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The Funky Chicken

Some dude hawking the Germ Terminator on the Home Shopping Network told me that there’s shit on my toothbrush. When I heard this, I, along with the rest of America, said: “Oh, my God! There’s shit on my toothbrush.” I bought 16 Germ Terminators.

Then I got to wondering, how did shit get on my toothbrush? Did someone put it there? Was it my roommate, Leo? What scientists performed those studies, and was it a random sample of toothbrushes, or did they all belong to college kids whose roommates shit on their toothbrushes as a joke?

These are the things I think about since moving to a new development in northern Los Angeles where there are desert hills, fresh air and white people. I think about these things because there’s nothing else to do, other than play Prince of Persia and ride minibikes around the neighborhood.

Even that gets old after a while. Leo and I tried reading books, but reading sucks compared to watching American Chopper. So with nothing left to do, other than trying to better ourselves in some way, we resorted to performance poetry. By performance poetry, I mean that I convinced Leo to dress like a chicken and run through the desert hills singing “Musclebound” by Spandau Ballet. With any luck, a mountain lion would attack him, lending some real pathos to the work.

At first Leo refused, citing superficial concerns like “the townies will call the police” and “the neighbors hate us already,” but when I offered to take him to Chili’s for happy hour, he was suited up in the chicken outfit in no time. Looking all Big Bird and shit.

I recommended we pour some bacon grease on his feet to attract lions, but again he refused, so when he wasn’t looking I tied a small steak to his tail feathers with some fishing twine.

We got on our minibikes and cruised down the hill to the end of the street — literally the end of the road and the end of civilization for something like miles — and Leo got into character by waddling around, making chicken noises, and rubbing his ass in the sand, even though I told him I didn’t think chickens did that.

The furry head was enormous and the wire-mesh eyes severely limited his vision, but he stomped gamely into the wasteland with his beak held high and the steak dangling limply between his legs, dripping a trail of red juice in the white sand. Any onlookers would have been given the alarming impression that a giant menstruating chicken was on the loose in the desert, perhaps the product of KFC’s well-documented genetic engineering gone horribly awry.

I brought the Spandau Ballet CD, as well as some Dionne Warwick, who rocks the block, and an old Air Supply tape my father gave me for graduation, and I followed with my digital camera and ghetto box.

Like Leo, I wasn’t dressed for desert work. Unlike Leo, I didn’t look like a retard. I followed in his huge footsteps over the barren mountains for what seemed like hours until we both needed to stop and rest.

I threw in “All Out of Love” and danced for a spell while Leo ate a ham sandwich and smoked about four ounces of weed.

“Jesus,” I said. “You keep that up and your dancing’s going to be affected.”

“Don’t worry about it,” he said. His eyes were distant and even more glazed than the baby blues on the chicken head next to him in the sand. “I can dance in any condition. I’ll dance my ass off, yo.” He laughed and kicked sand into the wind.

“Fine,” I said. “Just don’t make a fool out of me. Do we have any more Hornsby’s?”

“Nope. You drank the last one.”

“Then pass that weed and dance me a Cabbage Patch.”

Leo obliged, and as the sun went down and the sky turned crimson, he danced the loveliest Cabbage Patch ever seen by anyone. Hours later, when the temperature dropped and the weed ran dry and the buzzards began to circle overhead, cawing to our imagined song, I burst into tears and thanked God for creating the sovereign city of Newhall, chicken costumes and Leo — whose dancing, like Michael Jackson’s, is sweet poetry in motion.