I accept a large commercial egg order.

“Are you sure you can do that?” insists Eddie. “Are you sure?!?”

I give Eddie a contemptuous look. She will rue the day she doubted my chickens. I order Eddie and Eddie more drinks, and we discuss terms.

It is my first major order!!! John Twonil is getting married, and I have won the contract to supply eggs for the wedding cake!!! This is the sort of break that really makes a difference to the hungry business executive; I suspect it is how Bernard Matthews, Mr Kipling etc. started.

Becoming a supplier for the big society wedding of the year fills me with pride. The event has been planned for months – specially printed invitations, a privately-made dress for the bride, one of the top venues in the region (Village Pub). I would imagine that I can now put some form of crest on the side of the chicken coop, perhaps in gold lettering. They will need a website and perhaps a mission statement. There is so much to think of.

“Two dozen. It must be two dozen,” Eddie maintains, poking me and fixing me with a stare. I give an involuntary shiver. If I am to be the egg equivalent of ‘The Apprentice’ then I will have to harden up and get used to dealing with such people.

“It’s pretty fucking important,” I explain to the chickens as I put them to bed. They have had it easy up to this point; now is the time they start earning their keep.

50 Comments

  1. Fingers crossed the chickens perform otherwise Big A might have to come to the rescue.

  2. Are Eddie and Eddie the same person?

    I don’t think you should worry the chickens about it. It might put them off laying. Mine like me to play the clarinet to them – a strum on the banjo would probably help.

  3. Thin end of the wedge Jonny. Next you’ll have ‘supplier audits’, and you will have to ‘certify’ your eggs, give the cluckers health and safety training and five weeks paid holiday.

    Tell Eddie to forget it, before it’s too late. You’ll be back where you started.

  4. They will perform. Do not doubt my chickens!!! They may not be Transylvanian Naked Necks, but they are the cream of chickendom.

  5. Mmmm…. Cream of Chicken …soup.

  6. if the chickens don’t perform, don’t worry, just nip to tesco. I think they have eggs there.

  7. How effective do you find swearing at the chickens? Do they resent the rudeness or appreciate the direct approach?

  8. Don’t tease, Jonny. Let’s just fast-forward to the inevitable humiliating failure, so that we can deliver the literary kicking you so richly deserve and get on with our lives. Why string things out so?

    It’s the waiting I find so tiring…

  9. Can’t you just see Ivan as a little boy impatiently waiting for Father Christmas?

  10. Didn’t Eddie and Eddie have a hit in the 90s with Did I lie to you? Have they, like your goodself, realised the health benefits of escaping the rat race to Norfolk?

    Do you live on Stella Street perchance?

  11. I will design your chicken web page for you. It will be fully CSS and web 2.0 compliant and might have a fabulous Flash movie to educate the masses about egg bound chickens. You’ll need some very artistic chicken photos please. No shitting chickens or voyeuristic shots of chicken bums though – I run a clean shop.

  12. And no shotgun-based snuff movies or chicken necrophilia either!

  13. You need to brush up on your poultry psychology. Swearing at them will just make them shit more – and that won’t taste too good in a cake. That said, it might be handy for the icing – perhaps you could get the gig for that too?

    Mya x

  14. I wouldn’t worry. When Margaret arrives to assess your performance and report back to Surralan, one withering look from her and the chickens will release their eggs involuntarily, even as you shiver.

    Perhaps you could send her over to Big A’s afterwards to solve his problem?

  15. If I design and build your chicken web page for you, with CSS and PHP and XHMTL, Accessible and global standards compliant, it CAN include a compelling Flash movie of pooing chickens – I predict that it will be the most popular part of the site – children can watch chooks pooping for hours. I give the client what s/he wants, er, I mean I run a clean shop too.

  16. With Megan, “no chicken bum photos” and Hamish ” no chicken snuff films” we have the nucleus of a chicken rights group.

    So we put you on notice jonny; Norfolk will not tolerate even one chicken gulag, much less the archipelago you are planning with your sudden blinding success.

  17. Rudy: should that be binding success?

  18. And when this wedding is done, you can start a match-making business so that more people will have weddings and you can sell more eggs.

    Ooooooooops…is this counting your eggs before they are laid?

  19. I am worried about this creeping unionisation of the chickens.

    Yes – I do need Margaret Mountford to keep an eye on them. Keep productivity up and all that…

  20. Wedding CAKE – reminds me. Twenty six years today since we ate it. If only we’d had some fresh Norolk eggs, things might have been a whole lot different.

