A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about looking for a deal on a tuxedo. Wilke Rodriguez came home with us for only $149.95. That was five cents under budget. In late March, my wife and I took Wilke to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend her niece’s wedding. Both of my readers asked how that trip went. Here’s part of the story.
Wilke stayed in our hotel room Friday night, while Jane and I went to the rehearsal dinner. I felt bad about that since Wilke loves all things barbequed. He’s a loyal advocate for South Georgia style sauce. Surprisingly, that’s what they served.
On Saturday, Jane and I spent a few hours walking around downtown. Wilke stayed in the room. He was okay with that, wanting to look fresh for the wedding.
It was close to lunch time when we went by a place call Arcade Alley. It was a section filled with maybe 20 or so shops and places to eat. The restaurants were closed for the weekend. We paused for a moment in front of J. Gumbos. On their big glass windows were some of their specialties. The one that got my attention was the Drunken Chicken.
A fellow was outside cleaning their sign. I think he worked for a group of merchants. He seemed to be taking care of the exteriors of several places. I asked him if he had ever had the Drunken Chicken. He said that he had, and that he would recommend it.
“Are they pretty easy to catch?” I asked. He didn’t respond. I told him we would be leaving town the next day, but I was curious as to how they got the chickens drunk. He said he didn’t know. I figured he had been warned not to talk about it.
I said, “I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, it seems wrong to encourage chickens to drink. But, maybe where they are headed, it helps ease the pain a bit.” He smiled, but kept pretending that he didn’t know anything about it.
“The thing is, if the chickens are drinking voluntarily, then maybe it’s okay. But if they are making those chickens drink, then that just seems wrong.”
He finally stopped sandbagging and said, “I don’t think they force the chickens to drink.” He seemed a little nervous. I knew he wasn’t telling me everything.
I told him I appreciated him sharing that with me, but I had one more concern. He didn’t ask what it was, but I could tell he was curious. “I guess the cook knows about how many chickens they will sell in a day. Do you agree?” He nodded in agreement.
“But sometimes,” I continued, “they might not sell as many as they expect. Don’t you think that happens?” He said I was probably right.
“Well my concern is, that if you get 50 chickens drunk but only sell 30, what do you do with those other 20 drunk chickens?”
I didn’t hear his phone ring. He must have had it on vibrate. He said, “I’m sorry. It’s my boss and he needs me right away. I have to go now.”
He started walking off. I asked if he would be willing to testify before a grand jury.
He said, “I really have to go!” Then he sprinted on down the alley, not even bothering to take his cleaning supplies with him. I guess whatever his boss needed was quite urgent.
I found Jane three blocks away at The Italian Kitchen. It had great pizza and was playing Irish folk music. That was a new combination for me, but I’ll have to say, it goes well together.
When we got back to the room, I said, “Wilke, what’s your opinion on drunken chickens?”
He thought it over for a minute. He said, “Neil, based on my experience with sober chickens, I don’t know if anyone could tell the difference. Either way,” added Wilke, “I would recommend a South Georgia style barbeque sauce.”