’t believe I am writing this, because it’s something I have never told anyone, and yet here I am ready to reveal a most embarrassing, humiliating thought to the millions of people who read this very blog.

Some of you may find it offensive. Others may think it is unbelievably inane. Still others may vomit uncontrollably. If this latter reaction includes you, you should probably high-tail it to the nearest pharmacia, pronto.

OK, enough hype. Here it is.

I don’t know about where you live, but in my neck of the ‘burbs, there is a unique phenomenon whenever I go to the movie theater, or as some of you may call it, “the picture show.” After first failing to pass myself off as a child, and then hunching over and pretending to be a senior citizen, I finally pay for my adult ticket and proceed to the inside of the theater. And that’s when it happens.

The guy taking my ticket and (inexplicably) tearing it in half, is 90 percent of the time retarded. I don’t mean that he’s not retarded the other 10 percent of the day; I mean that 9 times out of 10 the ticket taker is retarded.

(Disclaimer: I know the word "retarded" is not politically correct. Trust me, my heart goes out to these people. They have my empathy. My goal in this little story is to not pick on defenseless people less fortunate than I. Rather, my goal is to point out the shortcomings of my own thought process.)

Now first of all, let’s be honest. We usually go to the movies to escape. Right before I enter that darkened suppository of magical dreams, do I really want to be reminded that there are less fortunate people in this world?

I was looking for a little escapism, or perhaps some mental or emotional stimulation. But now I have to start worrying about all the retarded people in the world: Do they ever go to the movies? Would they even understand them? Is management paying them a salary or just giving them free popcorn for currency? Is “retarded” the right word? What does the world look like to them?

Hey, I just want to see some explosions and car chases and if I’m lucky maybe a breast or two, OK?

But this is not what I am leading up to, for I miraculously am able to shake off these sincere concerns for the less fortunate pretty easily and still enjoy the flick.

No, here’s the embarrassing part. When the retarded ticket-taker rips my ticket in half and hands it back to me with his gnarled hand and fingers, I am nervously extra-cautious that his fingers don’t touch mine, because…I AM AFRAID HIS RETARDATION IS CONTAGIOUS!

OH SHIT! IF HE TOUCHES ME, I MAY BECOME RETARDED, TOO!

Now, I think I have average intelligence, perhaps maybe a little above average, especially on Tuesdays. I didn’t attend a prestigious college, I didn’t take advanced classes in high school, and please don’t ask me any questions about history, geography, or math. But I think I have good common sense, am tolerant, and can figure things out on a regular basis. In addition, the more trivial and insignificant the information, the more likely I am to know it. No brag, just fact.

What I’m trying to say is: I am fully aware that mental retardation is not contagious. And yet, every time this poor soul hands me back my stub, I am careful that I DON’T MAKE PHYSICAL CONTACT WITH HIM.

I fully admit to being germ-phobic. Not OCD, but a little germ-phobic. That at least makes some sense, because you can catch a cold or other malady through physical contact.

But there is no study anywhere, not even in Peru or Sri Lanka, that proves you can become retarded by touching another retarded person.

And yet, I still recoil, and I want to know why. Is it simply a germa-phobic reaction? Or is it possible that I’m just being a retard?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"THIS IS PAUL HARVEY DEAD. STAND BY FOR WORMS!"


We all heard the news just days ago that golden-throated, dulcet-toned, and chicken-headed radio commentator Paul Harvey went to the giant sound booth in the sky, where he will annoy the shit out of angels with his annoying, affected delivery, making the ethereal beings wish they were dancing with demons instead.

After becoming an acolyte of infamous red-baiting slanderer Joseph McCarthy and being second in line as the presidential running mate for uber-goober-rascist George Wallace, Harvey used his radio broadcasts to communicate news stories of dubious credibility and pitch crappy products to the following vulnerable poor souls:

The arthritic
The bald
The incontinent
The near blind
The aged
The denture-wearers
The premature ejaculators
The erectile dysfunctional
The deaf
The physically disabled
The constipated
The migraine sufferer
…You get the idea

Future News Flash:
Hordes of arthritic, toothless, constipated citizens wandered aimlessly along the streets of major American cities today. Clyde Beakman, professor of Pathetic Population Studies at Cal State Beaverville, believes this bizarre onslaught is the result of the death of Paul Harvey. "We have lost our leader," one wanderer mumbled. "I don't know where to buy my products now."


