Sunday, 7 November 2010

Chooks - Magpie 39



A headless chook runs around the back yard of my childhod home.
A friend publishes a knitting book which features a tea cosy in the form of a chook.
An urban myth about a headless chook living for six months turns out to be true.
People under pressure run around like headless chooks making choices they might regret.

Every year my father bought a chicken or duck in November
and gave it the run of the back yard for two months.
Life was good, plenty of feed and no inkling of what was to come.
I can still conjure up the smell of those plucked feathers.
A headless corpse dunked into the boiling water in the downstairs copper,
then me up to my elbows in a pile of feathers and down.
Christmas dinner tasted all the better knowing it was home grown.

Loani Prior is the international queen of the tea cosies.
having two runaway best selling books of patterns
based on the simple idea that tea cosies can be fun
and that knitting and craft is BACK.
Women flock to her workshops to sit at her feet and knit
Chooky tea cosies.


I'm watching TV.
One of my favourite eccentrics, Stephen Fry, is hosting a wacky show called QI.
It's a play on words - QI IQ.
He's infuriatingly bright and his panellists set out to subvert his intellect
by answering his questions as wrongly as possible.
He asks a question about Mike the Headless Chook.
No one has any idea what he's talking about
but this Colorado freak (the chook that is)
has achieved international stardom.
Even if the whole thing turns out to be a fabrication.



I am watching quite intelligent people make unintelligent decisions.
They are under pressure to solve unsolvable problems.
The old 'do more with less' edict from an organisation in meltdown.
They seek to solve the irresolvable by 'making decisions'.
Even a chook will tell you that making decisions
when your head is on the chopping block
can be fraught with problems.

Chooks without heads don't seem to think straight.

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18 comments:

Brigid said...

Great post, Now I want one of those tea cosies,
Every year my father bought a chicken or duck in November - I could sense where that was going.

Julie said...

We had a pig rather than a chook. Same result though.

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Enjoyed your playful post- I loved the insight,"making decisions
when your head is on the chopping block
can be fraught with problems. No doubt that's true. I forgot about the headless chicken until you wrote about it! I would love to make a tea cosy, too. I didn't know that chickens were called chooks in Australia. Thanks for reading my magpie chick poem :-)

Jingle said...

fantastic tale.

kathew said...

yikes....headless chickies...I like the tea cozies

Helen said...

My grandmother's favorite expression was 'stop running around like a chicken with your head cut off' .... I can still hear her! Thanks for reminding me ...........

Lena said...

I love the tea-cosies.
I love QI.
I love chicken loaded with gravy.
I am now a new fan of Mike The Headless Chicken. I can quite believe the stories and pictures I researched (film footage would have swayed me more) but it's a bloody good topic for my next family night in! Thanks...!

Marilyn said...

Fabulous post, I loved it! I too can remember plucking a chook - the smell of their hot wet feathers after being dunked in the copper! Not nice.

Sue J said...

This is full of interesting bits of infomation. Love the cosy! I haven't seen one in the shops for years.

nimaruichi said...

People under pressure run around like headless chooks making choices they might regret
- so true (I'd better keep my head on :) ).
Ah, tea cosy, reminds me of childhood!

Carrie Burtt said...

Sometimes i feel like that headless chicken....:-) Love what you did for the prompt! ;-)

willow said...

This is great, and that last line sums it all up!

Tumblewords: said...

Ah, yes!

signed...bkm said...

love tea cosies and chicken...prefer to eat them headless...and featherless....too..Nice magpie...bkm

faith said...

I enjoyed this. I like how you introduced the piece.

Shail Raghuvanshi said...

I really enjoyed your post and the blog Steve!!

kathew said...

Thanks for your nice comments- and we are still on vacation here in Zihuatanejo Mexico!

Jingle Poetry said...

a true tale from a real poet.
unbeatable talent.
keep it up.xxx