Frozen Chickens and Overdue Library Books
Today we're discussing the important issue of oil rigs that explode, spilling petroleum over the ocean's surface, making all our fish burgers taste like a barrel of crude. But first, let's talk about an issue of even greater importance ... me!
I just found out I may be a fifth-degree felon. It all started with a library book that I thought my hubby might enjoy reading. If your spouse/significant other is anything like mine, he thinks he wants to read a book, but in actuality wants to turn on the TV and watch chickens being shot from a cannon.
No, no, not live chickens. Frozen chickens.
The live ones would make far too big a mess for the Mythbusters to clean up, and there'd be feathers and chicken sh ... shtuff everywhere. Besides, if you've ever seen the show, you'd know the Mythbuster Dudes are too kind-hearted to use real chickens.
At any rate, now that we've taken that little side trip down a dead end track, let me continue. I'd read the mystery story, Hearts in Hiding, by Betsy Brannon Green. It was a fun read, and the plot revolved around an FBI agent and a woman in the witness protection program. Since it took place in Georgia, lots of yummy foods were mentioned. Good ol' southern cuisine like collard greens and chitlins.
No wait, maybe there weren't any chitlins, because the mention of that home-cooked standby might cause the reader to rush to the bathroom and throw up. (What? You didn't know that chitlins are pig intestines?)
Bypassing the idea of chitlins, Green mentioned pork chops and old-fashioned, homemade biscuits. I was sure Russ would love the story, even if he never really caught onto the plot.
"Would you like to read this?" I asked him, a few days before the book was due back at the library. Russ stared at the TV as images of a fresh chicken carcass bouncing off an airplane's windshield shot across the screen. So much for proving the theory that a bird flying into an airliner's windshield can cause a crash.
Taking Russ's silence and stare to mean yes, I continued, "Then I'll renew it, so you can read it."
Russ stared even harder as the Mythbusters fired two frozen chickens in tandem at the airplane, and then he jumped from his seat, cheering.
Yes! I knew he’d be that excited about the book!
The next day, after gentle encouragement—okay, loud nagging—from me, Russ started reading the story. After two or three pages, he uncrumpled a used napkin, slid it in for a bookmark and then stood up from the chair. “I need to go outside and do something.”
My eyebrows arched, “Like what? Paint the house? Fix the car? Those are all things that can wait until you finish the book.”
“Umm, yeah, but what I really need to do … is … umm … oh … is to clean up Corky Porky pies. Yeah, that’s it.”
I pondered that. Who would choose cleaning up doggie poop over reading a book? Probably the same person who’d rather see a frozen chicken hurtling through space.
Two weeks later, the book sat in the same spot. The pizza-stained napkin sat on the same page. I gave Russ my best you’d-better-read-this-book-or-you'll-be-sleeping-on-the-couch look and said sweetly, “Would you like me to renew this for you?”
“Oh, yeah, sure,” he replied, watching as the Mythbusters switched from firing frozen chickens to putting a dead pig in a car—supposedly to see if it’s possible to get a rotting flesh smell out of a vehicle.
I stared at the TV, stupefied. Really, who’d want that car, even if they could get the smell out? I’d be afraid the pig would come back to haunt me as I was driving down a back road …
(Scary organ music plays.) It’s a dark and stormy night. Lightening crackles, rain streams down the windshield, and as I round the curve, the car hydroplanes toward an oak tree. From out of thin air, Miss Piggy’s face appears, her pink snot inches from my face as she screams, “Pig killer …”
Just then, the kitchen timer dinged, bringing me back to the reality that the pork chops were going to burn if I didn’t get them out of the oven. I looked from the library book to Russ. “Okay, then, I’ll renew it one more time, but please finish reading it before it ends up being returned late.”
Russ leaped from his seat and cheered. Maybe he really was looking forward to finishing the book.
Three weeks later, it sat in the same spot. The pizza-stained napkin had more sauce on it, but it was still on the same page. Worse yet, the book was now overdue.
And that’s when I remembered the news headline I'd read a few months earlier at Breibart.com: “Unreturned library book leads to woman’s arrest.” Some poor schnook in Iowa had failed to return her library book, and they’d sicced the cops on her.
Can you imagine that? Arrested for an unreturned library book! Hmmph! It was undoubtedly her husband’s fault. And now I was probably a fifth-degree felon myself.
Well, all I have to say is if I'm going to jail, it’d better be for a crime more worthwhile than failing to return a book on time. I’m thinking something like beating Russ over the head with a couple of frozen chickens would do it.
And hey, that might even get me on Mythbusters.
------© C.L. (Cindy) Beck------
Burning Oil Rig: Photo by US Coast Guard
Chickens: Photo by Herrick, Wikimedia Commons
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