One of Paul Harvey’s most popular features was “The Rest of the Story,” in which he would tell a supposedly true story that had a surprise ending.

You may remember one in particular about a railroad worker who lived with his companion for many years. It was just the two of them, working together, playing cards, watching each other’s backs, having long talks, reading aloud to each other, making dinner for each other, etc. The surprise ending? The railroad worker’s companion was…a chicken.

Now you know “The Nest of the Story.” Good day!

Monday, March 2, 2009

DEAR EGGY

Dear Eggy,

I was scratching around in Farmer Moishe’s field the other day when I ate something quite unusual. It was yellow and fluffy and unlike the feed that I usually consume…day after day, month after month, year after year. Only later did I realize that I had actually eaten some scrambled eggs that somehow found their way from the kitchen table to my grazing space. I know it was just an accident but the scary part is that I thought they were delicious! Eggy, does this make me some sort of animal?

Signed,
Cannibal Cluck

Dear Cannibal Cluck,

This is unusual, but not unheard of. I once knew a goose who swallowed some foie gras, and he was a fine bird, well respected and sergeant-at-wings of the Goose Council. Of course, when the other geese found out, they disemboweled him, leaving him honkless. My advice to you is: Stick to the regular delicious feed and don’t tell the other hens what you did. Nibbling on some Easter Peeps candy may help you wean yourself, but don’t get caught or you will be totally plucked.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

WANTED!


The Tic-Tac-Toe Chicken

This is a supreme con artist who travels from carnival to carnival. He uses sleight-of-wing techniques to sucker customers.

Unsuspecting rubes pay to play against him in a game of tic-tac-toe, figuring it would be easy to beat a simple chicken. However, this sly cluck always wins.

Warning: Do not let him mark a square first!

THE FORGOTTEN MUSICAL LEGACY OF “CHICKEN LIPS” PAYCOCK

Anyone with even a passing interest in music knows how earlier musicians were big influences on modern songwriters. Without Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly, we may have never had The Beatles. Woody Guthrie served as a major influence for Bob Dylan, who later served as an inspiration for Bruce Springsteen. Perhaps most importantly, the brilliant Pat Boone was instrumental in creating the edgy genius of Donny and Marie Osmond.

Johnny Cash was another monumental figure in modern music. However, few people know about a folk singer who was a mentor for The Man in Black. He was the legendary “Chicken Lips” Paycock.

“Lips” had a hard life. He escaped from a KFC factory as a young cluck, only to make his way from barn to barn, plucking his guitar for chicken feed wherever he could, living the vagabond life of a free-range rooster.

He was not a saint though. He plucked many a hen during his travels, resulting in numerous paternity suits. Failure to pay peep support landed him in jail, and his experiences were reflected in perhaps his most famous song, “Foster Farm Blues,” which Johnny Cash later reinterpreted in his “Folsom Prison Blues.” The melody is strikingly similar, as are the lyrics. Judge for yourself…

Foster Farm Blues
By “Chicken Lips” Paycock

I hear that chicken cluckin,
It’s cluckin' like a hen
And I ain’t seen it lay an egg
Since I don’t know when,
I’m stuck in Foster Farms,
Just cock a doodlin’ do,
And when it’s feedin’ time,
I’ll be peckin' at my food.

When I was just a peep,
My nana clucked all night,
She told me, “Keep on crowin’, boy
Until you get it right,”
But I pecked an egg at Foster’s,
Just to watch it crack,
And after I plucked its mama,
I just ain’t been back.


“The Lost Scratches of ‘Chicken Lips’ Paycock” will be released on Hen House Records in time for Christmas. A special limited, individually numbered, slip-cased director’s cut edition on CD/DVD/CD-ROM/MP3/JPEG/Blu-Ray/Vinyl will also be available, but supplies are limited.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

MY ENCOUNTER WITH THE MYSTIC CHICKEN


Through the centuries, many of us have grappled with life’s biggest mysteries: Is there a Nog? What is the meaning of life? Why can’t Jennifer Aniston settle down and marry a nice boy?

