|This is what conference chicken looks like|
Let me explain: there are two main reasons why I hate chicken.
Several years ago, I lived in the unfortunately-named Cumming, Georgia. Never had the pleasure? It's chicken farm central. Driving through Cumming was guaranteed to give you more than an unpleasant whiff of chicken droppings and chicken remains. That was the final straw - I stopped eating all meat (except bacon, which is admittedly strange) in the late 90s for several years. (Then I met and fell in love with a Texan, and vegetarianism may or may not be a wee bit frowned upon in cattle-ranching families.)
Picture me, happily sharing dinner with 200 of my closest college freshmen friends in the dining hall.
Eating chicken a la King.
I remember laughing at someone's joke at the table - I'm going to blame my rowing teammates Kelly Durbin or Katie Nolan, because they were the funniest - and I started to choke. I took a sip of red punch to try and wash it down. I started to panic and clutch my throat. The girls at my table jumped up and started to reach toward me.
Someone yelled and then some guy reached around and started performing the Heimlich Maneuver on me. Oh, yes. Clearly, I'm here today, so suffice to say that he saved my life and spare you the gory details. You might imagine what it's like to have someone forcefully squeezing your diaphragm to dislodge the item that is impeding your ability to breathe. Along with red punch.
I really, really, really, really... REALLY didn't want to go back to the dining hall. Ever. But I did, and I endured the behind-the-hand whispers of *That's the girl who choked* for quite some time. I can't even remember the face of the guy who performed a life-saving function on me - I'm quite sure I ducked my head and tried to get out of there ASAP. Sooner, even.
Eventually, I survived my freshman year, thrived in school, and even went on to have some dates. There you have it. Go ahead and laugh, because when I tell the story now, it's just as funny to watch my listeners try and stifle a snort until they full-out laugh with me. If that's my very worst, most embarrassing moment, then GREAT! I'm done.
Chicken, you are my enemy... but I'll make an occasional exception for a conference or two. And my homemade chicken pot pie; but only if my husband cooks the chicken.