    Put me down for a bakers dozen, I’m feeling lucky!

  21. Bums…I mean Norfolk.

    I’ve no idea where Norolk is, let alone if they keep chickens there.

  22. Pat,
    IF the egg farmer were anyone but Jonny, I would have written ‘binding,’ but with Jonny’s belligerence to labor and his medieval view of unionization, Jonny’s egg product will be so dodgy,so Chinese-like in its contamination with lead, strontium, pig iron and rat poison, that ‘blinding’ is a better adjective when discussing the fate of his egg eaters.

    Pat, please, join Megan, Hamish and me in our campaign to stop Jonny from perfecting his Noryolk Guantanamo.

    The Private Secret Diary Bloggers’ Chickens’ Rights Action Group will hold its first Action Group Action Friday after sundown when the Grand Rabbi of Basra will sanctify Jonny’s chicken ranch as a kosher enterprise. Since the proprietor of a kosher enterprise must be circumcised, the LTLP graciously, surprisingly eagerly, agreed to trim jonny’s wick next time she cuts his hair; we in turn agreed to pay the cost of sending jonny’s foreskin to New York to be turned into a Manolo Blahnik shoe-yes, one shoe, it is too small to make two- as seen on the American teledrama Sex and the City.

    Once the Private Secret Diary Bloggers’ Chickens’ Rights Action Group has successfully brought the chickens under the protection of the Israeli Defense Forces, we will then decide on ways to best get jonny’s attention and convince him of the seriousness of our mission.

    Until Friday! Shalom!
    (Pat, don’t forget to bring yammukahs for the chickens.)

  23. If you get them girlie chick magazines, will that encourage them?

  24. ps – I only ask because you are The Expert.

  25. Funily enough, while reading this, I’m eating poached egg on toast.

    PROPER poached egg, mind, simmered in a pot of water, not one of your pansy little plastic container steamed types.

  26. Forget the creeping unionisation, I’m far more alarmed by the radical left wing (forgive me)politics being espoused by Rudy, and his attempts to form a collective from among your commentators. I fear I’ve been misled–I came here for humour, not recruitment.

  27. Dear Lisa,

    If you join the Private Secret Diary Bloggers’ Chickens’ Rights Action Group, you will get a free egg.

    Also, the PSDB’sC’sRAG is not a collective. It is a cooperative; coop for short.

    To date the Coop’s only demands have been attractive headgear and yoga lessons for the chickens. Oh yes, and that neither jonny nor Dick Cheney be allowed near the chickens with a shotgun.

    So please join, Lisa, especially if you have satellite TV and a well-stocked refrigerator.

  28. I’m with you Rudy, can I ad another demand that Short Tony stay’s away from the chickens whilst wearing a rubber glove?

  29. Rudy, is this chicken union thing right wing or left wing?

    Not that I want to join, just curious.

  30. Not to fret — chickens are highly susceptable to those motivational posters. Just slap up a few of those and watch the money roll in.

  31. Blessed are you, Sarah P, by St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of Birds and Jedi Knights.

    As the first (voluntary) member of the Private Secret Diary Bloggers’ Chickens’ Rights Action Group, you do have the right to add your demand to our mission statement.

    Therefore and forthwith, at the request of Sarah P, the PSDBCRAG Mission Statement and Tax Return shall be amended to include what shall heretoafter be known as the Sarah P. ‘Watch Out For Short Tony’ Amendment:

    To Wit: Should Short Tony approach within 200 yards ( 600 feet metric) of any living chicken, and should Short Tony be wearing rubber gloves on such occasion, PSDBCRActionGroup will assemble not more than 24 hours after prohibited incident to demonstrate to Short Tony by demonstration ON Short Tony where rubber gloved fingers ought NOT be inserted.

    I hope you are pleased with your amendment, Sarah P. Thank you for your commitment and never forget,

    Together, WE are the change!*

    Copyright Barack Obama, 2007.
    Copycat Hillary Clinton, 2008

  32. Dear Guyana Gyal,

    We of the Private Secret Diary Bloggers’ Chickens’ Rights Action Group are not a “union thing,” nor are we “left wing” or “right wing.”

    We are, simply put, A MANIFESTATION OF THE UNIVERSE’S DESIRE TO MUCK UP JONNY’S LIFE —-oh, yes, and to protect chickens. The Universe loves chickens.

