Art and commentary by Kimberly Harris

A destitute chicken is playing a ukulele on a street corner hoping for tips

Cruelly abandoned by her hipster master who felt that taking care of her was too much of a burden, Hazel was forced to shed her dignity and was reduced to selling eggs and playing music on the street for strangers in hope of securing her next meal.

It all began several years ago with the troubling news that chickens and roosters were arriving in unprecedented numbers at animal shelters and sanctuaries throughout the United States and Canada. Recently, things reached a point where facility overcrowding is resulting in many of them being turned away due to lack of space. The authorities were puzzled at first as the phenomenon was widespread and largely precluded the possibility of a mass breakout at a local Perdue or Tyson facility. One local reporter even made a phone call to a well-placed retired colonel who is knowledgeable about the poultry industry. Unfortunately, this didn’t shed any further light on the mystery, as the polite southern gentleman pronounced that ”business was as finger-lickin’good as ever” with no reported shortages of raw materials.

A few clues eventually began to surface in the mainstream media. A recent Time Magazine article discussed the roots of the chicken abandonment problem and quoted the owner of The Chicken Run Rescue facility in Minneapolis as stating: “It’s the stupid foodies” and “We’re just sick to death of it.” Another animal rescue group in Seattle, Ducks and Clucks, told The Daily Caller that “hipster urban yuppie types who entertained romanticized notions of raising farm animals” were to blame for the crisis.

This led animal rights activists to proceed to conduct surveillance at several of the more prominent shelters to see if they could identify the method of transportation used to deliver the chickens. Soon, a pattern was revealed in the shadowy arrival of abandoned chickens. As had been suspected earlier by the reporters, they were being dropped off by people who appeared to fit the pattern of hipsterism, either by their garb, hair, demeanor or mode of conveyance. The chickens were seen to arrive transported in Kånken backpacks, in handlebar baskets on single-speed bicycles, in the trunks of flashy hybrids and in one instance, a dilapidated VW bus was observed to disgorge several dozen chickens before speeding down a dimly lit alley into the night.

It was now becoming clear that the unfortunate fowl were casualties of a dysfunctional locavore movement. The thought of stimulating production of healthy organic food in local communities was attractive to hipsters and it was a well-intentioned effort that initially enjoyed success as bumper crops of homegrown tomatoes, lettuce, zucchini, beans and other tasty summer staples flourished. Chicken coops soon followed as the hipsters moved on to focus on fresh egg production.

At first, everything went well for the chickens. During the course of their tenure in their comfortable urban settings, the chickens began to emulate their masters by dressing in ragged retro clothes, donning Kangol berets, wearing lenseless tortoiseshell glasses and surreptitiously learning how to play the hipsters’ musical instruments. They even went as far as sneaking sips from their owners’ unattended cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, all the while secretly cackling out old Pabst marketing slogans, such as “Pabst makes it perfect.” Oblivious to their eventual fate, the flocks reveled in tipple and song with only passing concern regarding what the future might hold for them.

Everything went splendidly for a while as hipsters, enthralled with pets that also produced breakfast, proceeded to purchase wholesale quantities of cute fuzzy little chicks. The fact that some might grow up to be roosters never crossed the hipsters’ minds. But as nature would have it, half of the hatchlings turned out to be roosters that were not only incapable of laying eggs, but also soon became an annoyance to entire neighborhoods with their early morning crowing. The hipster foodies were placed under increasing pressure by the communities to do something about the pre-dawn cacophony. This led some people to suggest that this was a major contributing factor to a spike in the downloading of Julia Child’s iconic recipe for Coq au Vin off the Internet.

Hazel was ultimately dumped on a street corner in a bad part of town and left to fend for herself. Later, she and a handful of surviving friends would recount harrowing tales about the fate of roosters who failed to live up to the foodies’ expectations regarding egg production. Husbands disappeared mysteriously in the middle of the night, and hipsters were said to have persuaded some of the recent arrivals to join a mysterious religious cult they referred to as the “The Order of Young Friars,” after which time they were never seen again.

Hazel was fortunate in that she was able to grab her master’s ukulele as she was about to be spirited away in a rusty Volvo station wagon with a bad muffler. Now, she performs on street corners hoping to entice passersby to toss a little chicken feed her way.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

Two space aliens in vacation attire are toasting a cosmic display

Extraterrestrial campers Bob and Sue raise a glass to toast the spectacular planetary alignment in their home star system of Epsilon Eridani

There was considerable media attention focused on the so-called “Supermoon” that appeared this weekend when a full moon reached its perigee and thus its closest approach to Earth this year, causing it to appear 12% larger than when it will be at its farthest point on January 14, 2014.

However, in another part of the cosmos, a far more impressive display of galactic splendor is underway. Here, otherworldly vacationers Bob and Sue have packed up their Airstream trailer and headed for the Ursae Majoris Hills to observe this year’s spectacular Epsilon Eridani planetary alignment.

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

The tomatoes growing on this plant have a strange fishlike appearance

Scientists have been experimenting with combining genes from a fish and a tomato to create a genetically-modified plant that can thrive even in frigid weather in snowbound northern states.

We just knew all this frankenfood experimentation was not going to be without its consequences. Scientists speculated that a winter harvest of tomatoes would be possible outdoors in Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota and North Dakota, and while results have been less than encouraging they still hold out hope for eventual success.

