I am not particularly good at the confessional stuff.

Frankly, I would always prefer to keep things to myself. Although psychologists probably recommend it, I am not a big fan of exposing yourself by being all open and shouting stuff from rooftops. That is what Neville Chamberlain did, and he never quite got the same level of respect again.

I think for a while before speaking.

“I am a bit stressed, that’s all,” I mumble, going a bit red. “I’ve got loads and loads of work on, and I’m finding the Toddler quite demanding on my patience and need for personal space. So I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit – you know.”

“Added to that,” I continue, “the LTLP said that I was ‘just fucking odd’ the other night. I’m still really down about the unfairness of that.” I pause for a second. “I’m sorry. You’ve all got your own problems, I know.”

“Cluck,” reply the chickens.

I set down their bacon and beans, which they seem extremely pleased with. Honestly, even if I am a bit miserable, there is nothing better than an appreciative audience for a nice meal you’ve cooked.

“Anyway. I think I need to make a couple of positive decisions,” I announce. “Sort of sit down and work out what’s important to me and what – are you ignoring me?!?”

The chickens peck frantically at their lunch. A couple have already grabbed bits of bacon and run off to the other side of their garden to eat it on their own. I gaze over at them in dismay before stomping out through the door and bolting it furiously behind me.

“You’re just fucking rude!” I shout.

38 thoughts on “I clear my throat.

  1. Rachel says:

    Oh, Jonny! You’re not “fucking odd” — just “special”.

  2. alan.sloman says:

    At least they ‘cluck’ back to you.

    My runner beans just hang there limply. Silent, yet uncritical. They take it all in, you know…

  3. Will H says:

    They’re not ignoring you Jonny – they’re obviously on the LTLP’s side. That’s gratitude for you. Put them on half rations.

  4. hfactor says:

    mine were the same, Jonny, until we found one of them (Lola) being eaten by a neigbour’s whippet and nursed her back to health. Now she would jump through hoops to make me happy. Not literally, although that could be a money-making opportunity at the next village fête, hmm.

    Anyway my point is this: if you want chicken love and devotion, rescue them from the jaws of death. That is all.

  5. Why, Jonny, I had no idea you were under such stress at work and home! A mostly-retired freelance chicken-hobbyist with a single (non-“special”) two-year-old to look after – the pressure must be unimaginable.

    I recommend a nice holiday. Take Servalan and go somewhere quiet – some remote Scottish island perhaps. Don’t tell anyone where you’re going, or they might bother you. Leave a note for the LTLP saying you need some time to work things out and pack the entire contents of the medicine cabinet as you leave. And a bread knife in case you want to make sandwiches on the way. And your Madeleine McCann scrapbook. Can’t imagine anything going wrong with that plan. There’s just no downside…

  6. Megan says:

    Fucking odd? Was the first word used as emphasis or was the second used as an adverb? In which case I can see being a bit down – bad enough to have performance reviews like that without serious grammatical errors.

  7. Billie says:

    Even if you are odd Jonny, you do make me laugh. I hope you find some toddler-, chuck- and LTLP-free time over the weekend so you have chance to unwind. We all need a bit of me-time and space occasionally.

  8. katyboo1 says:

    We have caterpillars. At first they were supposed to be radishes, but now it turns out they’re hotbeds of activity for a growing caterpillar population. If it’s any consolation they are much more unresponsive than chickens. They can’t even raise their tiny caterpillar eyebrows in an ironic way.

  9. Brennig says:

    Bastaaaaards, them chickens. Take, take, take, that’s all they do all day long. And never so much as a please or a thank you. Selfish gits. I’d string ’em up. It’s the only language they understand.

    Oh and #6 Megan? That’s was very funny. So funny in fact that I dashed over to the comments page to say the same thing but you’d beaten me to it. 🙂

  10. Lola says:

    hfactor – you’ve got a chicken called Lola! My day is made!

  11. hfactor says:

    I have, lola, and of the three she is the most trouble, so make of that what you will. For info, the other two are called henrietta and myfanwy.

  12. zed says:

    Do chickens fart after beans or is that an odd question?

  13. IanH says:

    …fucking odd

  14. tillylil says:

    Keep on being odd – that is what we all love about you!

  15. Icy Mt. says:

    Wooohooo, more chicken stories! Talking to chickens? Nothing odd about that, oh no.

  16. Icy Mt. says:

    And thank you very much for the welcome. I wouldn’t want to be accused of rudeness.

  17. Idgie says:

    Not ignoring this obviously wickedly fascinating post, but I saw this below today and just had to ask if it was your town. Has she heard your post office song?

    “A 92-year-old great-grandmother brought traffic to a standstill today after lying across the road to protest against a post office closure.”


