[lit-ideas] Sunday Something

  • From: David Ritchie <profdritchie@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 9 Nov 2014 12:52:30 -0800

There was wide-ranging philosophical debate this week, concerning utility.  Of 
what use, the girls wanted to know, were the brown, yellow and red leaves I had 
scattered all over?  Their flavor apparently is sub-standard and they make 
scratching for bugs an irk.  I tried denying responsibility, but they gave me 
several versions of a look, as if to say,  "You'd expect more tidiness from a 
god."  To be fair, Cheddar spoke in my defense, "The leaves do help to disguise 
one, from predators."  Appenzeller, who is black as coal, demurred.  Meanwhile, 
I was asking myself what the use might be of chickens who in sum are now 
producing not even one egg per day.  

The girls were quite curious about my filling of the aluminum pellet container 
on or about dozy time.  Lined up on the perch, halfway to sleep, four together 
at one end, Cheddar at the other, they spoke in curious gentle tones.
"What's he delivering?"
"Should we be alarmed?"
"It is a Death-with-Dignity state."
I explained I had an early start on the morrow and was therefore going my 
appointed rounds at an odd hour.  Nothing to worry about at all.  This caused 
them to wake up.
Peccorino, "Maybe he's bringing drugs?"
Mimo, "Who needs to be higher than a perch?  A perfectly satisfactory height, 
the perch."
Appenzeller, "Leave height to the hawks, is what I say."
Rocky, "Yes, yes."
Cheddar, "Well said."  No response.
Cheddar, "Very wise." Still nothing.
Cheddar, "That's apt, that is."
I said, speaking towards Cheddar, "legalizing pot is on the ballot but..."
"What's pot?"
The others showed interest, "Is it that thing with white water in?"
"No," I said, bending to inspect, "I very much doubt that the legalization of 
marijuana, if it passes, will affect your day-to-day doings."
"Wensleydale said substances might be needed, for ritual purposes.  Is this m 
thing one?"
"I don't recall reading that the bill--I'm sorry, the measure--was aimed at 
"A bill!  That's ducky."
"Right," I said, managing a smile as I straightened a complaining back.  
"Normally, I'd be off to tennis, but this evening I'm resting and at your 
disposal for purposes philosophical, ethical...anything you want to discuss."
"Really.  It's office hours for chickens."
"So do you have anything you want to discuss?"
"Not at all?"
"We want to go to sleep."
"But we're delighted that you've made yourself available.  And we shall make a 
"We'll mention it on the survey."
I asked, "What survey is that?"
"We're told to expect surveys."
"On service provided..."
"By deities."
"Apparently there's competition now...for chicken god of the year...so they 
have surveys."
"Oh," I said, not knowing what else to add.

Good afternoon, I'd like to return today, please,
for a refund, yes,
or a replacement.
The whole day, if that's possible?
Something with crabbing or tennis to replace it?  You do do tennis?
A re-stocking fee?  I had no idea.
Que sera,
and all that.
While I'm here could you make a note that I'm agnostic?  
The wine from water thing, yes,
and the drinking blood...
There's a loyalty program?

David Ritchie,
Portland, Oregon

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