Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chicken in a Pita

In Westover, North Carolina, there is this chicken. She is unhappily married. Her life's horizons are close. She knows nothing except the four walls of her 800-square-foot manufactured home, the route to the market, and the giant pita she sleeps in.

She has little education and, frankly, little need for one. Her husband erased romance from his repertoire within a week of their hastily arranged wedding, and she has felt too unsure of her place—in her marriage, in her own life—to demand more. She is a fraying bundle of resentment and suppressed anger.

Every night for 11 years, she freshened her pita with a crisp lettuce leaf, and went to sleep, alone. Her husband would stumble home at one or two in the morning and pass out just inside the front door. Or he'd fall asleep watching the tube. Or maybe he wouldn't come home at all.

And then, one day, at the market, rifling her coupons to save a few pennies on lettuce, she's approached by a sweet-talking poultry farmer. "What's a spring chicken like you doing in the supermarket? You should be modeling somewhere!" He's so... charming. And good-looking, too, just like her husband used to be, before he sold his soul for a couple of six-packs a night.

Now do you understand the eyelashes, the leg dangling from the pita, the clumsy come-on? "I know you want me." Who is she talking to? Anyone willing to take a bite? Does she look at you and see her husband? Does she see anything anymore? She hardly recognizes herself. At first, she let herself be fooled that this was glamor, that this was living. Men wanted her. They paid for her. She believed—she wanted desperately to believe—that this was real, that she had finally discovered who she was.

She discovered, all right. She's property now. No longer does she watch the money change hands and feel precious or desired. No, she belongs to the man in the market, the man with the stains on his overalls. Those rosy stains that never quite come out. She is just another in his coop. Another money-maker. That legend says it all: "Try Our CHICKEN IN A PITA." Yes, "our" chicken.

Would you take advantage of a chicken this messed up? She doesn't need to be cooked and eaten. She needs help.

(Thanks to Dr. Bunchofpants for the referral and photo.)

4 comments:

Joey said...

This was an amazing entry.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Suicide Food! - keep just the way you are - it's the only thing that keeps me sane in the insane carnivore world, knowing that these cracks in reality show up for you, too! If there's any way of putting stars to blogs, I'd vote you the whole firmament-full!

Canaduck said...

I'd really love to see the home lives of all these people who so intimately connect eating animals with sexy women. Ugh.

Mike said...

Truly a piece of brilliant writing.