Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Why I Hate Chicken

This is what conference chicken looks like
If you attend as many conferences as I do, chicken is the running joke.  "What are the odds it will be chicken?" my tablemates and I chuckle as we're waiting to be served the entree with a flourish of silver-domed plate covers.   Chicken universally seems to be the least likely to offend and most likely to please the most people for large numbers. Generally, I just pick around the chicken, eat the salad and vegetables, and take a few bites to get me through to the snack time later in the afternoon. 

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.)

The other reason I hate chicken falls under Most Embarrassing Moment.

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.


  1. Ha! Please don't join me in my chicken prejudice. :-D

  2. I knew I recognized you from somewhere ;)

  3. Jenn, you're mocking me, aren't you? ;-) Oy, what a memory.

  4. Ha! I'm sorry - I know how it can be to be scarred for life by a food! I'll tell you about my mom's sneak attack on venison one day ;)

    Cumming, Georgia? They clearly didn't think that one through!

  5. B, I can't wait to hear the venison story! Let me know when you have a few minutes for coffee - would love to see you and A.


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