Enjoy one of your favorite posts from the past until I return to entertain you!
And thank you for your loyal following.
This… is Matilda.
Matilda is a chicken.
A Rhode Island Red to be exact.
I didn’t go out and purchase Matilda.
I wasn’t given Matilda.
Matilda, like most of the animals in our home, including Jax, my pet squirrel, just appear to me, usually in dire need, and being who I am… I can’t seem to walk away.
Case in point: Matilda
It was Thursday night, 8pm, after hours at El Dorado park and my favorite time to walk there.
This night I was walking with my two adult friends, Frank and Abe and my 10-year-old friend Finn.
Finn, like me, seems to be some type of “animal whisperer” and so I was a bit concerned when we jumped the rail of the flood control and ran down the embankment to enter the park after hours that we might run into an injured skunk, coyote, goose, hawk, or owl… but I had no worries that we might run into a chicken. For God’s sake…. a chicken?
We were barely past the LBPD shooting range when we saw a small reddish animal bopping about in the grassline…
“Is that a chicken?” Frank asked.
We all stopped to watch as she made her way closer to us.
“It is a chicken,” Abe said.
We didn’t know what to do… I voted to finish our walk and when we looped back, see if she was still around. With Frank, Abe, and Finn all hailing from Arizona…. I knew that this chicken wasn’t going anywhere unless it was going to Ms. Wood’s house and I was trying my hardest to make sure that didn’t happen. I mean the menagerie was really getting ridiculous: Jax (my squirrel) her babies, three chihuahuas, four cats, seven dogs and a partridge in a pear tree; I wasn’t looking to add a chicken to the mix.
I swear I didn’t want to leave her because I’m heartless… I just thought… Maybe if we give it some time… she’ll magically go back to where she came from and I will be saved from care-taking yet another pet… but the boys weren’t having it.
The Arizonians were looking at me with pitiful sad little faces.
The chicken was looking at me with her pitiful sad little face.
“Come on…” I said to the boys as I strided ahead with purpose trying to get away from the bird, only to turn and find the chicken running after us all as she made the saddest little cooing sounds that seemed to say, “If you leave me I will be eaten by a coyote and you will never be happy when you walk in your park at night again, because you will always remember that you left me to die.”
I couldn’t do it.
It was horrible.
They were pulling at every one of my heart strings and they obviously knew just how to work me.
So… I just gave in and turning on my heal, marched towards the exit, while shouting in my best authoritative tone, “Come on, Matilda. Let’s go home!” and watched as she hustled to catch up and walk beside me… as if I were her best friend and we had never been parted.
After a few feet of walking, we realized that it would take forever to get Matilda out of the park at this pace, so Frank picked her up and carried her with both hands, arms extended straight out in front, as if Matilda were a hood ornament on his human car.
It wasn’t five minutes later that the Park Ranger pulled up next to us, rolled down his window and said, “My God! Is that a chicken?”
Apparently he had never seen a chicken in the park either and now, Matilda startled by his big shiny car and flashing police lights was out of Frank’s hands, on top of the hood of his car and pecking at her own reflection in his windshield, like this was all good fun.
Obviously, the park was a wonderful place for Matilda as long as she had humans to protect her.
I asked him if he wouldn’t mind driving Frank to my van and was pleasantly surprised when he agreed.
I smiled as I watched Frank drive off with a Park Ranger and a chicken and I spent the rest of my walk back to the Wardlow Street bridge whistling to myself and making up my own stupid little jokes about it:
So… a chicken and a Ranger walk into a bar……
Or…. Is that a chicken under your arm or are you just…
How did the chicken cross the road? By getting a ride in the Park Ranger’s car.
Before hoping back over the rail and walking to the van.
Frank was in the back when I got there, Matilda running around on the floor, pleased that she was in some type of cage that seemed more comfortable then the cold park at night.
We took her home… gave her some water… and watched as she climbed to the top shelf of the squirrel cage and bedded down for the night. Already content in her new environment.
“Good night Matilda,” I said as I turned off the porch light for the evening…. trying not to be attached to a chicken… but knowing… I was already totally in love.
I had been married to my X for almost 20 years.
So…. when we divorced, I was a bit gun shy about dating.
I actually remember crying to my friends, “Who’s going to ever like me again?”
And I’d like to say that they patted my back and comforted me but they actually laughed at me and said, “Are you fucking serious?”
Divorce will do that to you.
It completely rocks your moral, spiritual, physical foundation and makes you think really crazy thoughts like: No one will ever like me again.
Most of us do.
It takes time, totally cliche but true, and distance and a fair amount of compassion and love.
My first long term dude after my X was Eddie.
We dated one year.
