I’m just going to get this whole chicken feet thing out of the way right now. It comes up occassionally, so I’ll let y’all in on the joke.
In yesterday’s meme, I had to list three things that scare me and my answer was earwigs (I blame the Wrath of Kahn), ice (when you have a fear of being underwater, this seems natural) and chicken feet.
I’m not afraid of chickens. I spent more than my share of time in the toy aisle playing with Chicken Dance Elmo. Perdue commercials don’t keep me up at night. Chickens I don’t mind. Their feet, when detached from their bodies, send me screaming into the night.
When I was a child, I managed to sneak some viewing of the movie “The Deep”. (You know, I’m pretty sure that’s the movie. I honestly don’t have the guts to watch it again and make sure it’s the right one.) Anyway, there’s a scene with a woman lying on a bed, lots of dark and sexual undertones. A Voodoo guy sneaks into her room and is doing his Voodoo thing. Well, he took a dried up chicken foot and ran it over her stomach, pressing the little nasty claws into her skin just a little. As an adult, I have no idea why that scene affected me so much. As a child, I think I threw up in my mouth. And a terror was born.
Here’s the progression: see chicken feet, run screaming—knocking over or leaping anything in the way, hide, hyperventilate, and sometimes vomit. And I remember nothing between seeing the hideous, nasty thing and somebody standing over me saying “Shannon, what the :censor: is wrong with you?” My mother said my leaping a black, spiked fence in a single bound was quite a feat. I wish I could remember it, because that’s something I can’t do as a rule. But there were chicken feet behind me, and why take the time to find a gate?
Now, I know there has to be at least one person thinking “Wouldn’t it be fun to take a rubber chicken foot and scare Shannon at conference?”
The talk afterwards will not be “Wasn’t it funny when Shannon squealed and jumped out of her chair?”
It will be “OMG, remember the year that Shannon chick started screaming and jumped across the tables, sending conference chicken catapulting across the room into Nora’s lap, and then she ran across the heads of the 3 editors and 4 agents like Crocodile Dundee in the subway, and then she vomited in the potted palm?”
So there it is.