Steve Carell and the Case of the Giant Chicken

chicken-647226Our New York City vacation did not necessarily include a shoe shopping expedition.  But when I saw the sparkly, black leather platform booties in the widow, I knew they had to be mine.

Although I am usually fairly immune to these SOSUs (Sudden Onset Shoe Urges), I felt my resolve dissolve when the shoe salesman told me the manufacturer only made 10 pair of the shoes in different sizes to see if they would be successful, and mine were the only size 9, I snatched them up like a mom grabbing the last Kit Kat in her kid’s Halloween bucket and ran out the door in my new shoes.

That night, I dreamt we went to the tax accountant’s office to deal with some tax issues and suddenly a huge commotion broke out. Apparently a giant chicken was attacking the city and the tax accountant’s office was actually a front for a special forces team called The Poultry Patrol that was organized to fight giant chickens. The chicken was frightening, about the size of Godzilla, with mean red eyes and an enormous threatening beak. When it clucked, the ground shook.

I tried to sneak out, because really, what did I know about fighting giant chickens.
Cooking them? Yes. Fighting? Not so much.

However, I was stopped and told I had to join the special forces team since I was there and I had on the special shoes I had bought that day.  I failed to see the connection between my shoes and being picked to fight a giant chicken, but I went with it. Still, everyone had training and I did not so they paired me with Steve Carrell as my partner and he led me to a secret bunker where all the special forces teams were preparing to fight the giant chicken.  steve_carell_2_2013They were all geared up in flight suits and I suddenly noticed they were wearing the same sparkly leather platform booties that I had bought earlier in the day. I didn’t realize then that the shoes had jets on the soles which made the wearer able to fly.  Steve Carrell instructed me to turn on my jets and lift off, but I couldn’t fly high enough to battle the chicken because I’m afraid of heights.

So instead of fighting the giant chicken, they assigned me another vital task. I had to fly into all the public bathrooms and rescue any extra rolls of toilet paper before they would be destroyed by the giant chicken.  As the only person in our house who seems to know where the extra toilet paper is kept, this seemed like the ideal job for me. After the chicken destroyed much of the city, it was finally defeated by the special forces team and we all returned back to the tax accountant’s office where Viola Davis, the chief of the task force, thanked everyone for saving the city, but especially me for rescuing the toilet paper.
toilet-roll-220415Steve Carrell was of course annoyed that he didn’t get the recognition he thought he deserved and said it was like “Bruce Almighty” all over again. He then banished me from the tax accountant’s office and told me next time I should go to H&R block where they only do taxes, not save the world from giant angry chickens or a worldwide shortage of toilet paper.

I woke up suddenly and looked outside. There was no evidence of any prior giant chicken rampage.  Then I checked the bathroom and saw that we were well stocked in toilet paper.

Gratefully, I realized it was all a dream,

…except for the shoes, which are awesome, even though they don’t fly.


©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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The Mysterious Case of the Beaver in the ‘Burbs


After many years in the suburbs, it seems logical that I would be familiar with most of the local wildlife by now.

But when I saw something huge and furry that wasn’t my dog scurry across my backyard, I was pretty sure that I had witnessed something new to the ‘burbs.

“There’s a beaver in our backyard,” I informed my husband.  “I think it may be here because of our brook.  It’s going to build a dam,” I said with unquestionable authority.

“First of all, there are no beavers in the suburbs,” he told me.  “Second of all, it’s not a brook, it’s a drainage canal.  Lastly, it would need a variance for a dam.”

“I’m serious,” I protested.  “I saw a beaver.”

“Did it have a flat tail?”

“No, I don’t think so.”

“Then it’s not a beaver.  It was probably a groundhog.”

I thought about the fact that Groundhog Day was approaching, and realized my husband might be right.  I was wildlife-savvy enough to know that it was certainly the right time of year to be seeing drowsy groundhogs fresh from hibernation stumbling about as they looked for their shadows. The problem was I had always thought groundhogs were about the size of gophers, and the thing I saw was about the size of my dog which meant it was either a really  large gopher, a small beaver, or it was in fact, a groundhog, but since I had never actually seen any of the above, I really couldn’t say for sure what the heck it was.

So I looked on the Internet and decided that the picture of the groundhog on the web was a pretty good likeness of the animal in my backyard.  Then I read something that shocked me.img_0558

“Did you know that the groundhog doesn’t come out of his burrow in February to see his shadow?  He’s actually just looking for a mate!  And then when he finds one, they will BOTH probably go back to his burrow and hibernate again until spring.”

“No way!!!!” exclaimed my husband in mock horror.  “Next you’re going to tell me there’s no such thing as Santa Claus!”

“You don’t understand,” I said.  “This isn’t a joke.  That big, furry thing living in our backyard is out there looking for another big, furry thing to live in our backyard with it.”

“And that’s a problem because…”

“They could have rabies!  They could have babies!  They could have babies with rabies!”

“I’m glad you’re thinking rationally about this,” said my husband.

I ignored him and started thumbing through the yellow pages to find a wildlife control person who possibly had a sub-specialty in sleepy, mating groundhogs disguised as beavers.  Then it occurred to me that I might not actually have to deal with this issue right away.

“You know, if the groundhog sees his shadow while he’s out looking for his mate, they’ll hibernate again and we won’t have to worry about them for at least six more weeks,” I rationalized.

“So what will you do then?” asked my husband.

I thought for a minute.  “Move.”


©2016, Beckerman. All rights reserved.

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