Monday, March 06, 2006

The Life and Times of an Urban Chicken

Oscar de la Pollo
We have never written an obituary for a chicken before, but then again, we had never met a chicken like Oscar either. Like his idol, James Dean, he lived fast, and died young. You cannot tell his story without telling a story of the true American dream. Our East-Coast man, "Freeballin" Colin, contributed to this entirely true story, the story of one white chicken from the ghetto of Chicago, and we are now sharing this story with you.
Oscar de la Pollo was a Foghorn chicken born into captivity circa early 2005. Legend has it, that the night he hatched, the moon turned blood red. Hard times awaited Oscar from the day of his birth, and his formative years were spent on Chicago Avenue in a building marked "Live Pollo," an unexplainable mix of English and Spanish, even more bizarre considering that the establishment was under the care of Pakistani livestock peddlers. He lived on a sawdust covered floor, with countless other chickens and rabbits, waiting for the day when his number would be called. People closest to him would later say, "If it wasn't for bad luck, he wouldn't have any luck at all."
For almost a year, Oscar survived in these conditions, until the fateful eve of July 21, 2005, when the Carmines were in town to play our beloved White Sox (an evening forever to be known as "Chicken Night"). This day marked a turning point in Oscar's life: He was purchased by God-fearing working-class men for $8.50, and brought to an East Village apartment in a cardboard Corona box.
After the ballgame, Oscar was fitted with a red cape and was unanimously elected official mascot for the post-game festivities. A first-hand account of that evening's events:
We were off to the party, where, God willing, Oscar had made it alive. By the time we got there, Oscar was already half-in-the-bag, having eaten almost a full piece of beer-soaked bread. He was just clucking around, struttin' his stuff (those chickens sure are social butterflies). He had also been fitted with an acceptable cape, made out of red felt, with 'Urban Chicken' written on it. By the time we got Oscar up to the roof of the apartment, he was hammered; stumbling around, picking a fight with the dog, and attempting to fornicate with girls of less than appealing visual quality. Or was that picking fights with girls of less than appealing visual quality, and attempting to fornicate with the dog? I can't really remember.
Either way, by the end of the night it was time to figure out what to do with Oscar. The original plan was to set him loose on the neighborhood, cape and all, and have him become a local celebrity. Another idea run up the flag pole was to have Oscar for dinner the next night, possibly involving some bizarre sacrifice platform and some Pedro-Cerrano-praying-to-Jo-Bu-style ritual. The last idea was to throw him off the roof, and let fate again decide Oscar's future. Pretty cut-and-dried, simple but effective. Once the ladies at the party got wise to our plans, they felt the need to intervene. One of them offered to drive Oscar a few hundred miles north to her farm in Wisconsin, a sort of poultry Club Med, and allow Oscar to live the rest of his life in chicken luxury. Well, let me tell you, we were sold. Oscar deserved it; he had thrown one hell of a party.
So after "Chicken Night," Oscar de la Pollo left the shores of Lake Michigan, the city where he was born and raised, for the green pastures, rolling hills, and easy living of Wisconsin. He lived a life of luxury in "Hen Heaven", and was always easy to recognize, because he was the only white chicken on the farm. However, the excesses of the blue nosers' lifestyle got the most of poor Oscar, and he picked up every bad habit that drifted through his transom. Rumors of weight problems, altercations with other chickens, and barnyard debauchery spread, until one sad day, the tragic news reached the big city.
Oscar was dead.
He ate like a bird, but unfortunately for him, that bird was a California condor. He grew too fat for his legs to support him, and had to get put down. He literally ate himself to death. Apparently, the luxury of five-star living was too much for Oscar, and he fell victim to his own vices.
However, like remembering Elvis Presley looking good in his gold lamé suit rather than dead and bloated on the crapper with his pants around his ankles, we will remember Oscar in the glory of that one sweet summer night, when he was King of the World, and not as a power-crazed, disgruntled party animal in the twilight of his life, an angry chicken the size of a V8 engine.
He taught us to never take life for granted, and to stick to your roots. You can take the chicken out of the ghetto, but you can never take the ghetto out of the chicken.
Good night, sweet prince.


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