So . . . the hate hen. It’s a bougie thing. Overthinking, obsessing, ruminating, then when it all gets to be too much, exploding in a tantrum that has the folk around you wonder what the f*ck. My family does this. A fryer from Safeway can’t be what it is. It must be a hate hen. It’s the water I breathe when I visit my family.
But of course, part of being bougie is being down for the struggle. We care about the proletariat–the
Prolies, though, don’t give a shit about the bougie. First, they are too busy living to bother with the bougie. Second, the further down Lost Souls Road they are the less connected to first-world problems they are. They have 99 other problems and fresh chicken isn’t one of them. We prolies don’t obsess over the meaning of a chicken. We cook it and eat it.
So you understand, I can’t bring fresh chicken from Safeway into the house. That can’t be an innocent thing. No, no, because I am a long list of hated adjectives my simple act must mean more. It must be that I am oppressing my family with my privilege and patriarchy. The act of buying a fresh chicken is obviously a passive-aggressive demand that the women present prepare this hate hen for me. It’s male chauvinism of the highest order. It must be dispatched post-haste.
Last October, when the prompt for this post occurred, my Dad was in the hospital and it wasn’t looking good. I wanted something familiar and comforting while I processed the possible loss of my father. Which explains the fresh chicken from Safeway and what I do with it.
The chicken gets broken down into parts and frozen. The carcass goes in a pot with the veggies and simmered until you can squish the bones with your fingers. Many mothers for many generations have done this as a way to squeeze every bit of value out of a whole chicken. That isn’t the right narrative for my niece.
My niece is brim full of narratives about me that come from a lifetime of living rent-free in her head. I am a giant in her mind. A big, evil, farting, cinder breathing giant who wants to chain her to the stove and force her to machine gun out food and children. At the same time. While doing all the domestic goddess tasks she imagines I demand of her and roasting murdered hate hens. These are big shoes I am expected to fill. Fortunately, all I have to do to fill them is exist.
I Reject Your Narrative and Insist on One of My Own
Among my evils is that I keep pointing out that “truth” is much more fungible than my pink diapered STEM kin is cool with. Things must be Pythagorean and fit a Marxist exegesis. Proofs must conclude neatly from the premises and conform to Orthodox Socialist Doctrine. My world, the bard’s world, is absurd. It cannot be so that the God we worship could say that we are to feed his sheep. God’s sheep? Where? In what stable? Who owns these sheep? Is it a fat white dude? Well, then, obvi, the sheep are a tool of oppression like that hate hen. Guys, don’t read Revelations. It will make your head explode. You will need duck tape.
What I find post-worthy is that my STEM kin
Quantum Physics? Yeah . . . So . . . that chicken was, according to my niece, a full box of ammo aimed at accomplishing what she imagines I want from her. There was no way in heaven or hell that she would ever accede to my pimply white privileged, male chauvinist ass. A simple fresh chicken from Safeway was a symbol of all of the oppression of men like me since Eve tried to get Adam to come correct with that apple.
If You Understood
It’s so lovely and evergreen. Whenever an actual bit of oppression is defeated those who believe in social justice invent one more reason why the bougie
The Revolution must be achieved. This damned chicken is an insult to the revolution. Yet, Yankees that we are, it would be wrong to waste food. This is a problem. Plus, it’s not vegan so . . .
My niece has planted her soul in Eris’ temple. She is a true believer in Orthodox Socialism. Her degree is in environmental geology. STEM to the core. Yet, as regards me, nothing is as it seems. Most especially a mere supermarket purchased whole chicken. No, that hate hen is an act of abuse by me, her Uncle. I should be arrested for domestic violence (again).
That chicken, for me, was a couple of hours of work by me to give me something in my Dad’s house of my own that would give me comfort. It had nothing to do with my niece. Saying this means I don’t understand. Rather, for these words I am a hateful liar.
But I lie, it seems. I am not admitting to the ways in which that damned chicken was a hateful symbol of my oppression of my niece and by extension, all women going back to Eve. If I understood I’d offer my chicken as a sacrifice before an altar to Marx. Further, I’d wear a sackcloth and coat myself in ashes from the burnt offerings for seven days. Fifty years living uncleanly so . . .
That day, after being promised a roast chicken by my niece, I went to work. The cray-crays of my cab customers are familiar and for that, more comforting than my shrieking niece. A rude drunk who the cops are sending home instead of citing for “drunk in public”? Cake. A niece who believes that I am a token for all the world’s evils perpetrated by white men is too much for me.
I Substitute Your Chicken for This One from Wegmans
When I got back my niece had gone shopping. Wegmans has an awesome prepared food department. They sell roast chickens that are ok. I happen to like Richmond’s Chicken Fiesta better. My baby sister made me a plate from the leftovers. Put me in my place by giving me table scraps. Serves me right.
My chicken was gone and in its place was a roast chicken from Wegmans. That Hate Hen screamed in my niece’s nightmares. She had to win this one in the battle against my white privileged, pimply ass. So she shopped at Wegmans and made the Hate Hen disappear.
My comfort is an affront to Eris and the revolution. I eat meat in addition to being all the things my niece hates. I ate what was served to me with gratitude. Oh, right, I should not be gracious. I am unclean and therefore owe my niece restitution for committing such a mortal sin. My bad.
An aside: I live on the Lost Souls Road in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Occasionally when I go outside to check my mail I see the body of a well-meaning social justice warrior in the gutter. Some of us that live here have some major malfunction that got us a bus ticket out of the First World to here, where it says in Psalm 23 that the writer will fear no evil. My evils have been told elsewhere on this blog.
I’ll grant you that others on my road were born here and through no fault of their own have been dealt a raw deal. There is a difference, though, between those that end up in my gutter and those that change their address. It is that the ones that move used the deal they were dealt to thrive. My gutter zombies took the first free meal from the SJW’s and that has made all the difference.
I’m annoying for this reason: I didn’t start out on Lost Souls Road. I began bougie and through my own bad choices ended up here. This is an absurdity for my STEM kin. It is one of the things my niece can’t accept. I have a nice house on Lost Souls Road.
Now, protip: we are fine, most of the time. Too, since we have been shunned it’s no never mind if we do the right thing. So, mostly, we do. Even when we are judged as not fine.
It’s fine for my niece to buy a fresh chicken and do what many of us do. That’s being down for the struggle. I, however, cannot do the same. Because of who I am and what I signal.
A couple weeks after Thanksgiving I found the hate hen. My niece had broken it down into pieces and put it into the freezer. There were cubes of frozen broth in a tray.
Which . . . is fine. I’m not the one sleepless with nightmares of a 59-year-old white privileged uncle. Kroger has more chickens I can buy. I slept well last night after a meal of Chicken Penne with peas in red gravy.