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WOODY: Chicken snatching gives you a finer appreciation of life

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A recent national survey found that over half the people in the nation's workforce find their jobs "unfulfilling."


They don't know what "unfulfilling" is until they've spent a hot night in a giant poultry house snatching chickens off the roost and crating them up for a trip to that big Colonel Sanders in the Sky.

I used to do it when I was a teenager to earn money to take Wanda Sue Wattenbarger on a date. Problem was, by the time I earned enough money for a date, I smelled so rank from crawling around in chicken houses that Wanda Sue turned up her nose -- literally -- at my invite.

That's what's wrong with today's spoiled and pampered society. Not enough people have had to catch chickens. Trust me, it gives one a richer and fuller appreciation of life outside the chicken house.

Here's how it works (or at least how it used to work, unless someone has invented an automated chicken-snatching machine that's operated by remote control from an air-conditioned office):

Wait till nightfall, when 10,000 chickens are quietly snoozing.

Slip into the poultry house and, using a wire hook, snatch a chicken off the roost.

At this point, all bets are off.

They don't go quietly into the night.

The snatched chicken will start squawking and flapping, waking up its feathered brethren and sending them into a panic. (Understandably, how'd you react if someone slipped into YOUR bedroom in the dark while YOU were sleeping, grabbed YOUR leg, and snatched YOU out of bed? You'd squawk and flap too.)

The interior of the poultry house immediately becomes a dense cloud of flying feathers, dust and other effluvia emitted from 10,000 frightened, flopping chickens.

You stumble outside with your chicken, toss it into a wooden crate, take a deep breath, and plunge back into the fray of panicked poultry.

One down, 9,999 to go.

It's going to be a long night.

You and your fellow chicken snatchers labor until dawn, carrying out the Shanghaied pullets and depositing them in crates, which are then loaded onto big 18-wheelers for their final road trip. (You may have had the pleasure of getting stuck behind one of these chicken trucks as they cruise down the highway.)

Chickens are smarter than they get credit for. My grandma used to kill a chicken for dinner whenever her preacher would come over, and eventually the chickens wised up. When they saw the preacher coming up the driveway, they'd run and hide under the barn.

Chickens are considered cowardly -- kids call each other "chicken" if they balk at doing something insanely lethal, and "playing chicken" means one party tries to makes the other party back down at the moment of truth.

Hospitals and emergency rooms are filled with daredevils who tried to prove they weren't chicken.

Chickens don't go looking for trouble, but -- like feathered Sergeant Yorks -- they'll fight if they have to. If you don't believe it, try snatching one off its roost some night.

 You'll gain a whole new respect for the McNugget.

Read more from:
chicken, Larry Woody
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