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The Big Chicken

I'm expecting to be kilt today by the grammar police, a retired English teacher, a writer or any citizen of Marietta/Cobb County.

I was in Marietta, Georgia yesterday for a local writer’s expo. There ain’t much more disturbing a thing, than to be cooped up in a room with 24 other writers. You will hear more stories than you can rightfully digest in such a time. The invitation did not state that a shovel was a necessary piece of equipment, but I should have figured. At times, it got so deep, I was might near swimmin.

There were old writers, young writers and others who were doing a fair impression of being dead writers. Well, until someone spoke to em and then they would pipe up and sing their own praises until folks moved on or they run out of steam and passed out again. There were big writers, little writers, writers of children’s books and writers of conspiracy. There were mystery writers, history writers and folks just sellin thing, dressed as writers.

Then there was me. On some days, I’m called a writer, most days I’m called thing I can’t say. I’m pretty sure if you know my ex-wife she might give you a few names that’ll make your face red and your ears burn. Mary Carmen might give you a few you can’t understand. Others might give a few unsuitable for new brides, children and grandmothers, to hear. I had fun and met some cool people, but next time, I’m takin a shovel, a bottle of toilet water and a set of hip waders. Just cause you’re full of it, don’t mean you got to smell like it.

So afterward we were to meet my publisher at the Marietta Diner. Did I mention for a free dinner? If someone says free food, my ears are comin off and going with them, with or without me. They are probably takin my mouth too and seein as a writer can’t exist without a mouth, the rest of my body might as well go along. Come to think of it, if my ears had went off and left me yesterday, I’d have been better off.

I learned how to sell books, listen to books on Cd’s, cover books and Lord I learned how to talk about books. It seems I learned everything about books except how to write em and sell em. Maybe I should have dropped my ears and eyes at Kennesaw State; they got more girls than the Florida Gators have on their football team. Maybe I should have dropped my brain at brain daycare; I didn’t need it where I was.

Anyway I remember going to Marietta when I was younger. At that time when you asked for directions, they would give them to you based on the most prominent focal point in the small city at the time. That bein Elmo Tolson’s farm. So the directions might go like this.

“Well if in you go as far as you can see down that away, you’ll see some new fangled cows in a field to your right. Turn left thereabouts, then be lookin for Rutherford Cuth’s old dog, it’s been dead for three days. Don’t mistake the brown one you’ll come across first, it ain’t from around her, shot it myself yesterday. Anyhow after you pass Rutherfords dog you’ll come to Elmo Tolson’s place, turn right and Johnny Mae Wilkinson’s place is the third on the right. Look for all them big ole tractor tires painted white and full of flowers, you can miss it.”

Ah, the good old days. Anyway when I asked about the diner, I got the following directions.

“Just go to the big chicken and turn right.”

“Do what?”

“Lord son, ain’t you ever heard of the big chicken? It’s a Georgia icon, people come from all over the world to see it, it’s right near where Elmo Tolson’s farm used to be. You ain’t from around here, are you boy?”

I ain’t, but I hit myself in the head with a hammer, twice to appear like I was. Sure enough, after a mile or so there was this chicken the size of Ole Ted Turner’s head, just sittin there, pretty as you please. I got to tell you, eatin anything beside an egg that comes from, the southern end of a chicken is a little disturbing. What do I know? I tried, hard, to keep going, but had to stop and take a few pictures; maybe I am from around there after all. Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Pisa has the leaning tower of pizza, Rome has the Sistine Chapel and Marietta has the big chicken.

Alright get your panties out of a bunch; I’m just poking a little fun. I had a fabulous time and met some outstanding folks. And that free meal, the Marietta Diner has some of the best food in the south. Thanks to the Cobb County Library.  

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Kennesaw Taylor March 06, 2012 at 07:18 PM
That was the only reason I wrote such a thing. I love to make people pee their pants. glad you liked it.
Lynn Hubbard March 06, 2012 at 09:48 PM
I remember the voting for the chicken design. I'm glad they kept it the same. If it ain't broke don't fix it. Some Chicken info from Wiki: "Tubby" Davis erected the 56-foot (17-meter) tall structure over his restaurant in 1963 as a method of advertising. In January 1993, storm winds damaged the structure, and rather than tear it down KFC was forced by public outcry to re-erect the building. Among those who complained about the Big Chicken being torn down were pilots, who actually used the building as a reference point when approaching Atlanta and Dobbins Air Reserve Base.[1] The new Big Chicken even includes the original design of beak and eyes which move, although this time the vibrations which plagued the first structure (even to the point of breaking windows) have been eliminated. Pieces of the original structure were sold to collectors as souvenirs. In early April 2006, the structure narrowly escaped a small eastward-moving nighttime tornado, which overturned a tractor-trailer at a retail center across the street, and damaged another building nearby. The Big Chicken is commonly used as a landmark for driving directions. Locals will often include "make a [turn] at the Big Chicken", or "it's about x miles past the Big Chicken". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Chicken
Mary Lance March 09, 2012 at 10:46 AM
I shure did lak yore story bout Mayretta and thu Big Chicken! You write purdy much lak I do. Being born n' bred in Mayretta n' raised jus round thu corner of thet Chicken, I reckon I kin recall a lot o' memries of them thar parts. I'm mighty tickled thet you enjoyed yore visit in our neck o' the woods. I only et at thet Mayretta Diner one time. I sware, they give me so much food I couldn't hole it all! I took some home in a doggie bag and I don't eben own a dog. Me n' my old man spent our wedding nite up thu road a ways from thu Big Chicken. Thet motel is still there but it ain't near as nice as it wus then. Course we weren't much interested in any fancy decorashuns thet nite anyways. We et breakfast thu next morning at a place called thu Fishermans' Grill. Then we went back to Mama and Daddy's house. Mama was a'waiting at thu front door with a grin on her face. I never cud figger out why. Well, I jus wanted to let you know how much I liked yore story. If'n you don't mind I wud lak to make a l'il keerectshun tho. Pleeze don't be affended. You sed "Alright get your panties out of a bunch; I’m just poking a little fun." Now I don't rightly know if thets the way folks in your part of the south say it, but we ole fogies in these here parts wud a sed "get yore drawers out of a wad"! Thet don't make you wrong, all folks is diffrent I reckon. Take care, Mr. Kennesaw, keep on writing and may the Good Lord tak a liking to you.
Kennesaw Taylor March 09, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I love it when people have such a great sence of humor. Thank you Mary I need a good laugh once in a while and you did a fine job on this. I swear it's harder to write like that than most poeple would believe. Good job.
Mary Lance March 10, 2012 at 09:08 AM
Thank you kind sir! I'm always glad to oblige. I crack myself up sometimes. LOL

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