January 15, 2005

Moby Chicken

Call me Ishtar. I'd gotten into the chicken farming business because I wanted to see the world from a different point of view. A view with a pool and garden and, maybe, a tennis court.

Okay, it's just a local chicken farm so the tennis court might have to remain a dream. But, what with the Mad Cow Disease scare in full swing, I thought I'd invest myself in a safe meat. Safer, anyway, so long as it's cooked to 160o.

I wont inflate myself; I didn't own the farm. But, with a little guile and midnight oil, I'd managed to get myself up into where my services were highly appreciated and compensated for. Mainly because I came up with the company's slogan and local billboard: "Afraid of beef? You are what you'll eat!" above a photo of a luscious steaming oven-roasted golden-brown chicken.
Nevermind that the slogan insulted the reader, the picture was too delicious to ignore. The farm went into high gear.

Leading the team was the owner, Baja. (That's pronounced bah-hah. His parents were southern California hippies who liked to hang out in Baja -- the Mexican Florida.)

His second in command was Frapple. Soon after joining the team I'd come to realize that Frapple did most of the delegating while Baja seemed to spend endless hours stewing in juices whose heat only he could feel. I was like a glorified foreman; I took Frapples guff and gave it to everyone else. Still, I felt that I was the one who kept this operation going.

"How come I never see Baja?" I asked Frapple one morning.

"He is a learned man, Ishtar. He went to Harvard Business School. Built this farm by his own sheer will Almost got on Jeopardy last year. He sees things from a higher vantage than you and I." Sumpm' was up.

One morning -- oh, it might have been in mid-autumn sometime -- Baja called a companywide meeting. Companywide meetings were rare. Mainly because they were usually simple procedure checks. And we had our procedure down pat. But this time was different.

Baja commanded a room as soon as he walked into it. As imposing on us as the grill is on a rack of drumsticks. He was a strong man with an eyepatch. A frickin' eye-patch. Now there's the maverick spirit for ya. He strode about the casual assembly for a few moments and finally spoke.

"Ladies and gentlemen, you do great work," he said. I, and I think all of us, were relieved to hear the meeting begin that way. "But there is now a great task ahead of us," he continued. "Our mission now is not to simply produce edible fowl, but to avenge an effete foul."

We weren't sure what he was talking about as he paced and muttered under his breath. His twitching was setting some of us wrong, but Frapple would occassionally nod an indication that this was all in his way. Was it a comforting glance? Even Frapple seemed unsure. It was just a glance.

"Our mission now," Baja continued, "is to find that renegade, Moby Chicken. By all that is holy, I swear; she has laid her last egg!"

"Sir," Frapple interjected, "Wasn't it Moby Chicken who pecked your eye and, since then, you wear that patch?"

"Moby Chicken," Baja muttered with disdain. "I'll not rest until a roasting fire is all Moby Chicken can see. She is of another world, I truely tell you, friends. Suspicious, suspecting and wise she attacks my own eyes."

Baja drew a cleaver from within his jacket and raised it to the air.

"She escaped into the woods and there will we find her!" he wailed as he slammed the cleaver into a wooden desktop. "A chicken for an eye! Are you with me, men?!"

The clarion shouting in the room drowned out any forming questions that may or may not have been coming to me.

I, humbly relaxing, watched the room become Baja.

[....to be continued......]

Posted by Tuning Spork at January 15, 2005 09:02 PM

Spork, you continue to surprise and delight!

Posted by: Ted at January 16, 2005 04:33 PM
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