Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chicken Little

Breakfast was being served. 

A big old plate of bacon was being put in the middle of the table, front and center. Toast was present, the coffee had already been poured. We were waiting on the eggs.

When they were finally placed on the table - a table that was to accommodate a party of seven people - there didn't seem to be enough eggs. The bowl put beside the bacon seemed to scarcily contain enough scrambled, fluffy protein to satisfy two people let alone seven.

"Is there an egg shortage in this town we don't know about? A conservation effort? Are eggs rare here? Outlawed? Scarce for the time of year?" I thought to myself.

We were assured it was simply a case of assuming there were enough eggs for breaking our fasts when, in fact, there weren't. Nothing more. A run to the grocery store should have been in order the night before, but it just didn't happen.

Still, we were skeptical.

Advance to months later at a local restaurant. It was cold outside. The soup at the establishment was pretty good. Hot, soothing, hearty. Mozzarella sticks were ordered, beer-battered things which were quite tasty. Fried chicken was contemplated and decided upon as a main course ...

... but, when it arrived, it was a sight to behold. Or, actually, it wasn't.

There was barely anything there.

Is this the smallest chicken wing and leg ... ever?
I looked at my meal incredulously. I could hold the entire half chicken ordered in my cupped hands, one atop the other! It was so small, I questioned whether it was an actual chicken. Could it quite possibly be a baby chicken? A pygmy chicken? Mayhap a Cornish game hen ... and a small one at that? Because it certainly wasn't a normal chicken that had been prepared and served

I picked up the tiny chicken leg with my thumb and index finger - it was that small. I daintily used the same fingers on my other hand to hold the leg horizontally and began eating it.

You know that scene in "Big" with Tom Hanks? When he attends the Christmas party and spies the mini cocktail corns, picks one up and nibbles at it like a real ear of corn? That's exactly how I ate that dwarf chicken leg, with comical flair and exaggeration. 

The waitress came over and asked if everything was all right. I thought my overt actions toward my meal might be a clue, but she either ignored them or didn't see I was making a point. 

"Everything's fine," I fibbed.

This fried chicken leg is the length of my pinkie.
And, no: The image has not been photo-shopped.

And then it came to me: This was what chickens were like in this town! Small! Miniaturized for some reason! Abnormally tiny! That's why there were so few eggs to be had at breakfast a few months ago! The poor hens! They strain to produce enough eggs for the townsfolk, thus they are a rarity! That had to be it!

I didn't have the heart to make any further fun of these poor folks with their obvious want of a hearty chicken dinner. I desisted my dinner antics.

I finished my meal without another word ...

... but I secretly left the establishment starving ...

...................... Ruprecht ( STOP )

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