Thursday, December 23, 2010

Letter to Shelly, or Why Chickens Are Not Animals

Dearest Shelly,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment re: Random List of Vital Facts. It has given me pause and allowed me to delve further into the deep psychosis that forms my barely-functioning mind. It was a scary journey, and I’ll spare you the gruesome details, but the following is my thesis on why I don’t want animals but do want chickens.

I agree that there seems to be a disconnect between a person wanting to raise hens and not wanting any animals in the family. But hens are not animals. They are livestock. And while some members of a family may resemble livestock, true livestock does not count as “family.”

For example, if I were herding cattle, which I occasionally feel compelled to do, I would herd them straight to the barn for milking or to the meat market for processing. I would not lavish adoration on them. I would not let them sleep in my bed. I would not buy special toys for them to rip apart, special bones for them to bury or special sweaters for them to wear. They are cows. Their job is to produce food for me and mine. And unless you are a fruitarian, I think you will understand. If you are a fruitarian, please do not comment on my blog since you’ll only make me giggle and my bladder is not always strong enough to take the abuse.

Now, to chickens. I have raised chickens before. They are stupid. Not in the “oh, isn’t that cute!” way, but in the “how do you manage to reproduce” way. Lots of stupid people manage to reproduce, as evidenced by the continuing popularity of Leonardo DiCaprio, but stupid animals don’t usually make it past the “predator bait” phase of evolution. Chickens, in spite of all the odds, not only made it far enough to reproduce once, but their sole purpose seems to be reproduction. This, as far as I’m concerned, is the main reason to have chickens.

The other reason is to scare off solicitors.

Chickens are mean, and when you unwittingly approach a door with your roofing samples or your gourmet meat products, they will charge at you and try to nest in your hair. They also poop a lot, which is good for getting rid of solicitors and good for my garden.

Now, Hal’s reasons for not wanting chickens are pretty lame, if you’ll excuse me for saying so. First, he’s convinced he will be expected to participate in the hen raising. I do not expect him to participate in the hen raising. I expect him to participate, solely and by himself, in the hen killing and plucking. I don’t think this is too much to ask, but apparently Hal doesn’t feel in touch with his Neanderthal man. I’m working on it.

The other reason Hal doesn’t want chickens is his fear that they will hurt him. They probably will. Not only are they mean and stupid, but they have no loyalty and will not hesitate to poop on dress clothes. I think this would be funny, but Hal doesn’t like Charlie Chaplin the way I do.

I feel better, lighter and more carefree. Because of Shelly’s insight and verbalization, I have grown as a human being. So, thank you, Shelly, and Merry Christmas to you.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random List of Vital Facts

About Us in 2010

Underwear: what the baby likes to wear on his head.

Lint: the baby’s favorite toy.

Chocolate: the baby’s favorite food. Also, Mama’s best friend.

220: number of pounds I’ve gained since graduating High School.

220: number of pounds I’ve lost since graduating High School.

1: number of gay boyfriends I had in High School.

1: number of friends I knew in High School whom I still see regularly. Note: the friend and the gay boyfriend are not the same person.

Babysitting: what Oldest Daughter is currently doing.

Avoiding Chores: what Youngest Daughter is currently doing.

Eating Rolos: what Mama is currently doing.

Hens: what I’m trying to convince Hal we need in our suburban yard-scape.

*@$@ NO!: Hal’s response to my brilliant idea of raising hens.

GoatHerder: what Hal would really like to be.

Heiress: what I would really like to be.

Sting: the only concert I would give up my children’s college education for.

$5.78: the amount of money set aside for my children’s college education.

Serengeti: what I’d like to see before I die.

Her own cell phone: what my oldest daughter will see over my dead body.

3: current number of irreplaceable, must-have-to-sleep stuffed bunnies in our house.

1: number of real bunnies owned by members of our house.

0: number of animals I would like to have in our family.

1: number of dead pets buried in our yard that I know about.

Sleep: what I would really like to have right now.