It is precisely this kind of truth seeking that prompted me to search for the wisest, holiest, most philosophicalest visionary the world has ever known. I am speaking, of course, about the Mystic Chicken.

I remember the stories about the Mystic Chicken my mother told me when I was a little peep and still snuggled safely under my mother’s tuches. Whenever we had questions (“Mom, how come eggs aren’t round?” or “Mom, why do people
eat us?”), my patient mother would get misty-eyed, look to the heavens, sigh, and say simply, “Go ask the Mystic Chicken.”

Sometimes she would yell this loudly, he feathers flying hither and thither, to and fro, heckyl and jeckyll, wings akimbo. She even looked a little annoyed. Some of the other peeps said she was just fed up with my incessant questions, but I knew the truth: To seek the answers to my probing, intellectual questions, I must find the Mystic Chicken.

The Holy One sits day and night, cross-legged in his nest, high up in the barn rafters. There is no telling how he got up there, for although chickens have wings, they cannot fly. Hmm, I always wondered about that; maybe that can be one of my questions for the Mystic Chicken!

Reaching the top rafter was my first Herculean labor. It would probably take me months, perhaps even years to overcome this obstacle. But I was determined, and time was not a factor. Even if I turned old and putrid, I would meet the Mystic Chicken if it took my last dying cluck.

Fifteen minutes later, I finally made it to the top rafter, after enlisting the help of a local sherpa. And there sat the Wise One in all his glory, just as I envisioned him over these many years: gray feathers, a serene smile on his beak, a copy of the ancient Chinese life manual, the “I Chick,” at his wizened, flaky feet.

“Master,” I managed to cluck, “I have traveled all of these fifteen minutes, and through much hay and feces, to seek your guidance.”

The mystic one gently glanced up at me. “Yes, my son.”

“I must know: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?”

He stared far off into space for what seemed like sixty minutes, but it was only an hour. “To answer that, I must first ask you a question.”

“Yes, Master?”

“What is the sound of one wing flapping?” He divinely beady eyes were looking right through me.

“Well, Master, I suppose it would sound like, um, wind resistance?”

He laughed knowingly. “And why did the chicken cross the road, my yellow one?”

“Um, I guess so he could get to the other side?”

Another dismissive laugh. “You are very young, my son, and your small brain will soon molt. Tell me lad, if a rooster crows alone in the coop, does he make a sound?”

“I don’t see why not. With all due respect, Wise One, could you please return to my original query?”

“Oh, so now we use the word ‘query’! ‘Question’ isn’t good enough for you? Very well, my young cluck, what was your query again?”

“Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” I repeated.

“I shan’t waste my time with such drivel. Obviously, the egg came first, or there would be no chicken.”

“But, wise one, wouldn’t there first need to be a chicken to lay said egg to begin with?”

At this moment, a miraculous thing happened. The Mystic Chicken got another faraway look in his eyes. I believe he suddenly got the calling to meditate. After lowering himself to speak at such a low level to me, he needed to return to the higher plane in which he usually resides.

I soon found myself in mid-air, for I had fallen off the top rafter. For a minute it looked like the Mystic Chicken’s leg had shot out and possibly knocked me off the rafter, but I knew that couldn’t be possible, for he was already deeply meditating and repeating his “yolk” mantra.

I guess I just wasn’t ready yet to interact with such a supreme being, so I returned to my mother’s tuches and spent the rest of the afternoon contemplating my pecker.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PECKS AND PANS


Film Reviews
by Hollywood Hen House Legend Roger Eggbert


“The Dark Knight”

Now a lot of you folks have been clucking about this movie for a while now, and some even think it should have been nominated for best picture, but I for one have a major problem with it. Sure, it has fantastic special effects, cool explosions, and nobody whispers like Christian Bale—what range he has!

But there was one glaring omission: I did not see one chicken in this entire excuse for a film.

There was one scene in which Batman and some girl (who was no spring chicken, by the way) and some other guy are having dinner, and I was hoping that perhaps one of them was at least eating chicken, just so we could get some sort of representation. Yes, I know that of course it would be a dead chicken, but that would be preferable to the Hollywood conspiracy of pretending that chickens simply do not exist. But unless these beady little eyes are failing me, there was no chicken dinner to be found.

