Riddles And Chicken Earlobes

“I live in a house with no windows or doors. If I want to leave, I have to break through a wall. What am I?”

When I sat down to write the draft for this post, my mind was blank. Back in the days when I actually had human contact, I didn’t have much trouble writing blog posts — I could talk about something funny I’d seen, or tell somebody else’s great joke, or report on my latest ‘should-have-been-uneventful’ comedy of errors. But comedic opportunities dwindle when your biggest outing is going to the lab for blood tests.

So I looked to the internet for ideas. It’s been years since I encountered riddles; so when I found a page of them, I spent far too much time scratching my head over the clues and giggling at the answers. (And occasionally groaning. Not all riddles are good.)

I was stumped by the one at the top of the page, and I had to peek at the answer to discover that it’s “a baby chick”. Which (by way of a particularly twisty rabbit-hole) led me to discover… chicken earlobes.

I didn’t know chickens had earlobes. I didn’t even think they had ears. I mean, I knew they had earholes; but earlobes? I love learning new and useless facts, so I followed that rabbit-hole a bit farther and discovered that a hen’s feather colour doesn’t affect the colour of the eggs it lays — it’s the colour of her earlobes that matters. Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs; chickens with red or brown earlobes usually lay brown (or other coloured) eggs. Who knew?

I realize this is not earth-shattering news, but it was a bright spot in my admittedly monotonous daily routine. I’m SO close to finishing Book 16 now! My entire world is focused on those last few chapters, and (dare I say it) I may even write “The End” in a couple of weeks!

But, just in case chicken earlobes aren’t as fascinating to normal people as they were to me, here are some other bright spots from around our place this week:

Crocuses of every colour!

Lovely little snowdrops surrounded by heather

Adorable minnow daffodils

Botanical tulips no bigger than the crocuses

I think these giant crocuses nestled in the cranesbill geranium leaves are actually bigger than the botanical tulips.

And just for good measure, here’s a riddle about a bright spot from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: “A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid.”

Book 16 progress: I’m on Chapter 46 and Aydan is scrambling to face threats from all directions. Arnie and John have her back as always, but there are some things even they can’t fix…

Answer to the final riddle: “an egg”. Yes, I apparently have chickens on my mind. Does that make me a bird-brain?

P.S. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Well, I’ll Be Spatchcocked!

It’s odd how I can go for weeks or months without running across anything particularly funny on the internet, and then suddenly I get inundated by snicker-inducing goodies:

I was browsing Amazon for Christmas gift ideas, and I didn’t realize some vendors have such a tenuous grasp on reality (and good taste).  Check out this “Lovely silhouette art for baby nursery”:

Awww… how adorable. Not.

Um, guys… it’s a panda waving handguns.  In what world is this ‘lovely’ or in any way appropriate for a baby nursery? Although if this is how parents are decorating their nurseries these days, it does explain a few things.

So I abandoned the Amazon vendors to their delusions and went to catch up on my blog reading instead.  And within minutes I ran across the word ‘spatchcock’.

If (like me) this is the first time you’ve encountered that word, I know what you’re thinking.  I can practically see your thought-bubble from here.

You’re thinking, “There goes Diane down another dodgy research rabbit-hole that leads to a kinky sex website.”

I’d act all indignant about that; but there’s not much point since we all know it’s happened before and it’ll probably happen again.  But I swear, this time I wasn’t reading anything dodgy at all – it was a cooking blog.

There was no definition or explanation; only a note that you could “spatchcock the chicken” if you wanted.

Well.

I’ve lived for over five decades, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never wanted to do anything that sounded like that to a chicken.  Or to any living thing, for that matter (with the possible exception of a couple of guys I’ve known).

I did a Google search for ‘spatchcock’, braced for who-knew-what perversion.  And I found it immediately:  Jamie Oliver spatchcocking a chicken.

I’d love to say that it was as lewd as it sounds; but sadly, it only means ‘to butterfly’ – to remove the chicken’s spine so the carcass can be flattened for cooking.  I’m not sure why they didn’t just say that in the first place, but it’s nice to know there are cooks out there who share my childish appreciation for salacious-sounding words.

Apparently the internet was on a roll, because after serving up panda pranks and chicken chuckles, it rounded out the amusing animals with a plastered possum that broke into a liquor store and went on a bender, a scofflaw squirrel that got charged with criminal mischief and was released on bail, and some hostile hagfish that slimed a car so badly it looked like a remake of a Ghostbusters movie.

But ‘spatchcock’ is my most prized discovery of the week.  I don’t find words that are new to me very often, and I consider it a serious lapse of my professional puerility that I’d never heard of a word with such great comic potential.

’Cause now I’m imagining a new verbal expression of shock:  “Well, spatchcock my ass and call me a chicken!”

Gotta work that into a book somehow…

P.S. Just a bonus to this week’s bounty of beasts:  Yesterday I saw two women walking across the Canadian Tire parking lot in Parksville.  One was walking a large dog on a leash.  The other also held a leash… attached to a goat.  They were going for a walk.  To Canadian Tire, apparently.  Now I have yet another reason to laugh uncontrollably at the word GOAT!