Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Secret World of Chicken

This post has been a long time coming.  I guess I'll start at the beginning, where most stories do.  A casual, harmless conversation between a boy and a girl, that played out something like this:

"So, what do you do?"
               "I sell chicken".

Halt.  You do, what? Girl's brain is running towards the idea that he means from the back of a truck, door-to-door, Omaha Steaks style. Girl's brain is out of control sending her the following images of boy:
Weeks later (likely it was 5 minutes), girl realizes: no, not from door-to-door.  But her brain was somewhere between a Sally-Foster gift wrap sales routine and Will Smith's own Pursuit of Happyness, desperate to push bone density scanners.  Was this boy about to slap girl for two extra rolls of glitter-snowflake and end the night examining x-rays?  Of course not.  Obviously, that boy and girl was hubs and me. Not door-to-door, but huge, commercially... and so would begin my peek into the secret world of chicken.

Once I'd realized what he meant by selling chicken, aka for a large poultry supplier, I broke out into a song.  I'm serious.  Yes, I'm this nerdy.  I don't remember the whole thing unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), but part of it went something like this (to the tune of O' Christmas Tree):

O' Chicken Man, O' Chicken Man,
How lovely are those wings you sell.
That white thigh meat, oh it's so nice,
That boneless breast, Miami Vice!

O' Chicken Man, O'Chicken Man,
How lovely are those wings you sell.

Now, I realize, what exactly is white thigh meat? And how do Crockett and Tubbs get thrown into this mix? I don't have those answers, you'll just have to trust me when I say laughter ensued shortly thereafter.  My intial confusion of my hubs' occupation has somewhat been tamed over the years, but our friends continue to be somewhere short of completely fascinated.  Dinner dates turn into Q and A with hubs on nuggets.  Our friends have brought up so many off the wall questions, it is hard to list them all. What's that little weird part of the chicken sandwich- you know, that one hard fatty part you have to tear off?  How do you know which chickens to use for eggs and which to use for meat?  What restaurants are not safe to eat at?  What grocery store has the best quality?  How come this brand's frozen breasts are so big?  Free range/organic/antibiotics/hormones? (note- all chicken is hormone free, y'all)  And on and on...  It's quite entertaining.  The job not only has spurred on questions, but also led to a toast of the Prince of Poultry at our wedding (and you better believe that nickname stuck).

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that people are interested in this industry.  First, because everybody loves chicken.  I bet even vegetarians are poppin' Chick-fil-A chicken minis behind closed doors (I'm onto y'all).  And second, it is pretty amazing how this business works.  I never really thought about what it actually takes to feed 300 million or so people.

I've come to know a few things about this life, as most chicken wives do.  We may be the only demographic in the world that finds it completely normal to hear our husbands talk daily about breasts, legs, and young, tender meat and answer strange phone calls in the middle of the night- all the while knowing they are in fact not cheating on us.  So, how can you spot a chicken wife from the rest of the crowd?
 If you're wondering whether a gal is one of us chicken folks, here's a few pointers:

  1. See if she's shopping for a "baked chicken" or a "baked WOG" at Kroger.
  2. Ask her how she feels, or better yet how her husband feels, about corn used for ethanol.
  3. Throw words at her like leg quarters, Georgia dock, 3 ups, and Urner Barry and see if she flinches.
  4. And finally, does she eat formed nuggets or steer clear?

I leave you with a few of my own opinions, coming from a girl who's been along side O' Chicken Man- Prince of Poultry going on 6 years.  Chick-fil-A is king, WOGs are the bomb (pronounced wawgs among most chicken people), and large sized wings are totally under-rated.
Chick-fil-A: Waffle potato fries


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