So we're sitting around at work the other day in a little bit of unnatural silence. Everyone's kind of pissy, and it's awkward, and if there's anything I can't stand it's unnatural, awkward, pissy silence. So of course I blurt out the first thing that comes into my head: "I'm making engagement chicken tomorrow."
You can practically feel the whoosh of the ears perking up. "What's engagement chicken?" one person asks.
Engagement chicken, I explain, is a recipe
Glamour magazine prints every so often, and they SWEAR that if you make it for a guy he'll propose within two months. And no, I am not looking to get engaged any time soon, but I was looking for another recipe and found this one instead, and it's like four ingredients, two of which are salt and pepper, with about five minutes prep time, so why NOT make it, right?
"I've heard about this chicken," one guy says ominously. "Howard Stern's girlfriend made it for him, and he proposed right after. He kept saying on the show, it was the chicken. It was the effin' chicken. The chicken made me do it."
It's true, I say. If you Google it, you'll see a million testimonials about how foolproof it is.
It's amazing what this revelation does to the mood of the office. "So who are you making it for?" they ask, all a-twitter at the thought of a magical little love chicken.
No one, I insist. In fact, I'm adamant on this point. There will be no leftovers brought into the office, no invitations to pop-in visitors to pull up a chair and have a bite to eat. I am NOT playing with the fire of engagement chicken.
For the rest of the night, the questions roll in:
Coworker 1: "So if someone comes to your house and says, oh, I'm starving, I'm weak with starvation, I'm going to die, you're still not going to offer them any chicken?"
Me: "No! I'll hide the chicken and give them a bag of chips."
Coworker 2: "Are you scared if you eat engagement chicken by yourself, you’ll end up alone?"
Me: "No! What is WRONG with you?"
Coworker 1: "So, what? You're practicing? You're practicing, aren't you. I bet you'll be engaged by the end of the year."
Me: "Noooooo." (Pause.) "Although, I wonder if I THINK of someone while I eat it, it works the same way."
Coworker 1: "What, is Brad Pitt gonna show up at your door?"
Coworker 2, looking at me very seriously: "I don't want to get engaged."
Me: "I’m not ASKING you to get engaged."
* * * * * * * * * *
So I go to make the chicken and ... can I just say, ramming a foreign object (in this case, a lemon) up a chicken's rear end? Never a pleasant thing.
Update No. 1: Your friend Swishy cooks the chicken upside down, which, since I am a little neurotic about such things, basically ruins the whole experience. Hello, breakup chicken ... and honey popcorn, which I am now eating for dinner instead because I can't deal with the psychological implications of the whole thing.
Update No. 2: I'm starving, so I go into the kitchen and start picking at my little chickie. I may have judged too harshly. I mean, I'm not going to jump back into anything, but ... it's not too bad.
(And if Brad Pitt shows up at my door, I'll let you know.)