Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm going to stop using that dumb "In Which" thing as post titles - it's limiting me and probably contributing to the sorry lack of updates on this blog. Seriously, guys.

From the ages of two to ten, my family and I lived in a place called "up north". Being in Canada, this term "up north" meant two things: it was cold, and there were no people. My family raised chickens - some were for eggs,  but most of them were for our consumption.

Throughout the year, my siblings and I would grow close to these chickens and befriend them. Some of them were even given nicknames. However, just like in school, when the year is over, you and your school friends part ways... however, in this case, we slaughtered our friends, cooked them, and ate their flesh. Sorry, chickens... it's the circle of life.

Once a year, the local church would gather on my parent's property and start up a massive assembly line. There was a station for beheading the chickens, for de-feathering the chickens, for eviscerating the chickens, and for packing the chickens up and freezing them. The children such as myself were given the task that came before all of these: marching into the chicken shed, using a coat hangar to trip the chickens, then picking them up by their feet and carrying them to their doom.

We were the prison guards that would lead the inmates to their execution. Quite a power trip for a ten-year-old.

Anyway, there were quite a few leftover parts to these chickens when we were done with them - obviously the heads and certain organs were unusable. I, being an inquisitive child, was drawn to the chicken feet. Picking one up, I noticed a small white tendon sticking out of the bottom, begging to be yanked on. I yanked. Instantly, the talons contracted into a fist, before springing back into their original position.

I had discovered something amazing.

The following summer, I was shipped off to summer camp at Camp Widjiitiwin with my friend John. As we children settled into our rustic wooden cabins under the watchful eye of our counselors, I furtively slid my backpack under my bunk. They were not to know what was in there. They were not to know my secret.

Throughout the week of camp, tiny unexplained scratches appeared on the counselor's faces. They had no idea how they had gotten them - they did work in a forest, though, so they could likely be chalked up to branches.

Ten-year-old me snickered quietly in the background.

You see, I had brought a guest with me that week. I had thought, as a "prank", I would bring my Chickenfist. What I would do with it, well, I hadn't thought that far ahead. Until the first night. I woke up somewhere around 3 in the morning, and a fiendish thought crossed my mind.

I slid out of bed and slowly, as quietly as possible, unzipped my backpack. Chickenfist lay there in all its sickly yellow glory. I pulled it from its resting place and gripped it tightly. I put socks on so as not to be heard. I padded softly over to the counselor's bunk.

When I got caught, I got in a lot of trouble.

I remember being in "detention" or whatever they called it with another weird kid. I was pulling the legs off a grasshopper one by one, with him screaming about how I was killing "God's creatures". I informed him that I pulled the antennae off first, so  the grasshopper would feel no pain.

I'm probably going to grow up to be a serial killer.