It turns out that Bill does not notice the extra crunch in his pancakes. It does not hurt him to eat chicken gristle or bones. It didn’t hurt him to eat glass. What hurts him are musicals featuring chickens. I made myself a chicken costume and I’ve been writing a musical/play featuring Clucky the Cluckity Cluck Chicken, starring me. I prance around the house, scratching the carpet with my chicken talons, which I fashioned using the broken off ends of steak knives.
“Cluck,” I say. I don’t try to sound realistic. I just say, “Cluck.” I mean I have some faith in my audience. They can tell I’m a chicken. They know what I’m going for. The yellow suit, beak and arm flapping ought to clue them in.
“Cluck,” I say, rubbing my talons along Bill’s shin.
He leaves. Has no patience for my chicken musical/play. Motherfucker doesn’t believe in me. He’s not willing to suspend his disbelief. He tells me I look silly and no one wants to see a musical about chickens. But fuck, if people are willing to sit through a musical about CATS they’ll do the same for chickens.
I’ve asked Kentucky Fried Chicken to be my sponsor. I went to the local KFC in costume, but they wouldn’t even let me speak to a manager. The cashier laughed and some kid threw his mashed potatoes at me. I hope that kid has nightmares. After I chased him through the parking lot yelling CLUCK and CLUCKITY CLUCK I feel certain he will have those nightmares. My behavior will have had some effect on him. I will have mattered, at least to that kid. So anyway, I emailed the corporate KFC and asked for their sponsorship, but I’m still waiting to hear from them. It’s only been a week and I imagine they have hundreds of emails to sort through before they find mine. I’m confident.
* * *
The beak I’ve made for my costume is fairly impressive. It’s painted orange and is much sharper than my steak knife talons. Whenever I put it on, Bill goes out to the garage to have a beer. Sometimes I follow him to the garage and he goes for a ride in his truck. Some nights he doesn’t come home. Those are good nights. I rehearse my dance and practice clucking.
I quickly mastered the funky chicken and I’ve been working on a more sophisticated chicken dance. It involves techno music and glow sticks and a series of high kicks. Have you ever seen a chicken do high kicks? It’s impressive.
* * *
My chicken costume is not awkward or gangly or unwieldy. It is a slim-fitted affair with baby-soft feathers. It’s tight over my chest and around my waist. My chicken musical/play is highly sexualized. Not lewd or pornographic, but highly sexualized. I high kick, my body arches and you can see the chicken inside me about to spring to life.
“Cluck,” I say. “Cluckity Cluck.”
When Bill gets home from one of his nightly joy rides, I’m waiting for him in the garage, but behind the extra fridge so he can’t see me. He gets out of his car and I wait a few seconds and then step between him and his truck.
“Cluck,” I say, shrugging my shoulders and dipping one wing toward the cement.
“Cluckity cluck,” I say, walking toward him, swinging my hips and occasionally flapping my arms. “Cluckity cluckity cluck.”