I did award “The Dark Knight” extra points, however, because human actor Heath Ledger’s facial makeup did include some red, yellow and white, which are all chicken-related colors.

For that, I give “The Dark Knight” two hard-boiled eggs.


“Underworld: Rise of the Lycans”

This movie left the theaters so fast, if you stopped to lay an egg, you may have missed it. Nonetheless, I still feel compelled to write about this cinematic travesty. In a year in which we saw the outstanding film “Yolk,” which starred human actor Sean Penn in a true story about a poultry rights activist, we still have chicken feed like this.

But here’s what really bothers me.

Those of you who have read my Pecks and Pans column over the past 20 years know all about me and my family history, especially if you read my memoir, “My Life as a Young Cluck.”

As a mere peep, I was on my own from a very early age, due to a certain fox, Henrich, who raided our hen house and plucked my mother clean. I still have a recurring nightmare in which I lay an egg, only to have a fox emerge from the shell and bite my pecker off. An owl psychiatrist has been helping me come to terms with this childhood event for many years.

But now here comes “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” which features several lycans, which is a fancy way of saying werewolves. And when I see wolves, I think foxes, and we all know what foxes do, don’t we? They raid hen houses! I think every motherclucker out there has family members who went to that giant coop in the sky because of some vicious fox, and this film just brings back those awful memories for all of us.

For the unwelcome return of my night terrors, I give “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” one rotten egg.

Monday, February 16, 2009

ROOSTER KILLS WIFE AND PEEPS

Quaintsville, VT--A rooster from Goyisha Farms killed his hens and three little peeps in a bizarre suicide-murder-cannibal-breakfast incident this morning.

Rory T. Roosterberg was discovered in the farm henhouse in at 7am. He had apparently pecked his wife to death and scrambled his two peeps. Bits of eggs were evident on Roosterberg’s beak.

A nearby henhouse cluck commented, “Everything seemed normal with them, but I did notice that Rory’s cock-a-doodle-do was a little plaintive this morning.”

The scene at the henhouse was a grisly one, with empty egg shells, feathers, and three crosses made of chicken feed. Officials are investigating who assembled the crosses, because it is common knowledge that all members of the Poultry Order are atheists.



Another neighbor believes she heard Roosterberg yelling “Frittata” repeatedly the night before. That may have been, however, his pet name for his wife.

Goyisha Farms owner Seymour Chang did mention that Roosterberg had lately been badgering his wife into having a boy. “I did hear him plucking her and crowing loudly into the wee hours. Which was unusual because according to my studies roosters are supposed to crow only when the sun comes up.” Chang has a doctorate in rooster husbandry from Pecker University.

One of Roosterberg’s fellow roosters said, “Rory was popular with all the hens. He was one of the biggest cocks in town. It’s really a shame this happened because he was the loudest crower on the farm, and so I didn’t have to strain so hard. He also owed me ten bucks.”

Roosterberg and his wife will be breaded and served during a ceremony at the Chang bar mitzah in the barn at noon Saturday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LOCAL HEN RESENTS ATTENTION BEING PAID TO “OCTO-MOM”

Quaintsville, VT—A local hen who has resided at Pipick Ranch for several years is upset about the extraordinary media attention being lavished on Nadya “Nutbag” Suleman, a mentally disturbed Californian woman who recently gave birth to eight future nutbags.

“Like most chickens my age, I lay at least one egg a day,” proclaimed Feathers Yolkberg, “but you don’t see me getting cool nicknames like ‘Octo-Mom.’ And I lay these eggs while having to listen to the constant clucking of all these other clucks all day long. I'd like to see Octo-Mom lay an egg under these conditions.”

Ranch owner Moishe Pipick agrees with Yolkberg. “Feathers lays eggs on a daily basis, and she was only on public assistance once, when she briefly became a free-range hen after losing her nest.”

Renowned mathematician Dr. Sidney Faygella has spent many years studying the laying habits of hens, and after careful analysis determined that a hen laying one egg a day will likely lay approximately 365 eggs per year. His theory, however, remains controversial.

