Tuesday, April 22, 2014
The "Rented Chicken" Saga
I was dating someone who thought "outside the box". One year he planned a one person scavenger hunt for me, that took me all over Houston from the tattoo parlor on Westheimer to Neiman Marcus for a day of pampering. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I had to walk into NM with a goldfish in a goldfish bowl. It was hilarious how much fun that was that day.
When his birthday came around, I gathered my wacky friends and we thought of ""how to top that". So I rented a stretch limo with a large blowup godzilla standing up through the sunroof. I had told him to pack his suitcase for either very cold weather or very hot. We rode around Houston and stopped at Magic Island for a surprise dinner where lots and lots of his friends were assembled. It was a hit. No flying to a hot or cold weather place was necessary. It was a fun, but expensive party!
Fast forward to the next year. My "partners in crime" - Amanda and Patrick, and I decided we didn't need to spend all that money for another grand birthday party. Rather we would keep it in the area around Clear Lake near NASA where we all lived. My friend loved to tell silly jokes. One was about a chicken named "Monique". Amanda decided to go to a feed store and see if she could rent-a-chicken and name it Monique for the night to take with us wherever we went. Patrick had an old rattle-trap pickup truck. We put bales of hay in the back and had BIG signs that said "Happy Birthday Old Fart" that were attached on both sides of the truck. We arrived at my friend's house in the truck and dragged him, reluctantly into the back of the truck where he was given Monique as his first birthday present. Funny, is an understatement.
Off we went to Carlos' Ice House in Webster Texas. IF you don't know what an ice house is, well you're not from the South or Texas. It's a relaxed pool hall kinda place with inexpensive food and a giant bar. Picnic tables are the main sitting venue and music is usually blaring. Monique was the hit at Carlos. Carlos was in rare form and didn't throw us out with a live animal. Eventually we left there and stopped at 7 Eleven for dessert. An ice cream cone wrapped in paper, not fancy creme brule like the previous year. Monique did not get out of the truck.
Maribelle's in Seabrook, our next destination, used to be the infamous hangout for the astronauts and NASA personnel, especially back in the heyday of the space program. A polite way of putting it would be to say this is where the guys went to let off steam. The Tuesday lingerie shows were legendary. BTW, I never saw one. The night we were there was very quiet, luckily. Chairs were around what used to be cable spools made into tables to set drinks on. However, Amanda or Patrick or everyone had the idea to see if Monique would strut her stuff on the table as some women had been known to do during the heydays. Did she ever! Music played and Monique danced. A few people stopped by to see the silliness and to ask what the heck was going on. We were laughing so hard we could hardly explain.
So eventually the successful birthday evening ended. Amanda mentioned to my friend that she would be by his house the next day to take Monique back to the feed store. Fast forward, my friend enjoyed the chicken so much that I think it was a week before he reluctantly let Monique return to the fold.
What brings up this story and the photo? CBS Sunday Morning had a segment on this past Sunday about a rent-a-coop and chicken business. They acted like this was a new idea. I laughed so hard my coffee cup was shaking. It was too early to call Amanda and Patrick to tell them to watch it, but, it was very business like and not nearly as much fun as we had. I later talked to Amanda and they had seen the Rent a coop and chicken story!
This is just ONE of many shenanigans that we got into that were so much fun, cost little and have lasted down the years. That episode and the flamingos and the pickle one all have stood the test of time. It makes me laugh to just remember them.
As one friend said to me once, she is a therapist, "Barbara you do not need to take a course on "Releasing your inner child, you're doing it daily". Well, I used to..........in my 40's, well 50's too, and oh some in my 60's. Geez life is just too short not to have fun! Don't you agree?