Sunday, June 15, 2008

Chicken in a Basket – a Father’s Day Story

Saturday I posted a short story in which there was a reference to my Dad, “Wanna see the chicken fly?” I figured I better jot this down before forgetting.

I may not have been a witness to this and even if I had, I would have been too young to appreciate what went on; this story has been handed down, kind of like a story around a campfire gets passed from one generation to another.

My folks had gone to a fancy restaurant in New York City, couldn’t tell you which one; but it was a nice place. My older brother, Dan, might have been 3 or 4 years old and very alert as each member of the party went over the menu items. Dad’s finger rested on the Chicken in a Basket as he explained to my brother, with an added degree of excitement, how the chicken would be covered with a towel to keep it warm.

My brother must have shown considerable interest at the prospect of seeing a real live chicken in a basket, one that would be brought to the table for him to see. Dad picked up on the opportunity and used the anticipated moment to hold Dan’s interest while the meal was prepared.

The waiter eventually made it with the items ordered, all the while Dad prodded the imagination along, “Wanna’ see the chicken fly?” Dan must have been at the edge of his seat, not wanting to miss the chance to see a live chicken spring from the basket, a neatly bound straw basket with a red and white checkered napkin covering it.

Dad carefully grabbed the corner of the napkin, unaware that each piece of chicken had been individually wrapped in serpentine fashion by that very same napkin. “Wanna’s see the chicken fly?” followed immediately with a quick pull of the napkin to unveil it; instead, pieces of fried chicken shot across the room, people ducking as drum sticks and thighs passed over head.

Dan hadn’t been disappointed; that chicken surely did fly.

Bless all the fathers who go about doing silly impromptu shenanigans to impress their children, even when the end results are less than heroic. Happy Father’s Day.

Just for fun, click on the title bar and watch the Swedish Chef prepare Chicken in a Basket on the Muppet Show, courtesy of Charles Presley.

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