Tag Archives: Feral Chicken

On Strike!

Image: Small Black Cat
This is Pyewacket, looking cute.

(Warning – this story deals with the bodily functions of a cat.)

AS A PET OWNER, I feel a natural impulse to care for my pets. The well being of my animal friends is uppermost in my mind. I take pains to buy them good food; to provide them with a safe place to live. I even go so far as to buy treats and toys for their benefit.

However, one must balance the base desires of the pets against their best interests. The dog, Dojo, would be very happy to eat an entire jar of peanut butter, lid included. I do not permit this. The cat, Pyewacket, would love it if I would rub his back continuously when he ate his evening meal. What started as a pleasant moment or two proved to be tiresome at 5+ minutes, so I ceased. Pye then refused to eat for some time in protest. I knew he would resume eating eventually, since his fussiness was purely driven by his peevish nature. In this I was proven correct, after only two days of the hunger strike. In general, I am able to balance my chattels’ needs and wants well.

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Ow, Ow, Ow

My Poor Finger
My Poor Finger

(Note: This happened several years ago. Sorry Mur! Warning – this story contains quite a bit of graphic detail about an injury.)

WOODWORKING IS ONE of the great passions of my life. I discovered this at an early age, when my father would be carving animals out of deep, rich woods such as Mahogany. By the time I was a teenager, I began agitating for a band saw, and other tools to further my interest. Then as now, I was cautious to the utmost, as my love of woodworking coincided with my love of music. I was ever fretful about my fingers.

Adding to my concern was my Uncle Jack, who had lost a finger in a machine accident many years ago. As I observed his various difficulties with gloves, I resolved to be vigilant.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

COUPLES ARE WONT to go through many pleasant infatuations after getting married. A gardening fad, a fancy for sewing, a board game craze – these are all well known. Sometimes these are long and involved, others are brief, like a shooting star. My conservative estimate is that my wife and I went through at least 5,237 different mania during the seven years we were married.

The majority were of a singular kind – I began woodworking, she began doing something called ‘tatting’. Notable were the obsessions that involved both my wife and myself, such as the ‘survivalist’ frenzy of 1999, or the disastrous ‘Atkins Diet’ event. For a time (an odd time), I even found myself saving dryer lint for a planned future mania (I was not informed what that might be). Few of these frenzied activities came and went as quickly as the Great Dehydration Passion of 1995.

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Television Is Bad For Your Health

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Cover Art by Eric Maynard

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

IT IS CURIOUS TO SEE how the male mind works. I had been married for several years, and during such time the size of the television had never been an issue. A 27″ television was quite large, and suited our needs well. However, upon finding myself single again (alas!), I found that the size of the television was a source of difficulty. It should be larger. I did not know why this should be, but there it is.

My recently departed spouse had left in such haste as to not have a television. Finding herself suddenly with extra time on her hands, she lamented this fact. I was sympathetic, and since I was eager to purchase a new one, sold her my current set. I delivered it myself, even carrying it up a flight of stairs. Such was my health and vigor – a manly man am I.

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Post-Op

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

MY  SURGERY WAS COMPLETE, so I returned to my humble abode, and did rest. A few beverages, a cold compress to reduce the swelling, and sleep.

I awoke feeling some tenderness. Mild discomfort. This was to be expected, I was advised. I was further advised to avoid sex for 7 days, and continue to use protection for a month, until such time as I could return to the doctor’s office and it could be determined that I was, in fact, sterile.

However, upon rising from my chair I saw that mild discomfort was merely the beginning. There was an odd sensation of pressure, and a distinct pain that went with movement. It was rather like a small dog had bitten my crotch, and would not let go.

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J’accuse!

Yeah, they're pretty cute. Lucky for them!

IT IS MY HABIT, when preparing to go to bed, to read a bit. Nothing weighty, perhaps a periodical, or some fine book that can easily be read in small doses, or a book I’ve read before. I prepare a beverage of some sort, and a small something to nibble on.

