One of the few benefits of surviving on this planet as long as I have is that eventually you learn your limitations. I have accepted the fact that I will never be Miss America. I know that I should never do my own taxes. I will never sing like Patsy Cline. I do not cook.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, when the seasons change it stirs some latent delusion that I have domestic abilities within me. Usually I am able to control these autumnal impulses. Hard lessons of the hazards of homemade bread and puff pastry were learned years ago. I am a firm believer that the purchase of brewer's yeast should require a license. The combination of yeast and gluten in the wrong hands is positively frightening.
Sunday the weather at the new digs could only be described as fall like. Before you could say Julia Childs, I was at the meat counter of my neighborhood Albertson's contemplating the best combination of chicken parts for soup. For the inexperienced, the choices can be daunting. Roasters, boilers, skinless, boneless, free range, hens, breasts--overwhelming. Naturally, I chose the cheapest chicken. (A gelatinous yellow bird covered in plastic that leaked toxic waste all over my new Domino magazine). This alone should have deterred me. Unfortunately, it did not.
Eighty-two dollars later, I was on my way back to the new digs to start my gastronomic cavalcade of the poultry kind. That is when the trouble started. If one does not cook, then one does not possess cooking implements. The largest pot I own is perfect for Ramen noodles, not dead chickens. The solution seemed obvious: hack the bird into manageable pieces. Brilliant, except for the fact that I do not own a sharp knife. Lucky for me I do have a drywall saw. I set about dismembering the foul fowl.
Vivian (the obstinate toy poodle) sat at my feet and smirked. When I reminded her that because of her petite stature she would fit nicely in the Ramen pot, she stopped taunting me and went back to licking her butt. In hindsight, I should have followed her example. Butt licking would have been preferable to the carnage that followed.
Wings are easily amputated. Legs pose more of a problem. After extreme effort, all four extremities were severed. The final challenge was dissecting the body cavity. After much determined hacking, I broke through the rib cage and pried the dearly departed open with gloved hands. "OHGROSSOHCRAPIMAYBARF, Sweet mother of God I have murdered a pregnant hen!” ...Wait... those are not baby chickens they are conveniently packaged guts. That was it! A pop tart sounded like a better idea.
All of the gore was deposited in the trash, where it stayed for two days. Until the stench that filled the garage was so vile that it had to be removed. All evening I kept an eye on the trash cart at the curb. All evening it stayed upright. I said a prayer before I went to bed.
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the lord my reeking secret to keep
If in the dumpster cats should dive
I hope they all get sick and die
My first look out the window in the morning revealed the entire contents of the trashcan scattered across the lawn of the new digs. OHGOODGODNOOOOO…. Having the discarded shards of your private life strewn hither, and yon like some crazy art installation on public view is traumatizing to say the least. Oh, the tampon applicators of it all!
Some women look presentable at 7am. I am not one of those women. As the sun was rising, I was running like a chicken with my head cut off (sorry, I could not help it) stuffing all forms of grossness in to a new trash bag. Thankfully, I only had to chase the trash truck three doors down the street, barefoot, in boxer shorts, and a wife beater Screaming "Alto! Alto, por favor!" at the top of my lungs.
The bag was deposited in the truck. I limped back to the new digs. That is when I got the pullet surprise. The dismembered body of the stinky chicken was scattered on the sidewalk of the house across the street. Did I pick it up? No, no I did not. There is no way in hell I was admitting that rotting carcass belonged to me. I do not think they will suspect a thing. After all, there is no way a dead chicken could have crossed the road.