“I’ve heard of Dr. Faygella’s work,” Yolkberg admits, “but on special occasions I sometimes lay two eggs a day. Yet the good doctor doesn’t enter that into his fancy schmancy equations.”

Pipick stated that no ICF (In Chicken Fertilization) is used to help hens like Yolkberg produce so many eggs each year. “I just feed ‘em,” he explained.

As for the future, this plucky little chicken mother hopes to soon enroll in Cluck State University, Quaintsville, in order to receive her Master’s degree in Rooster Husbandry.

And who tends to all of these eggs? “I think somebody eats them,” Yolkberg said.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

THE GREAT COSTCO CAPER


I was standing in line at my neighborhood Costco, wheeling along a flatbed filled with my weekly purchases of toilet paper, prunes and garden hoses, when I came to a shocking realization: I almost forgot to visit the Costco restroom.

Going into the Costco restroom is always a highlight of my trip. It is similar to when I visited that golden domed temple thingie in Jerusalem, only the Costco restroom has more Arabs.

After entering the restroom, I always make a point of signing the guest register attached to the clipboard hanging on the back of the door. It’s little touches like that that make customers feel welcome at Costco. Once, I even found some delicious Junior Mints that had unfortunately fallen on the floor near the toilet. However, utilizing the well-known 10-second rule (where you can still eat food from the floor 10 seconds after you see it), my mouth soon enjoyed a tingly and refreshing wake-me-up.

Much to my surprise, however, not everything in that magnificent palace of poop was up to the high standards I expect of Costco. For when I was done with my personal evacuation plan and reached for the toilet paper I was truly shocked. Why, this was not Kirkland Signature brand toilet paper at all!

Believe me, I am intimately familiar with the Kirkland Signature toilet paper: its feel, its dimensions, its scent, its texture, its taste. This was an imposter. And yet, doesn’t Costco exclusively feature, and indeed sell, Kirkland Signature paper products (including tissues and paper towels, not to mention their delicious rotisserie chickens, a dozen of which were currently getting cold on my flatbed cart.)

Something was amiss; I could feel it from the tip of my acid-refluxed esophagus down to my formerly fertile and now flaccid penis. Someone was trying to pull a fast one all right, and I bet the executives at Kirkland Industries would be very interested to know about this scam. But before I unleash all my rage in a diarrhea-like torrent, I will still give my beloved Costco a chance to explain itself. I’ll start with the manager. But where was he hiding?

I quickly donned my Kirkland Signature sunglasses so as not to draw suspicion and scanned the vast Costco landscape. There was Dottie, the customer service clerk. Hmm, her Costco vest seemed a little askew. And then there was Charlie, the rugged highly trained security agent, poised at the exit, pink highlighter in hand like a revolver, meticulously marking each shopper’s receipt as they exited these hallowed portals. Oh, Charlie, the stories you could tell!

So far, everything looked pretty normal, but all this observating was tiring me out. I reached into one of my dozen bags of Kirkland Signature Trail Mix for a quick blast of energy (take that, Red Bull!), when suddenly I noticed something very interesting. Churros were on sale today for 75 cents. I made a mental note to pick one up on my way out, unless I needed to make a detour to the Sheriff’s station to report a certain toilet paper swindle. And those Sheriffs laughed at me last time. Ha, this will show them.

After getting back in line to purchase another case of Kirkland Signature Extra Strength Glucosamine HCI Chrondroitin Sulfate Tablets, I realized that my checker was none other than Marcus, the Costco Manager. And some people believe that there is no such thing as fate.

I played it cool, gracefully whipping out my Costco card on request with lightning speed. As Marcus bent down to pick up my card, I noticed another interesting thing. He was wearing Kirkland Signature Denim Jeans.

This presented a conundrum: If Marcus was wearing said jeans, I could assume he was a fan of the fine Kirkland products. Then why on earth would he allow his store to have non-Kirkland Signature brand toilet paper in its restroom? There was only one possible answer: Marcus recently purchased a speedboat, divorced his wife, moved to Marina Del Rey to live the swinging speedboat single life, developed a severe gambling problem at the Commerce card clubs, was in debt to his bookie for $500,000, and needed the money to make his speedboat payments, not to mention alimony and hospital bills due to a conjugated sigmoidectomy. It was all so obvious. Why didn’t I see that before?

