How funky is your chicken?

During most of my childhood we would drive up to rural Kentucky and have Thanksgiving dinner at my Aunt Lola’s house. We were joined by all of my mother’s eight brothers and sisters and all of their 2,000 children including GEORGE! who was so insufferably cute that we packed stuffing up his butt and slow-cooked him for six hours.

I was a notoriously picky eater and rarely ate anything other than apples covered in peanut butter. One Thanksgiving I agreed to meet my mother in the middle by eating something that was cooked, so she fixed me a plate of scrambled eggs that I then covered in ketchup, naturally, to mask the taste of the eggs. I used ketchup to survive most meals, on potatoes, on steak and occasionally on tacos.

During the prayer over the food that year my Aunt Lola’s husband, Bill, sat in a corner and spit chewing tobacco into a styrofoam cup. It sounded like a pigeon with violent diarrhea was wandering the room. After the prayer while everyone was serving themselves turkey and yams and fried tomatoes (see above: rural Kentucky), Uncle Bill looked over at my ketchup-covered scrambled eggs and said loud enough to be heard above the bustle, “You know what that there reminds me of? A menstruating chicken.”