Friday, April 22, 2005

Drumsticking Out in a Crowd

I've been real shy about eating out lately. See, there was a couple of months ago at a KFC. I mean, I could have avoided the whole deal if ONLY I had gone through the drive-thru (which I'm doing exclusively now)...but that particular day I was in the mood to take in the local flavor (heh) by dining in the always ambient restaurant area (y'know there's always colorful characters to look at and listen to). Little did I know that it would be one of these very denizens that would prove undoing when I sidled up to the counter to order the KFC Special #7 (3 pieces of Original Recipe with Cole Slaw and a side of drippings). All I thought I was in for was a deliciously greasy meal and an earful of area gossip and chatter; one comment changed everything and revealed to me a prowess I, up to this point, had no idea I possessed.

I brought my platter to an open table and settled in for some serious nourishment. Per the norm, I indulge in the Cole Slaw first to adequately pad my stomach for the forthcoming fried chicken extravaganza. The breast went down without incident. Delicious. It was when I moved onto my first of two drumsticks and started in on it that something changed. Conversations stopped. Eyes turned my way. I looked outside (over my left shoulder) thinking perhaps there'd been some odd person/thing/event occuring behind me on the street. Nothing there. When I looked back to the assembled noshers they collectively averted their gaze from me (were they ALL staring at me?) and went back to their respective cups of beans, chicken sandwiches, corn muffins, et cetera. Shrugging their behavior off I moved on to drumstick number two. Chew, Chew, Chew...and the whole room gasps in unison.

Was there food on my face? Utterly confused and again noting all the stares I ask, "What?" to no one in particular. An older woman, appearing to be mustering the determination to respond, finally does so with, "Boy, you sure do know your way around a drumstick. You got some skills we ain't never seen 'round these parts nigh since the 'reign' of Charles "Meat Manipulator" Johanson. In fact, if I may say so, you're adeptness 'bout the chicken leg woulda put him on a run for his money (if'n poultry bits could be considered currency, know what I mean?). You train to be so good or are these God's natural Gift to you? Does it run in the family? Do all your kin eat drumsticks so well?"

Well, I certainly had no response to this. I never suspected that the manner in which I ate drumsticks was noteworthy...maybe there was a bit of a grand flourish in the way I spun them between my thumb and index finger...but that couldn't be, as some might say, "all that and a bucket o' fried chicken, " could it?

With an indifferent grunt I pushed myself away from my table and headed to the door, while the patrons AND staff all stood and applauded me as I exited (I also seem to recall flashbulbs going off...nothing has appeared in the local those must of been shots for personal photo albums/on-line blogs and NOT for a feature article). I even left the cup of drippings behind...which, in my case is unheard of.

A gift or a curse? Am I a mutant? Is this my particular superpower? Can it be used for the good of all mankind? Until I can come to a reasonable answer to all of these questions I'm way-too-shy to eat out (as you might now understand) and spend quiet evenings in my Coop of Solitude...idly pecking away at my poultry with a knife and fork.

Yours peckishly,


(poor guy)


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