I did feel a bit of empathy for Marcus, so as he handed me my receipt, I simply said with a wink, “How are the waters?” Marcus acted dumb, as if he had no idea what I was referring to. I quickly let out a small fart, just so he would know that I was on to his Kirkland Signature toilet paper switcheroo. I could tell by his wince that he knew I was onto him. Whatever bribe you got, my friend, I hope it was worth it.

As I pulled my two flatbeds to the exit, I noticed a wink in Charlie’s one good eye as he counted my items and, not unlike Rembrandt, painted a pink mark on my receipt. So, Charlie, you old spotted owl, you knew too, didn’t you? Although I would continue my investigation another day, I rested easy knowing Costco was in good hands with Charlie on the job.

And there was still Dottie’s strange vest. But that would have to wait until my next Costco visit tomorrow. Something tells me my work here is not done yet. Not by a long shot.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ON THE TRAIL OF THE WILD CHICKI-NUT

June 12

After scrimping and saving for over six months, I have finally arrived at the distant Schmegegee Islands. I have been reading about this tropical paradise for many years. Photos of this wondrous land have adorned the walls of my cubicle for even longer, allowing me to gaze upon the island’s clear blue waters, its golden sunsets, its serene beaches, and of course the island women.

Not that I was trying to escape from work, you see. The company that employs me makes the inspection slips you may find inside certain items of clothing you purchase. You know, the old “Inspected by No. 29” and such (that happens to be one of my personal favorites). Some of my so-called friends think it is a trivial job, but I firmly believe that we provide a valuable service. I mean, don’t you feel better buying a six-pack of underwear knowing that someone inspected them first for your safety? I thought so.

But this is not time to think about work. This is the time to enjoy the Schmegegees, and it was a warm welcome indeed as I stepped off the boat and the island natives performed energetic and exotic dances while escorting me to my hut. As I settled in for this tropical paradise that would be my home for the next week, one beautiful island girl gently took hold of my hand. Wow, I had been here only minutes and already an angel was at my doorstep. To my surprise, she had placed in my hand a small bright green oval nut. “Chicki,” she said, smiling. “You like.” She then slowly let her tongue slide out to show me that she had a Chicki-Nut in her mouth already. As she began sensuously chewing the nut, I popped one in my own mouth as well. After all, when in Rome…

June 13

As the sun rose the following morning, I unfortunately realized that I had been up all night. Perhaps it was the excitement of finally reaching my dream destination. But upon further reflection, I remembered the burst of energy I derived from that strange Chicki-Nut my island princess had shared with me.

It was then that I remembered a newspaper article that I had read some time ago about the Chicki-Nut. It explained how the majority of the island natives chewed on this nut all day long, and resulted in bursts of hyperactivity, super-energy, and sometimes hallucinations mixed with a sense of euphoria. Not only that but it was highly addictive, and produced a strange green fluid in one’s mouth that some say could lead to cancer of the phlanx. I think there was also some mention about how the distribution of Chick-Nuts was controlled by war lords on the island.

Well, I certainly don’t believe everything I read in the newspaper, and my experience yesterday with the Chicki-Nut was quite enjoyable. I have never been addicted to anything. Heck, I don’t even consume caffeinated drinks. The funny thing was, I almost felt a driving obsession to try the Chicki-Nut again, and as soon as possible. I figured that my background in the inspection slip business told me that this matter needed further…inspection. Luckily enough, as I walked to the town square, I found a Chicki-Nut vendor in no time at all. He was an island native, and was standing beside a pick-up truck filled with the green nuts and covered by a tarp. I wasn’t sure why he was standing off to the side of the square and carrying a machine gun, but I figured that this is probably the way they keep peace in this tropical paradise.

