My World
Tat Tat Cat

Interior Chicken

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I like to read a blog by Louise Plummer called The Chattering Crow and often find myself conversing with what she's written.  It's my own version of talk therapy.  Recently she posted a piece on the virtues of having a white sofa, even with kids.  As an example of such a sofa, she features one from Pottery Barn.

You can read the whole thing by clicking here.  One of the comments came from her friend, Ann, who wrote, "In your next life I want you to be an interior designer, okay?  And I will hire you!"

Here's part of the 'conversation' I've had with the blog post....

Louise,  I love Ann's comment.  I think you already ARE an interior designer.  One of the great ones.

Yesterday seems to have been synchronicity chickens.  First, I read a great piece from one of my classmates, George.  He's a retired cardiologist who smokes cigarettes during class breaks.  He's also Polish and writes about growing up in German occupied Warsaw and outlying towns.  In one scene, he describes destroying an anthill while the ghetto burns in the distance.  He also describes how his character's mother obsesses about his penis - mostly because she's afraid some stranger will see it and the two of them will be outed as Jews.  This whole backdrop he contrasts with a chicken farm in Nowheresville, NJ in 1949, when the same boy is now probably fifteen or so.  He describes 'winos' who come to work on the farm and the standing bet he and some of the regulars have on how long each 'wino' will last working without a drink.  Then he describes the life of chickens and the use of a chicken hook.  At the end, he shows us a chicken squatting in a stupor, eyes glazed, trying to lay an oversized egg and how the 'vent' (the birth canal) ends up getting inverted in the process.  This brings on a cannibal pecking-fest from the other chickens and the farmer ends up having to wring the chicken's neck.  George's writing is fantastic and he tells both stories with all their serious matters, couched in some humor.  I can't wait to read more.  I also have a bit of a crush on George because he likes my writing.  

Next, as I'm reading George's piece, I get an email from my mother.  It's one of those multi-forwarded things she thought I'd get a kick out of; a little story about a kid in school whose teacher asks him what his favorite animal is.  He says it's fried chicken.  He gets sent to the principal's office.  The next day she asks members of the class what their favorite live animal is.  The same kid says it's chickens because you can make them into fried chicken.  Off to the principal's office.  The next day, teacher asks the class who their favorite historical figure is.  The boy says it's Colonel Sanders.  "Guess where I am now..."  He says.

So, after all this violent chicken action, I come home to do some light reading and click on your blog.  Here is a lovely, tasteful article about the virtues of having a white couch, even with kids.  As a visual example, you have the Pottery Barn couch and a lovely pillow with a CHICKEN prominently featured, stylishly placed on the couch beneath a black lamp.  

I begin cackling with delight.  

"Chicken, chicken, chicken, who's got the chicken?!?!"  I stand up to go downstairs and notice the stained glass scene above my bedroom door.  Two roosters look down from the glass at me.  More cackling.

So, to add a little side note to the chickens and the cannibalism and the interior design of Jason's psyche, I'm out on the stoop last night (after all this), chatting with my downstairs neighbor, John, and his wife, Heather.  John is a musician and Heather is a dance teacher.  Heather sees a sign for "Billy Elliott" - the musical - on a cab and says she wants to see it.

"OH, I want to see the new Silence of the Lambs musical parody," John says.

My arms drop and I stand there.  My eyes begin to glaze over.  "What?!"

"Yeah.  Have you seen it?  It looks hilarious." 

"No," I say.  "I'm 'whatting' because last year while I was working on this writing project, I had one of the main characters, Gabe, move away to star as Hannibal Lecter in the musical version of Silence of the Lambs!"  I cackle some more.   They both laugh.

"They're gonna think you stole their idea," Heather says.

"Well, not that it matters, my story is not parody... I'm not a fan of parody.... Ah well, I suppose it was inevitable.  Someone was bound to make a musical version of Silence of the Lambs."

Last winter I had written to my friend, Grace, and told her I was sending Gabe off to star in the Musical Silence.  

"That is RIDIC!"  She wrote back.  "They always say shrinks and artists do what they do to work out their own issues."

True True.

Chickens, roosters, cannibals, blood lust... Ewww!  And then there are gorgeous white couches with slipcovers you can clean after your kids (or YOU) make a mess.  Wash them and they look just like new.  By the way, Louise, I LOVE that you had the slipcovers made with sail cloth.  

When we gathered in class to critique George's piece, I told him about my chicken day.  He chuckled.  "Chickens are all the rage now.  You see them everywhere once you're sensitized to it."

2011Oct20_26922860_RoosterGlassThis is one of the stained-glass roosters above my bedroom door.