I was on the phone with Celtic Sif last night. She'd just returned from a city trip with son Thor, to St. Petersburg (in Russia) and waxed lyrical about the Hermitage. “The artwork was breathtaking,” she said, “but the windows! I wanted to cry...” My enquiring mind wanted to know what it was about the glazing could bring on a bout of tears. I learned that the Hermitage has been lovingly restored, but for the windows. Unlike other art musea in the world, they didn't spring for tinted glass and the Rembrandts are treated to full frontal sun. This didn't sit well with her.
We talked a little more about this and that, then out of the blue she asked me, "Have you ever killed a chicken?"
I'm still sans enhanced hearing, so I figured she couldn't possibly have asked if I ever killed a chicken. I apologized for my deafness before asking her to repeat the question.
She said, “I want to know if you know how to kill a chicken.”
“I'm sorry Celtic Sif, but it sounds like you're asking me if I know how to kill a chicken...my ears, you know....”
“Well yeah, have you ever killed a chicken?”
Oh God. The mafia thing again. My grandpa was a mafioso but he just ran the numbers, or at least that's what I've always been told. Not all mafiosi are hitmen.
Well, it turns out that our friend, the Hippie Chick, who keeps chicken in her back yard (much to the chagrin of her bourgeois neighbors) has a pullet that needs a little shove off this mortal coil. The poor thing is suffering and Hippie Chick doesn't want to shell out the 20 euri to have the vet put it down.
“I've been googling all day, “ she continues, “there are lots of methods, I figured you might know the best way.”
For the record, I have never killed a chicken, but I know how it's done.
“I told you before, my grandpa was a numbers racketeer not an enforcer ...Well look, I've got a good meat cleaver (which I use for making veal cutlets) but I wouldn't give the bird the chop. The body tends to run around the yard, lots of feathers and blood, it gets really messy. I'd go with wringing its neck, but I'm not doing it. Maybe you could grab it by the feet and knock it's head against the garden wall...Are you really going to kill the chicken?”
I blame it on her Viking roots. The Viking red eagle, I'm told represents lungs the Vikings used to yank out of their (still living) victims while on a rape and pillage...Maybe my friend the art lover has untapped resources of ruthlessness. However, I'm thinking she's not really going to kill the chicken; she got misty when Harry Potter died. I could kill the chicken, if we were going to eat it, but we aren't, so I'm not going to kill the chicken. Maybe I'll bike over there for the execution this afternoon to show solidarity. Maybe I'll bring tissues and valium and a bottle of single malt.
In early light of this morning I'm hoping the poor bird will have died in its sleep overnight.