Saturday, November 12, 2005

"THE CHICKEN MAN GOT A JOB AT KFC" is an inimitably special fast fiction based on this wonderfully surreal work by Robert Hardgrave, one of the contributors behind artdorks, a great place to check out the most gorgeously fucked up art on the planet.
So take a break from stuffing that chicken inside the duck which will then be stuffed into the turkey and enjoy...


There was no way for Samuel Smallridge, the general manager of the KFC on the corner of 72nd and 180th, to know that he had hired the once briefly famous Chicken Man of Langley. While there had been some jerky quirks in Tom Cunningham's mannerisms, he seemed to be competent enough for the basic tasks needed to work at and manage a fast food restaurant. He had the hand-eye coordination to press in the orders, he was literate enough to read a menu and he could smile a passable smile on queue. How was Samuel supposed to know about his former employee's background which had been buried twenty years ago into the past ? He had never been a criminal. He had just been something akin to a chicken.

But try as he might Samuel just couldn't find the words to defend himself under the scrutiny of his betters.

"We have some serious reservations about your continued future with KFC," one of the managers in the upper echelons of corporate KFC explained in words that come out in ordered precision. He adjusted his two hundred dollar tie which protected vocal chords perfectly suited to delivering bad news in an even handed but firm way.

"I didn't... ahh... couldn't have....ahhh..." Samuel inwardly cursed himself for his ineffectual stammerings. How could he put ten years of devoted service to KFC into language for this moment ? How could he summarize all that KFC meant to him ? He was neither a poet nor an orator, simply a man who loved selling golden chicken to people in his community.

"A great deal of spin doctoring will have to go into neutralizing this incident. A KFC full of chickens while the staff continued to go about their tasks and all of this captured on film ?" he asked in studied astonishment intended to strike shame into Samuel's heart.

"I trusted....ahhhh... he was a model of...." In the remaining silence of his failed stab at articulacy Samuel imagined taking an axe to the neck of the Chicken Man of Langley to watch him run around and around in that stupid suit he had worn that day until he collapsed into a heap of death. How was Samuel supposed to know that the Chicken Man of Langley was part of a radical animal rights group that wanted to humiliate KFC out of business. ? How was Samuel supposed to know about a chicken man spy who couldn't be trusted to be in charge of the restaurant ? He could add and subtract ! Why not promote him and allow him to mind the store ?!

"We're going to have to terminate your employment with KFC." His words filled the tiny white walled room at the back of the KFC and Samuel's love affair with chickens, KFC and crispy golden chicken was over. And at that very moment, his strained connection to reality snapped and Samuel lashed out at the world in a killing spree that took 12 people, 10 chickens, 3 drumsticks and one thigh.


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