Several focus groups consisting of families, restaurant owners and food critics were established to investigate the public’s reactions to the aroma, flavor, texture and shelf life of the innovative tomato hybrids. After a three-month period, the researchers compiled their findings:

  • The vast majority asserted that the tomatoes make a superb Marinara sauce to accompany seafood
  • Some reported that the sauce made from the tomatoes obviated the need for anchovies on a pizza
  • A few said that the tomatoes made for a rather exotic Blood Mary, and might be an inexpensive natural substitute for Clamato
  • A Vietnamese restaurant came up with a innovative twist on traditional Nước mắm pha fermented fish dipping sauce
  • One chef stated that the tomatoes unleashed an unearthly scream when he dropped them into boiling water to remove their skins.
  • Some experienced difficulties when they attempted to fillet their tomatoes.
  • Others reported that their BLT’s started flapping around when they bit into them.
  • In one instance, a cat demonstrated an unusual fascination with a family’s dinner salads.
  • Another cat began digging up the vegetable garden and leaving tomato stems on the welcome mat at the front door.
  • A woman swore that the tomatoes in her vegetable basket were glowing in the dark
  • There were a number of people complaining that the tomatoes don’t last more than a couple of days in the refrigerator before everything begins to smell and taste like fish.
  • Participants in the annual La Tomatina tomato battle found the fish-tomatoes to be a formidable weapon to use against their opponents in this popular food fight which takes place in the last week of August in the town of Buñol in eastern Spain.

Illustration by Kim Harris

Story by Don Rudisuhle

For another of our frankenfood stories, please go to:

http://fullfrogmoon.com/2011/01/31/yes-virginia-there-is-a-frankenfish/

A little girl accepts a lollipop from a strange fishlike man

Ginny accepts a lollipop from a Frankenfish

All the animals have put on special sweaters that were knitted just for them

The animals were fortunate to be well-prepared for the unanticipated cold snap

Earth Day activities are presently in full swing and people all around the globe are posting their images and stories about climate change and the impact of global warming. However, here in southeast Wyoming, this morning we awoke to freezing temperatures and a brutal snowstorm. Even the animals had to don sweaters to warm up. Fortunately, a prolific knitter had prepared for this eventuality even before the winter began.

Two lusty snails are enjoying a martini before engaging in romantic banter

The handsome, suave Count d’Escargot has slyly seduced yet another glamorous gastropod

It was recently revealed that the National Science Foundation awarded a grant to the University of Iowa for the purpose of conducting research into why New Zealand mud snails go to the trouble of having sex when they are perfectly capable of reproduction by themselves without the need to engage the opposite sex.

The study cost just short of a million dollars, but it produced a startling revelation: The snails do it because it’s a whole lot of fun!

Everybody needs a little romance…

But will the Count call her back in the morning?

Illustration by Kim Harris
Story by Don Rudisuhle

A man wearing only a pickle barrel is supporting the US Capitol

True to President Reagan’s vision of a shining city on the hill, this new Fabergé egg commissioned by Congress celebrates the symbiotic relationship between government and the citizenry, thanks to whose selfless sacrifices this glorious institution has flourished over so many years.

The Shining City on the Hill has never looked so bright
Resplendent in magnificence, brilliance and might
A tall proud city built on rocks stronger than the ocean
Symbolic of our leaders’ noble devotion
I’ve never seen so many tourists gawk in utter awe
At this hallowed monument to our nation’s law
I never saw that wooden suit that you’re wearing
I have been blind
Citizen in the Red

After the fanfare and celebratory atmosphere wound down in the wake of the country’s landmark second inauguration, Congress saw fit to commission a piece of commemorative art that would celebrate their accomplishments and their vision for the future of America.

Although no one conceded much admiration for the Romanovs, several prominent congressional leaders were mesmerized by the elegance and detail of the famed jeweled Fabergé Eggs that were produced for Czar Alexander III and later Czar Nicholas II, as symbols of the power and wealth of imperial Russia. They decided to commission an egg for the government of the United States.

Congressional staffers were instructed to contact the US Embassy in Switzerland to find Deepak Fabergé, one the few remaining descendants of Russian Imperial Jeweler Carl Fabergé who had been rumored to still be producing jeweled eggs in his attic workshop in Lausanne. As soon as he was located, an Air Force C-32 transport plane was dispatched to Geneva in short order to pick up Fabergé and spirit him off to Washington, DC.

After a few formalities and several bottles of scotch, a select Congressional subcommittee instructed Fabergé to produce an egg for display in the Capitol rotunda that would glorify the seat of power that has made so much progress possible and also convey the nation’s appreciation for all the support and sacrifice on the part of the citizenry. They told Fabergé that money was not a concern and to produce as elegant a piece as he could conceive.

It was a tradition in the Fabergé family of jewelers that each egg would contain a surprise inside, and not even the recipient, however prominent an individual, was to know the contents of the egg in advance of its delivery.

After Fabergé returned to his atelier in Lausanne to begin work, the committee members waited in anxious anticipation of the delivery of the egg. What surprise might this new egg contain? Jobs? Health Care? A balanced budget?

Alien in my Soup

A little space alien is taking a relaxing bath in my bowl of soup

A tiny alien luxuriates in my bowl of chicken vegetable soup. He even brought his own towel.

For years, reports of sightings of tiny aliens have been trickling in from all around the globe. Mysterious little creatures, some only a few inches tall, have been turning up in Russia, Mexico, Peru, Chile and other countries. Their appearance varies considerably, from rubbery doll-like figures with a vague resemblance to Sesame Street characters all the way to shriveled, desiccated husks that look like some sort of stale cosmic kippers.

I had left the kitchen window open one balmy afternoon when suddenly a small spaceship hovered into the room and gently settled on a shelf next to the dining room table. A hatch opened and a tiny being scaled down the ladder and addressed me quite straightforwardly. “You wouldn’t happen to have any soup, would you?”

Well it just so happened that I had just prepared a bowl of chicken vegetable soup and was getting ready to sit down to enjoy it. Before I could even get to my chair, the little alien shimmied up the table leg and quickly removed his spacesuit and boots, draped his towel over one of the handles on the bowl and jumped into the steaming liquid.

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