The chickens have come home to roost! Here Kenneth Weene (pictured here in his younger days) struts his liquored finger goods–his entry into The First Annual Peggy Dobbs Write of Passage contest. All entries must contain the phrase “I swear, it’s not too late.” Makes us all wonder why did Kenneth cross the road? Maybe to win $500 that we offer for the best entry? And who came first, the chicken or the rooster?
Not the Chicken Dance
by Kenneth Weene
Nobody was more surprised than Iris.
Just ask her husband; the woman can’t boil water.
Somebody at UTV must have had a sense of humor or there were simply too many cooking shows and too few contestants. One way or the other, Iris, spatula in hand, will soon be on her way from Missoula to New York.
“What should I cook for them?” she asked her husband.
Drum gave his characteristic shrug and eye roll. “It’s your audition.”
She gave him a peck on the cheek and went back to the stack of cookbooks. Ever since Iris had decided she had a future in television, she had been watching reality shows, contests, quiz shows.
Then UTV had announced “You Cook for Fame.” The premise was simple. Contestants didn’t have to be good cooks or bad ones. They just had to be entertaining. She could do that.
Iris had taken inventory of her strengths: pretty, tight butt, perky, nice legs, energetic, quick to talk, good boobs, willing to make a fool of herself, nice legs (good enough to be listed twice) and darn good at dancing around and looking cute.
Drum had again shrugged his shoulders and rolled his eyes when she shared her list. He didn’t say aloud that she might just as well have been describing their Chihuahua, Pest, who was at that moment dragging his own itchy butt across the living room carpet.
Iris used her iPhone to make a short video to accompany the online application. Cooking scrambled eggs became a study in smiles, boob wiggling, butt wagging, and sexy high kicks. Dressed in hot pants, halter top, high heels, and short Frenchy apron (which she had bought at Just For You), Iris had turned on her inner-cheerleader.
Drum and Pest, both panting with arousal, humped away.
“Stop,” Iris screamed into the iPhone as Drum dragged her towards the bedroom—Pest firmly wrapped around her leg.
The show’s screening team had roared appreciation. The email invitation has been sent.
“No more Dominos and Quiznos,” Iris announced; ” I’m going to become a famous chef.”
Drum dropped the worst of Iris’s cooking on the floor, where Pest, stub wagging, did his best. Iris did not notice the dog’s increasing girth. Since diarrhea was the normal state of Pest’s digestion, the second clue was also missed.
Cookbooks were borrowed from the library, from friends– even from her sister Kate, whose lasagna always won the award for “best non-authentic Italian dish” at the Baptist Church Fair.
Iris leafed through the books looking at pictures. She wanted a dish that would look right, something she could cradle in her oven mitts as she danced and waggled around the studio’s kitchen. “It’s about me, not the food,” Iris explained to Kate, who declined a piece of her sister’s latest culinary defeat, freshly baked chocolate-apple pie, and settled for a cup of Lipton’s with three spoons of sugar and then another just to make sure.
“So what are you going to cook on the show?”
“Something to go with my song.”
“Yeah, Drum went online and looked for a song about food, something I can work with. You know, like a pole dancer. I found cooking words in some of the cookbooks and he did a search.”
“Then he Googled recipes that had the same things, the same— What do you call the stuff in a recipe?”
“No, the stuff you put in it.”
“Right,” Iris said. “He looked for something that had the same ingredients like in the song.”
“Well, it’s a roast chicken. I looked at the picture. I have to tell you, chicken breasts can be real sexy.” Iris pushed out her chest and shook her tits.
“What’s the song? The Chicken Dance?”
“Gosh, no. That would work, wouldn’t it? But it might be too…too…”
“Hey. I thought you were on my side.”
“I am, Sis. So what’s the song?”
“It’s called Scarborough Faire.”
“You mean like Simon and Garfunkle?”
“Who? The guy who plays it is Mendes. He’s from Brazil or someplace in South America, probably an illegal.” Iris danced around the kitchen as the sultry, jazzy Sergio Mendes version played on her laptop. “I just got to make a decent chicken and I’m a shoe-in; don’t you think?”
“Yeah, but what do you know about that stuff?”
“The stuff in the song. Herbs, spices: you know like sage, parsley, rosemary.”
“Nothing, but I can learn. I got the time.”
“You got the thyme. Come on; you’re kidding right? You don’t have any thyme.”
“Sure I do. I swear it’s not too late.”