Rubber Chicken

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with rubber chicken for most of my adult life. (And after re-reading that sentence, I’d like to clarify that ‘rubber chicken’ is not a euphemism for anything unmentionable. Just sayin’.)

It all started (as so many things do) with my friend Swamp Butt. I can’t remember the circumstances exactly, but I had refused to partake in some activity… wait; hang on. It might have been laser hair removal.

Whatever it was, I declined; and she called me a chicken. I probably flung back an equally mature reply, and that was the end of it. Until the next gift-giving occasion, when she handed me a beautifully-wrapped parcel containing this:

It’s squishy silicone, which makes it revoltingly floppy.

Of course, we laughed our asses off. My niece was young then, and every time she visited, she also laughed at the rubbery chicken.

Fast-forward a decade or so. My niece went to Japan as an exchange student. When she returned, she brought me this:

It’s horrifying. It looks like a traumatized poultry sex doll.

Of course, we laughed our asses off all over again.

Not long after that, I was introduced to another version of rubber chicken that never, ever invoked laughter: The dreaded ‘networking dinner meeting’. Chicken was almost always served because it accommodates most dietary needs. Unfortunately, chicken meat does not hold up well to the kind of lengthy warming that occurs with catered meals. Eating rubbery chicken while crammed into uncomfortable business clothes and making strained small talk was as close as I care to come to hell.

Thankfully, the days of networking meetings are well in my past. The shudder-inducing memories have begun to fade… which is why I was surprised last week when I dreamed about eating rubber chicken again.

I woke up chewing on this:

I’ve just started wearing a mouth guard to keep me from grinding my teeth at night. So far it’s not going very well.

The flavour and texture of the mouth guard are remarkably similar to those long-ago chicken meals. Fortunately, I didn’t manage to actually bite off a piece and swallow it.

Anybody else have a love/hate relationship with rubber chickens?

Book 17 update: My first beta reader has finished, hooray! I’ll make revisions, then pass it to my next beta reader. Stay tuned for a cover reveal and release date, to be announced in my next post!

Chair Demons

I’d like to think it’s not just me. Doesn’t everybody harbour a few items in their home which, when considered out of context (which is to say, ‘by any sane human being’), are just a little… um… creepy?

Some things are intentionally creepy, and that’s okay. For instance, I love this candle-holding sculpture my sister gave me years ago: As the candle flickers, its eyes glow and seem to follow you around the room.

Totally creepy, but in a good way.

Totally creepy, but in a good way.

In the ‘that’s odd’ category of creepy, I also own a stuffed beaver.  *insert the revolting double entendre of your choice here*

No, really, it’s a child’s toy. I’m not sure I’d want to meet the twisted toymaker who one day looked up from his designs of cute, cuddly bunnies and bears and thought, “We need beavers!”

…Okay, I realize most guys have that revelation at some point in their life, but this guy followed it to its logical conclusion: “Everybody needs beavers!” And here’s the result:

He’s cuddly-soft, and his name is Bob. Don’t ask.

He’s cuddly-soft, and his name is Bob. Don’t ask.

Moving on up the ‘disturbing’ scale, I also own two rubber chickens that reside in the planter in my living room. Well, to be technically accurate, one’s rubber and the other is silicone, which is even grosser than rubber because it’s all wobbly and floppy.

But the rubber one makes up for its deficiency in the gross-out department, because:

  1. Its gaping beak is disturbingly reminiscent of a blow-up doll; and
  2. It squawks when squeezed – a horrible half-strangled wail like bagpipes possessed by the spirit of an evil piper who died in the throes of an asthma attack.

creepy chickens

I’m not sure which bothers me more, the gaping beak of the big one or the flaccid-phallus appearance of the little one…


But the top ‘Creepy and Disturbing’ award goes to our dining room furniture. You’d think it would be pretty difficult to make shudder-worthy dining chairs. And I’m not talking about physical discomfort.

No, I’m talking about the kind of creep factor that sends a shiver down your spine and makes you question whether you really want to turn your back on the item in question. I mean, seriously, what sick and deranged mind thought it would be a good idea to carve this on the back of a dining-room chair?

Would you turn your back on this?

Would you turn your back on this?

It looks like one of the minor demons from hell, perched at exactly the right height to chew a crippling chunk out of your spinal cord with its fiendishly gaping mouth. Then once you’re incapacitated, who knows what it might do?

This dining-room set belonged to my husband’s grandparents, and as far as I know they lived healthy, normal lives unmolested by denizens of the Pit… but these chairs give me the shivers anyway. I’ve lived with them for over a decade by convincing myself that, like gargoyles, they’re fierce guardians of our home. If anybody ever threatens us, look out! The chair demons will get them!

But that only works if I don’t think about it too much…

Anybody else harbouring satanic furniture or other creepy items?

* * *

Woohoo!  I’ve finished the draft for Book 8, and it’ll be off to my beta readers / editors this week!