Playchicken - Weekend


Michael-Karlo-LimMichael Karlo Lim

“WHY did the chicken cross the road? *pregnant pause* To get to the other side.” So goes an old joke. I never found that funny. I probably never will.

I was laughing with The PussyKat about how, for no clear reason other than its strange appeal to the taste buds, we liked this convenience store’s take on chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets, to begin with, are pretty low excuses for protein presentations using chicken trimmings cut to shape and/or (mostly) molded meat slurry, battered then deep-fried to the golden crisps we all love. Just like wood composite modular furniture in blonde wood surface sticker finish. This one takes the nugget marvel to a whole new level with the built-in, edible game of Spot-The-Real-Chicken-Meat-Pieces-In-This-One underneath layers of flavored carbohydrate fillers. That gravy, too. Like everyone else, I also fall under the spell of starch, fat and flavorings.

Chicken-PhotoI crossed the six-laner of three each way separated by an island worth two. When not held up by the light at either intersections, these present a steady stream of cars breaching speed limits that there might as well have been the Cha-cha-cha playing for pedestrians on the curb. While this calls to question my option not to use the pedestrian lanes at the ends of the rather long block, I’d like to point out that these ends are at proximities where chances of meeting one’s end by the human, rather the inhuman, are greater than that of and the convenience of the straight line between A and B. Aaand, yes, because shortcuts are hardwired into our racial DNA.

B is the convenience store inside this funeral one-stop shop. Convenience for the grateful undead tending to the grateful dead, convenience for me. I’ve always been morbidly fascinated by the funeral business since HBO’s runaway hit series, Six Feet Under. Sometimes I get a vanilla Giant Cone and watch people at these funeral parties. I love seeing raw emotions against the backdrop of what, when, where, why, who’s getting what and how much. Yesterday, a banshee broke mid-wail to give her preference for juice with her meat roll. The wheelies popped open the lid of this mid-level all-white to marvel at the excellent mortuary make-up while waiting to load it up into the lift. Some grandkids just had to take wefies at the lobby. I took it all in with a lot of Joe Black cool behind oversized sunnies while the soft-serve quickly melted into the waffle cone.

At any crossing, The Chicken is sometimes tempted to go against his Peter Parker and gun for gaps too tight from the next oncoming chunk of Asian surplus. The adrenaline rush makes him feel alive. What are the things The Chicken really wants in his life? Are these all ultimately worth it? What if the headlights his view tunnels into are not the lights at the end but only the bright flash before sudden nothingness? With the sum of his insurance coverages, he understands he is worth so much more dead than alive. Maslow programming ultimately holds him back.

“Why did the chicken cross the road? *pregnant pause* To get to the other side.” So went the Old Joke. I never found that funny. I probably never will.

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