Warning, OUTRAGEOUS is a series of filth, swearing, insanity and gross images. The easily offended (and not so easily) and anyone under about 35 should stop reading right now!
Cooked chicken, missing bits and big shops.
I went to a big shop tonight to buy food. I went because I knew I had no food in my dungeon of misery and pain (otherwise known as my home) and I was hungry.
The shop was one of those really big shops that’s so big it controls half the planet and many of our leaders as well. I bought a cooked chicken there because I had neither the time, nor the inclination to cook a chicken for myself from scratch – and I repeat, I was hungry.
With the high cost of gas these days, a cooked chicken works out cheaper in the long run anyway and leaves no greasy pan to wash up. Increased energy costs are also avoided not heating water for said plate and pan washing and less washing-up and sink cleaning chemicals are flushed away to poison our oceans and give already ugly fish two heads. Which is all good.
The cooked chicken tends to be better quality compared to the cheap uncooked chicken, because “they” don’t want “their” name associated with shit cooked chicken. A raw one that you bought cheap that turns out as dry as dust, with lots of ligaments but no meat, now that one’s your own damn fault for cooking it wrong and you know it. And the fault of the half pint of water they pumped into it after death, of course, but we don’t mention that.
None of this is my point, however. I’m just coming to that. Despite all the obvious benefits I’ve outlined above for buying a pre-cooked chicken from a really big shop – you know, a shop so big they control your spending patterns and what you want to buy, before you knew you wanted to buy the thing they told you to buy and before you knew that thing existed and was buy-able in the first place – I still have a small complaint.
When I bought my “whole cooked chicken”, I assumed that it would indeed, be a whole chicken. They boast of their honest advertising, after all, these big shops I speak of. Those huge, monstrous, monoliths. If I had said: massive, monstrous, monoliths, that would have been great alliteration, but I missed my chance. But NO! The cooked chicken from the big shop was not whole. The parson’s nose was missing. Not damaged and hard to recognise. NO. Gone completely like it had never existed!
…What’s the big deal, I hear you ask? Well, as you insist on asking, when I was a child I was a total carnivore. Vegetables made me gag and cry and feel I was being tortured for no good reason. A boiled pig’s trotter to gnaw on, generously tossed in my direction, however, made me happy, content and occupied for quite some time getting into all the crevices between its toes where meat might still be hiding. Damn those stubbly hairs!
Well, according to mum and “all that is holy”, the parson’s nose of a chicken is unfit for human consumption and only fit for the cat. I thought then and still believe, the parson’s nose is frowned upon only because that’s what’s left behind when you cut out the poor bird’s arsehole with a sharp knife.
But I liked hot, dripping chicken fat, crunchy skin and chewable bones – near the arsehole or not. I envied that fucking cat. I lusted after that oily triangle of flesh, imagining it bursting in my mouth like a succulent, savoury, chicken-arse strawberry. If you can eat a pig’s foot with the toenails still on it, what’s the problem with a juicy bottom nose?
Well, when I became an adult, I decided no more parson’s nose shame! I would eat the pointy, fatty bit myself, no longer the juicy province of the cat alone. So I have taken that part for myself ever since, but until now still never sharing my odd addiction to dripping greasy chicken bum-part for fear of ridicule and possibly having to split the luscious nose with some other creature who doesn’t care about the whole bum thing.
And then I buy this cooked chicken from a big shop, not thinking to watch them as they stuffed the incomplete corpse into the opaque stay-warm bag and, THANK YOU, no parson’s nose! The very bit I most look forward too. The bit of the chicken that affirms my self-determination and ability to think for myself and there it was… Gone! Yes, gone!
And come to think of it, though not the main consideration, obviously I should have got some money back for having a bit of my cooked chicken missing. Shouldn’t I? Though similar in size, they’re not sold by individual weight, but only as “whole”, so the missing parson’s nose means I’ve been overcharged as well. Does their duplicity know no bounds? No parson’s nose (which is good eating, so fuck the cat) and short-changed as well.
They’re clever, though. Let’s face it, you will have eaten some of the chicken by the time you’ve noticed, so how do you prove that bits were missing? You must have swallowed the parson’s nose because it was there when we sold it to you. That’s what they would say if I took it back. I mean, I could keep all the bones and put little tags on them to show where they all went, but they would just claim I threw the parson’s nose bones away to get compensation and an extra roast parson’s nose out of them.
Without witnesses, how could I prove I didn’t scoff it and was just after a free fix? With my now well known love of parson’s noses, I would look guilty as hell. Once they know our weaknesses what can any of us do? They know this and so they get away with ripping us off for bits of our cooked chicken and we say nothing because we feel no one cares, or because we’re too ashamed of lusting after the bum part of the bird to stand up for our rights.
I should sue the bastards for mental torment. That’s what I should do.
None of this would have ever happened years ago in a small shop. They didn’t lose you’re parson’s nose back then and accuse you of lying when you took your mutilated, half-eaten Sunday lunch back for a refund. Not in my day. Never sir. They had manners and wouldn’t have dreamed of laughing at you in front of everybody for taking your cooked chicken back because the parson’s nose was missing. It would have been taken seriously then. People would have acted like it mattered in the days of proper shopping lists, the local dairy and half crowns and thru’penny bits.
Which would have been alright, if the silly, can’t-eat-it-cause-it’s-from-near-the-bum brain-deads of the time hadn’t kept giving the succulent nose to that self-satisfied, smug-faced cat. It knew. That’s why the little bastard made so much noise chewing it up and grinning at me, while I was being beaten with sticks to force me to eat a pound of one-hour-boiled spinach, which looked and tasted like a steaming heap of some cactus eating lizard’s shit.
Mum couldn’t cook to save her life. She’d put a leg of lamb in the oven and a pan of carrots on the hob at the same time, letting them bubble away for two hours until they retained all the goodness of a damp draft through a rotten window frame. Us kids would have grown up healthier if we’d thrown all the vegetables out of said widow and drank the cooking water like nutritious soup. Then the one tasty thing that came from the stove all week, the mouth watering parsons nose, gave it to bloody Ginger, while I got a plate of tasteless stew with no stock in it and whole onions simmered into giant tasteless sacks of warm water. The only time she ever made gravy we had to cut it up with a bread knife and her dumplings could have been used in a slingshot to bring down game.
Next time I go to the big shop for a whole chicken, I’m going to watch them like a hawk and make bloody sure my parson’s nose isn’t pilfered for re-sale on the black market. I can’t take the disappointment anymore and it brings back too many unhappy childhood culinary memories. Those sprouts. Dear God, those sprouts!