    Guyandagal, you say you don’t want to join, that you are ‘just curious’, but from watching scores of gay/bi/lesbian/transgender movies, we know what ‘just curious’ really means. You want in. So join us. Please. Remember, free egg with membership!

  33. Are you actually supplying the wedding eggs to the unfortunate Cake Lady from this weeks Apprentice? Or am I reading between too many lines again?

  34. […splutter] no no I don’t want in, I don’t.

    Hmm, this group thing to destroy JonnyB doesn’t sound too kosher if you ask me…there’s something in it for you, Rudy. Go on, tell us.

  35. Rudy, though I have satellite tv, my house is just too small and inconveniently located to accommodate conspiracies or coops or whatever.

    Jonny, please save us from Rudy’s machinations with another installment of the thrilling and suspenseful saga of the eggs and wedding cake.

  36. …or alternatively switch subject to something completely different. The chickens have jumped the shark in my opinion.

  37. Golly – I go away for a couple of days and everybody goes barking mad!!!

    Again.

    Beth – your line reading is too much, I fear. But it was exciting!!!

  38. Dear Guyana Gyal,

    You all misunderestimate JohnyB. He is not the village bobblehead.

    If Jonny pulls off the wildly profitable 24 egg delivery, his fierce entrepreneurial drive will be unbound. He will expand his gulag to engulf all that was edible in Eden.

    JonnyB will soon be providing whales for McDonald’s Japan.

    Do not let free eggs and pieces of Chicken #4 blind you to Jonny’s ambition. Write to the Noryolk Constabulary and demand confiscation of Jonny’s shotgun and rubber gloves. Write to Jonny’s Mum and tell her that her son uses the F word as a production incentive.

    ACT NOW! PROTECT A CHICKEN, SAVE A WHALE!

  39. Yes, thinking about it, if I was paying £600 for a cake I’d want it to have more than two dozen eggs in it.

  40. You won’t call ME a Stalker if I post again will you?

    Only I simply HAD to respond. I am ENRAGED, to put it mildly. Spitting blood and almost choked on my chicken soup! £600 for a cake?!?! That’s daylight snobbery.

  41. >They have had it easy up to this point; now is the time they start earning their keep.

    shouldn’t that be: “coop”?

  42. Where have you been Jonny? (Stifled sob!)

  43. Be wary…chickens are devious.

  44. I’m surprised no-on has pointed out that if you really want to sell your chickens’ eggs commercially you may have to start putting a stamp on them (the eggs that is – not the chickens.)
    Now if Rudy’s group really want to be useful perhaps they should come up with a suitable logo for fresh Norfolk Eggs. They could then go and watch the stamping procedure make sure that the eggs are stamped painlessly and in a way that does not upset the mother hens.

  45. Sorry that should have been “no-one” . . .

  46. Dear Sablonneuse,

    You are right; egg separation anxiety is not just a problem for pastry chefs.

    We do have a slogan for Jonny’s eggs, “EAT VEGETABLES,” but we haven’t had time to do a logo yet. We have been busy working with the Chief of Prisons in Manilla. Perhaps you have seen a video of his prisoners line dancing in the prison yard? The dance steps and orange jumpsuits are easy to adapt to chickens, but we prefer to use a traditional Noryolk folk song instead of Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. We are in private secret negotiations with a certain village publican and clients who are willing to sing backup for the chicken dance if it will help get Jonny to stop forcing free eggs on them.

    Thank you for calling us a group, Sablonneuse, but Eggs-Up! is not a group yet, as in addition to me there is only 1 member, Sarah P., who is in charge of the ‘Watch Short Tony” watch. A shout out and snaps to Sarah P.: YOU GO GIRL!

    To all those concerned about Jonny, especially Pat and Thud, please don’t worry, JonnyB is fine. When he’s away we follow him by Google Satellite, and at the ranch he is always on chicken cam.

    Rudy

  47. Are you sure your chickens can lay large, commercial eggs, JB?

  48. I get the feeling this may turn into a last minute trip to Tescos.

    By the lack of posts I think he may be sat by the chickens coaxing them to lay at the moment.

  49. I think the next Headline might be..”I eat chickens and go on Wedding Cake Production Course.”

  50. Actually the chickens are laying quite small ones, as they are still quite young.

    But that has been catered for in the recipe. Probably.

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