I popped six Chicki-Nuts in my mouth and soon afterward began my walk around the island. I could now get the full effect of this wondrous place: its bright pink palm trees, the purple monkeys who spoke perfect English to me and shared their glowing bananas, the clear cool orange ocean waters that undulated in geometric patterns. My heart was beating and pounding, and even seemed to be keeping time with the Neil Sedaka tunes that were in my head. After briskly walking around the perimeter of the 10-mile island 20 times, I noticed that I had not felt the effects of the Chicki-Nut whatsoever, but that I was glad to finally be here at the Schmegegees. On my way back to the hut, I made sure to get another 12 dozen of the Chicki-Nuts, just in case I wanted a snack later.

June 14

I had another sleepless night, but that was OK, since I was so excited to be here finally and enjoy my time on the island. My evening was not wasted, however, because as I chewed several Chicki-Nuts in the we hours, I had a burst of creativity and energy, due no doubt to the island breezes and the feeling that wires were branching out from the palm trees into my head. I used this time wisely, and made my own Chicki-Nut smoothies, toothpaste, and sandwiches. In the middle of the night, I decided to climb a tree near my hut, because I thought I saw some Chicki-Nuts high atop them, glowing and calling out to me like a gospel choir. After my invigorating climb to the top, I realized that I had been mistaken, and then lost my footing as a I slide back down the tree. I scraped my legs pretty badly, but fortunately I had made a salve out of Chicki-Nuts that night and as I applied it to my scratches I felt instantly better. I even walked around the island 20 more times, accompanied by a day-glo zebra, indigenous to the island. I heard loud noises as well, which at first I thought was gunfire, but then realized they must be fireworks, as people celebrated being in this heavenly place for another day.

June 15

As I walked back to my hut the next morning with 12 dozen more Chicki-Nuts, I tried to figure out why that newspaper article was so critical of these green delights that had become the center of my life. After all, these friendly little orbs are always complimentary toward me, they never put me down (like that one idiot at work who I plan to disembowel immediately upon my return), and they made me realize how strong, energetic, and powerful I really am. The only downside was that they sometimes made me constipated, but when I developed some suppositories out the nuts, that problem was licked.

That night I realized it was time to show my gratitude to my new best, and only, friends, and so I spent the evening creating a little shrine to the Chicki-Nut. I made a little nest out of my hair for some nuts to rest in, and surrounded them with candles and incense. It looked pretty good, but something was missing. I needed to show the nuts how much I truly loved and worshipped them. If only I had some jewels of some sort. Of course! The gold caps on my molars would be perfect. My devotion was so intense to the Chicki-Nuts that I couldn’t even feel a thing when I pulled the caps off my molars with my fingers and placed them alongside my hair nest.

June 16

As I awoke from my fetal position that morning, I thought that this would be a good day to try something new, so I immediately ran to the town square and bought 12 dozen more Chicki-Nuts. I may have stepped on a cat in my rush to the square, but then it looked back at me, smiled and said, “Me like Chicki-Nut, too.” Then it exploded. I purchased my nuts, popped about 10 in my mouth, and spent the rest of the day on the beach trying to balance seashells on my penis. That night in my hut I twirled for five hours.

June 17

As I dug myself out of a 10-foot hole, I realized that this was my last day on the island. My second shock came when I realized this was also my last day to consume Chicki-Nuts, as I cannot take them back to the States. Typical: we allow all kinds of harmful crap in the U.S., but the friendly little Chicki-Nut is forbidden. It just wants to make us happy, keep us company, and allow us to see the world as it really is: full of beautiful vibrating colors and gesticulating animals. It’s not like the guy I’m gonna kill in my office or all those whores in that bar back home who are always laughing at me whenever I read pick-up lines to them out of that book that that jerk sold me at the bookstore I should kill that guy too and I think I heard him say something about my mom once or was that my boss who said that because he sucks too at that stupid-ass job I have what was I thinking I wanted to be a podiatrist but no that costs money but everybody has feet my dad would say right before he left us to become a potato rancher or something else that he probably failed at.

Why can’t I just stay on this island with my new friends the Chicki-Nuts? They have been more faithful to me than anyone else. I love you, Chicki-Nut! And I know you love me. You get me. I know, maybe I could marry a Chicki-Nut and then I could stay on the island. And I’ll write to that newspaper and tell them the truth about you, that you stand for goodness, not evil. I will defend your honor, my love! No, that’s crazy, a Chicki-Nut would never marry me. Or it would just end in a messy divorce. Oh Chicki-Nut, why must you torture me so? Why why why???