Eddie was a good first dude because he’s funny, down to earth and liked to do a lot of the same stupid things I liked to do:
Walk in the Nature Center
Lay around and watch South Park
Listen to music
and… believe it or not with all this laying around, eating and watching cartoons…
We both had a solid work ethic which kept us from killing each other by spending too much time together.
But the best thing about Eddie, was that he was like my junior high school boyfriend. Seriously… the way we played and hung out was like 7th grade summer.
I’m surprised I didn’t make him ride me around the neighborhood on the handlebars of his cruiser every night around 9 pm… before we had to rush home to beat our curfew and an inevitable grounding.
Eddie could get me to do things that only your junior high school boyfriend could do… And one day… Eddie actually got me to do something I thought I would NEVER do in front of a boy… fart. And… not only that… but actually fart on his hand.
He tricked me.
He knows he tricked me.
Believe me… I DON’T want to write this story but to not write it would mean that I was a complete FRAUD.
If you truly want to put your life out there in the world.. than you have to be HONEST about it and so… I must concede that Eddie Avalos was smart enough to trick me into farting on his hand and I feel like a totally idiot to this day for falling for it.
And if Eddie’s reading this right now… he’s laughing super hard and clapping his little hands because that’s what Eddie does when he thinks something is really funny.
So, Eddie and I were out in the front yard and he was showing off… he was running around on the grass and playing slap fight with me.
I was slapping back but he was quick.
He’d get in a good slap, run away laughing and when I would try to catch him, he would slap me again and run away.
Then, he fell down on the grass, put his legs up in the air, grabbed a lighter from his pocket, and I watched in utter amazement, as he cut a huge fart, flicked the lighter and suddenly shot a huge blue flame out of his ass. Then he laughed like a maniac and got up and ran away again.
It took me a moment to register what had happened.
I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe.
He was dancing in little circles, thinking he was super funny… when all of a sudden he came over to me and said, “Fart on my hand” and put his hand on my butt.
I slapped his hand away hard… mortified as I shouted, “NO! Girls don’t do that!”
He circled me again… doing some crazy little dance just to egg me on before he put his hand on my butt again and said, “Fart.”
I was slapping him with both hands now but it just made him laugh harder.
“Do it!” he shouted but I repeatedly refused I was NOT going to fart in front of a boy… NO WAY.
But Eddie, who knows me very well… said exactly what he needed to say to get me to take the bait.
“You are such a pussy,” he taunted. “You act like you would do anything… like you are so tough and look at you,” he began to do his little dance again, “You can’t even fart on my hand.”
I became suddenly determined to prove him wrong.
How dare he insinuate I was weak… not up to the task…. less than him because I was too embarrassed to do what he had just done with utter abandon.
I would show him.
Girls could fart just as good as boys.
I would fart on his hand.
The next time Eddie ran up to me, I waited until he put his hand on my butt and then I held my breath, pushed hard, felt something move, and then heard a small “bweeeep” before my fart vibrated across the palm of his hand.
It seemed for a moment that everything in the world stopped. Completely stopped.
I knew immediately that I had fallen into a trap and that there was no way I could have a “take back.”
I looked up and saw the shock and amusement register on Eddie’s face… his eyebrows actually bounced, his mouth turned into a sly smile and he ran away laughing as he squealed, “Oh my God! You’re a girl! You’re not supposed to fart on my hand! Girl’s don’t do that! I can’t believe you just farted on my hand! Eeeeeeew!”
Then he laughed, danced around some more, pretending to smell his hand while shouting, “Eeeeeew! My hand is ruined! You farted on my hand.”
He humilated me in the worse possible way.
First, by basically getting me to fall for the old fart on the hand trick and second, by tricking me into breaking the number one girl rule… don’t ever fart in front of a boy EVER.
I felt my face flush a hot red as I ran over and slapped Eddie as hard as I could, heard him screech “OUCH!” before I ran into the house TOTALLY embarassed.
A few moments later, he followed me in, jumped on my bed, threw his legs up in the air again and let another fart on fire, giggled like a madman before he kicked off his shoes and prepared to watch cartoons.
“Come on,” he said and patted the bed. “Don’t be such a baby… I was just messing with you. Come on, lie down now and watch cartoons with me.”
I tried to pout as I stomped my little feet over to my side of the bed and lay down next to him… my legs and arms crossed in silent protest.
We lay there a few moments… waiting for South Park to begin before Eddie smelled his hand one more time and giggled.
I ignored him…or tried to… pretending that I was just so engrossed in the cartoon that I couldn’t even see him… and I probably would have been able to manage that for awhile but in true Eddie form he waited until things were calm and then said, “Have you ever heard of a Dutch Oven?”
I didn’t even give him a look… I just reached over and gut punched him.
He curled up into a ball moaning and laughing and I knew that though I had gotten him back… I would never live down the day that I farted on Eddie Avalos’s hand.