Last night, as was my custom, I poured a glass of milk, and joy, there were some chocolates in the fridge. “Just the thing!” I thought. Being modest in my desires, I took two of these dainties, and went to my bed, placing the milk and chocolates on my nightstand. I had, of course, attracted the attention of my chattels, to wit: a 65lb white Shepard mix named Dojo, and a small black cat, Pyewacket. I do not normally share the bedtime snacks, but hope springs eternal in the belly of the cat and dog.

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The Computer Guy

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Cover Art by Eric Maynard

I WAS WALKING INTO THE OFFICE the other day, after a delightful 55 minute commute, when I noticed that there were going to be potential productivity problems. Specifically, my computer was gone. All of the cables, mouse, monitor, and other things were there, but no computer. “That’s remarkable.” I remarked to no one in particular.

My neighbor, being no one in particular, responded. “What is?”

I silently responded with a flourish towards the area where 19 months of gainful employment was formerly housed. My neighbor, hearing no response, looked at my desktop (I do not yet merit an entire desk) and then provided enlightenment, by stating with thinly veiled mirth: “The Computer Guy came and took it after you left last night.”

The Computer Guy! What Horror! The very name of this individual struck fear in all worker’s hearts. My poor PC would be mysteriously ‘worked upon’, my files would be lost, and I would be given a replacement computer long enough to grow dependent on it, whereupon it would be whisked away as well. My mind was reeling, my heart raced, when I realized that, even worse, I would now be forced to try and FIND the Computer Guy.

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Driving Physics

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available now!

(This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife. Enjoy.)

I DRIVE TO WORK. Thirty-five miles is the exact distance from the end of my driveway to the driveway of my workplace. Over a period of two years, this drive took exactly 35 minutes per day, due to the speed limit over the bulk of my sojourn being 70 mph, or so I thought. I recently discovered the reason my journey took so little time. It was because of Driving Physics. I will explain.

Physics is the science of explaining why something beyond understanding happens. It succeeds, because it uses mathematics as it’s language. This leaves most people at a bit of a loss. Attempts to explain physics using a written language almost always fail, and further attempts to show why the math works ends with hurt feelings. Expressing the incomprehensible ideas of physics with math, for most people, is like taking your car to a mechanic. When you’re done, it works, but you have no idea why.

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Car Rides With In-Laws

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

(Author’s Note: This essay is several years old and refers to my very patient and forgiving ex-wife and her relatives. Enjoy.)

THE OCCASION WAS AUSPICIOUS. My wife and I were to sojourn to the Great State of Arkansas, (the Natural State) spend 24 hours with her sister and said sister’s spouse. After that, we would all travel in one vehicle North, until we had reached Missouri (The Show Me State), whereupon we would spend Thanksgiving with my wife’s Father, his wife, and her 2 children. I was making efforts to try to remember the current family tree, while my spouse was determined that I would know the history of the tree as well. In addition, I had been given clear instruction not to mock or ridicule things that seemed peculiar to the region. I planned to ignore this advice, but I did not say so at the time, for I was not in the mood to defend my right to be sarcastic and ignorant as I chose.

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Beat Your Face

Image: Cover art for The Feral Chicken of Clayton (and other essays)
Available on Lulu.com for a mere $9.95

HAVING SERVED PROUDLY in the US Army, I find myself often asked about basic training – that initial period of indoctrination into the military. For myself, it was eight weeks at Fort Jackson, SC (The Palmetto State).

Of course, one does not simply go from being a slack-jawed yokel to hard-bitten soldier. There are many steps required to get a person trained. Logistics take up the first week or so. They train about 300 troops per ‘cycle’, so you have to wait until that critical number of people arrive in one place. This ‘Reception Battalion’ is a kind of rest stop for people joining the Army. You fill out paperwork, get your head shaved (mostly), get gear, boots, etc. You are introduced to the military in a very simple, non-threatening manner. Then the buses come.

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