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Paddy and Molly Mulligan

CHICKENFICTION or How to Spot a Genuine Mexican Chicken from the Phonies

– Another of the “Mulligan Stew” stories.

It didn’t take us long to fall in love with Mexico, a country where children have great respect for their parents. The parents, in turn, appear to have a great respect for the value of human life. What a great place to raise a family, we agreed, but having done that already, we decided to raise something else. Chickens. Not just ordinary chickens, mind you, but real Mexican chickens. Don’t ask me why. We just did.

But how does one know if a chicken is really Mexican? We knew there were a lot of phonies out there, and we found it’s a field in which there is a lot to learn. Perhaps our experience will be of help to others.

Our first step was to find a reliable, licensed and fully-bonded chicken dealer who could tell the difference. The next morning, we drove to a large chicken ranch on the outskirts of Morelia. The owner greeted us with a smile. “And just what kind of chickens do you want?” she asked. “We have chickens from all over the world, you know.”

“That’s nice,” I smiled, “but we want Mexican chickens.” Suddenly I felt ashamed. “Don’t misunderstand me,” I added. “We’re not prejudiced against other chickens, nothing like that. It’s just that we prefer Mexican chickens.”

The little old woman rolled her eyes. “I don’t know what you have against chickens that are not Mexican chickens,” she hissed. “After all, a chicken is a chicken!”

We knew we were getting nowhere. “Look,” I pleaded, “just sell us some Mexican chickens and make sure you don’t include any phonies”. I gave her our address, then paid the bill, aware she was still shaking her head as we walked out the door.

A week later, the chickens were delivered. It didn’t take us long to figure out that not all the chickens were Mexican chickens. We could tell by the way they acted. Mexican chickens, as you know, are very polite, proud and self- reliant. The little old woman behind the counter had apparently slipped us some phonies, imported from God knows where.

But our dream of raising Mexican chickens began to fade when Molly noticed some of the chickens were acting differently. Take the one that couldn’t walk a straight line. Molly was convinced the chicken was secretly invading our liquor cabinet. “That chicken is nothing but a common drunk!” my wife snarled as she watched the pathetic, bleary-eyed creature trying desperately to maintain its balance. We finally agreed that the little old woman behind the counter had slipped us an Irish chicken.

Then there was the matter of the chicken who absolutely refused to lay eggs on Sunday. “That darn little old woman behind the counter,” my wife raged, “she sold us a Catholic chicken!” Don’t misunderstand me. Molly has nothing against Catholics. She’s a Catholic herself, just like me. But she argues that just because a chicken is Catholic is no reason not to lay eggs on Sunday, since chickens are not capable of committing a sin. “Not even a venial sin!” she snapped. I told her not to blame the little old woman behind the counter. “Most Mexicans are Catholics,” I reminded her, “and the same religion has probably been adopted by Mexican chickens.” Molly just sat there with her mouth open.

Oh, let’s not forget the two chickens we have that always strut around coddling each other. I wasn’t the only one to notice. “What we have here,” my wife shrieked, “are a couple of gay chickens!” Not that Molly doesn’t like gay people. She does. It’s just that she doesn’t like gay chickens. I don’t know why. She just doesn’t. Gay chickens, I explained, are probably much more talented and are probably far more intelligent than the others. Besides, I rather like the idea of having some intelligent, talented chickens running around the house.

Did I mention the chicken we have that cries every time we play Mexican love songs? Hard to believe, but this chicken actually sheds tears whenever we play some of those touching love ballads. “At least we know this one is a real Mexican chicken,” my wife smiled approvingly. “At least that little old woman behind the counter didn’t take us to the cleaners on this one!”

Not much sense in describing the other chickens, but over the months we have come to realize we have chickens from Peru, Venezuela, Pakistan, Germany, even one from Cuba that craves the odor of cigar smoke.

Maybe I should mention the Hollywood chicken we have. This one’s a stitch. You know, the one that tap-dances every time she lays an egg. Molly thinks this chicken shows promise, although I remind her that the chicken’s tap dancing is so pathetic that every time she does it, she lays yet another egg.

And so the question arises, how does one know the difference between Mexican chickens and the phonies? That’s easy. If you ever order chickens from that little old woman behind the counter, just ask her to play some Mexican music. And turn it up loud. Real loud. You know, that mushy, sensuous stuff. Then, simply pick out the chickens sitting around crying like a bunch of spoiled brats.

A final word of caution about Mexican chickens. After all, no one is perfect. Not even a Mexican chicken. Whatever you do, make sure you don’t buy any chickens from coastal cities like Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, especially Cancun. Those chickens never sleep. They party all night long, carousing and drinking and eating everything in sight. You’ll never get a moment’s rest. Just ask Molly, poor thing…

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2006 by Paddy and Molly Mulligan © 2008
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