  18. Welsh Girl says:

    If you really want to get the chickens on side feed them cooked spaghetti – they’ll go crackers over it and rush to your feet every time they see you thinking that you might be bringing them more…. chicken love – you can’t beat it (or so I hear)

  19. Ugh, those chickens! Putting their own physical needs before your psychological ones.

    I’m making some chocolate shortbread – want some? it’ll sit still, listen to everything you want to say and in the end if you still don’t find it effective you can bite it. 😀

  20. Rumplestiltskin says:

    I felt the need to delurk as you really need to learn a few home truths, Johnny.

    You’re too nice, Johnny. Just Too Fuckin’ Nice! You’ve done nothing but spoil those chickens since day one, and what do they give you in return? Disrespect. That’s what, Total. Una-Fuckin-Bridged. Dis-re-spect!

    Well, it’s time you taught them a lesson, Johnny, before it’s too late.

    Here’s my advice, Johnny. You need a public sacrifice to make them sit up, take notice and recognise who’s boss. Lure them into the kitchen with the promise of more bacon and beans and, once they’re in, bolt the doors. Then pick the ring leader (it’ll be the gobby one, it always is) and, in full view of the others, drive a red hot knitting needle up her jacksy until the tip pops out the top of her comb. Then pluck and prepare the mouthy bitch, pop her in the oven ’til she’s done, slice her breasts off and serve them on a bed of garlic mash with some lightly steamed, seasonal vegetables and a beetroot purée. Then make the rest of the ungrateful bastards watch you devour her whilst sporting a menacing grin. If you want to add a little extra gravitas to the proceedings, pop on a gimp’s costume and mask whilst doing the cooking bit, then change into paisley smoking jacket for the eating bit. When you’re full, string up the carcass in the chicken run as a permanent reminder.

    I tell you, you’ll have no more insolence and they’ll be queuing up to play ‘Johnny’s counsellor’.

    Once you’re done with that lesson, it’ll be time to teach that LTLP a few manners. ‘Fucking odd’ indeed. I’d show her who’s fuckin’ odd!

  21. Nadia says:

    Well, that was a bit graphic, Rumplestiltskin. Put me off roast chicken for life, I think.

  22. tillylil says:

    I’ve just turned veggie after reading Rumplestitskin’s reply.
    She has a pathological hatred of all things chicken!!

  23. Pat says:

    Seriously Jonny: I don’t think you should introduce them to cannibalism – feeding them bacon. It’s not nice.

  24. Miss Mohair says:

    I’m with Megan.
    No wonder you’re feeling gloomy.
    See if the LTLP will explain to you what you’re doing wrong. There are lots of books, and women’s magazines are full of articles about how to do things the way that womenfolk like it. Ask her if next time she might use a word like ‘unusual’, or ‘different’.

  25. Pat @ 23 – unless it was exceedingly rare “chicken bacon” rather than the more boringly standard bacon from pork, I’m pretty sure cannibalism wasn’t the aim.

    Johnny – try playing guitar to the chickens.

  26. Jules says:

    Stop encouraging him! Johnny needs to get out of the bloody chicken coup and spend more time with the LTLP practising F* in an un-odd way and serenading HER not the chickens! Otherwise we have a crisis on our hands.

  27. Hamish says:


    Peculiar, strange, unusual, different, funny, extraordinary, bizarre, weird, exceptional, eccentric, abnormal, queer, rum.

    Imagine how bad you would have felt if she had turned around and said, “you’re just so fucking normal”.

  28. Hamish says:

    Then again, it rather depends on the circumstances surrounding the accusations of “oddness”. If you had been, for example, rogerring a blindfolded chicken with a length of broomstick whilst watching the One Day International, I think a spot of introspection would probably be in order.

  29. Lucy says:

    Maybe it would be more cannibalistic if you fed the chickens bacon and eggs – one way to get rid of all of your surplus eggs I suppose…

    Oh, and Johnny, just in case you were thinking about taking Rumplestiltskin’s advice then it might be worth doing the red hot knitting needle thing outside. It might get a bit messy.

  30. Pat says:

    Area Trace No Search: don’t be pedantic – you know what I mean. It’s sort of the same species. Isn’t it?

  31. JonnyB says:

    No – chickens are related to the dinosaurs. I remember. It was in a trivia question somewhere.

  32. scribbles08 says:

    Hey at least they have the decency to appreciate an excellent meal! Bacon?? Gawd, mine don’t get bacon! They are in disgrace at the moment. One hen who shall be nameless, had hatched out 5 babies, in September! And, she flounced out of the shed and left me to look after them! She’ off, gone, not coming back. I have 5 babies in my airing cupboard, born at 6am this morning 🙁 Scribble.

  33. NAGA says:

    You need to get yourself some space and privacy. I’d offer you some of mine, but someone stole it long ago. If they ever have the balls to say sorry and give it back, I will pass some your way. Probably.

  34. Damian says:

    Bacon, you say. I’ll have to try it on mine.

  35. Feed them with bacon LOL

  36. Bri says:

    What about a beef 😀

  37. Bridging says:

    I love chocolate

  38. Who doesnt like chocolate?? 😀 Especially vegs like me!

Comments are closed.