June 18

From the Cleveland Post:

Ravenna Man Dies While Vacationing in Schmegegee Islands

Schmegegee Islands—Ryan Tuttle, longtime Ravenna resident, died from cancer of the phlanx while on vacation in this remote island location.

Tuttle was found in his hut with several strange green nuts stuffed in his underwear. About two hundred slips of paper with the handwritten words “Inspected by No. 29” were found lying on the floor. He was wearing nothing but the aforementioned underwear, a faded Margaritaville t-shirt, black socks and sandals.

Co-workers at Tuttles’ place of employment, Consolidated Tags, Inc., described Tuttle as a sad, rather slow-witted man who mostly stayed to himself .

“He had all these island-ish pictures in his cubicle,” said one male co-worker who asked to not be identified, “but I tried not to get too close to him. He smelled pretty bad.”

“We pretty much just laughed at him,” added another female acquaintance of Tuttle’s who would sometimes see him at a local bar. “He had these weird flakes all over his skin. We all just figured that one day he’d walk into the bar and kill us or something.”

Tuttle’s remains will be airlifted to his father’s potato farm in Wadworth, Ohio, where they will be used for potash.


OBITUARY OF A POULTRY LAUREATE

Author, poet, and famed poultry laureate Henry Beakman died yesterday at the age of 102. After suffering for years from a smattering of embarrassing moles and warts, Beakman passed away in his home in his small New England town Quaintsville, Vermont, surrounded by his stuffed animals and pet worms.

In 1965, Henry Beakman took the revolutionary step of actually getting inside the mind of a chicken, and that unique voice served as the speaker of the most prolific stage of his career.

This was considered the writer’s “Yellow Period.” Amazingly, no writer before or since had even considered writing from a chicken’s point of view or so beautifully championed the rights of downtrodden hens everywhere.

Perhaps his most famous poem from this period was this one, written when Beakman turned 50.


Stopping by a Nest on a Sunny Day

Whose eggs these are I think I know.
His nest is in the chicken coop though.
My little peep must think it’s queer
To stop without a rooster near.

From the house a rotisserie hums,
Gently cooking former ovums.
The only other sound I hear
Is the clucking of a chicken near.

The oven is warm and wants me to play,
But I have many eggs to lay,
And miles of pecking to do, so I cannot stay.
And miles of pecking to do, so I cannot stay.


As any high school student can tell you, the speaker is reflecting on the warm, inviting promise of death, but in the end knows that it is too soon to die, for many things must still be done in his life, as reflected in the repetition of the final line, mimicking the sound of a chicken feeding.

It is a classic rumination on mortality and longing, and this poem single-handedly changed forever how we view our poultry brothers and sisters.

Beakman grew even more minimalist in the years that followed, referring to poems with an abundance of words as so much “chicken scratching.” This is evidenced in this famous poem, which some unenlightened critics dismissed as “retarded” or “the work of an real jerk-off.” Time has proven, however, that this piece served as the inspiration of the poultry activist movement of the early 1970s.


The Red Hen

So much depends upon
A small red hen,
Clucking in the coop.


Finally, at death’s door, Beakman contemplated the death of a chicken in his last published work, drawing parallels to the fate of all men. Can we assume that his own death touched him most personally?


Do Not Go Gentle Into that Bad Barn

Do not go gentle into that bad barn,
Chickens should scratch and peck at the draw of the ax;
Cluck, cluck against the farmer of the night.


Though wise hens know they will one day be grilled,
Because they laid eggs aplenty while they pecked,
Do not go gentle into that bad barn.

Young peeps, who just emerge from the shell,
Know not of their fate and future garnishes,
And go chirpingly into that bad barn.

And you, dear rooster, crowing at the dawn,
Blaze like a meteor and curse not the blade,
For the farmer needs your cock.


Beakman’s remains will be shoved into sausage casings and dumped in a satchel in the Quaintsville Ye Olde Tyme Square tomorrow. Viewings will be held at 12, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10, with a sing-along at midnight.