Thursday, February 01, 2007

Your chicken has what?

The day of my birthday we had lunch reservations at Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. The restaurant was decorated like a colonial tavern and thus, the waitresses looked like demure maids in aprons and those Betsy Ross-lookin’ caps and the waiters, strapping young lads in knickers. It was a total kick.

I, of course, was wearing my birthday pin, allowing all those around me to bask in the glow of my 34ness. There was little Mickey-shaped confetti scattered all over the table in honor of our celebration. I ordered the William Penne Pasta which wasn’t all that good, but who really cares - it was my birthday. However, the dessert I ordered - a Grilled Pound Cake with Caramel Pecan Sauce served with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (yes that is the exact title from the menu - it was so good I’ll never forget it) was simply the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.

However, I’m putting my pound cake before my horse, so to speak.

While we were still eating our meal, the waitress came around the corner ringing a handbell and carrying a gigantic cupcake with a candle in it. It was for the table next to us. She then did some schpiel about "Hear ye, hear ye, the honorable young Gwendolyn from the fair colony of Florida is turning 5 today...." and whathaveya. I was secretly wishing that I was going to get a handbell rung for me, but at the same time wishing that it was only for kids and I was to be spared. There’s a fine line between humiliation and jubilation sometimes.

Well, I got a bell run for me and "the honorable young Kristin from the great township of Oklahoma is celebrating a birthday today" was heard throughout the restaurant. Thankfully they left my age out of it because frankly, I’m not honorable or young and that might be considered lying. I then blew out my candle while the strapping young lads in knickers and my waitress in a night cap and an apron sang a birthday song to the tune of "Yankee Doodle", then I tried to pace myself while I ate that delicious grilled pound cake that literally melted in my mouth when what I wanted to do was just stick my face in it and devour it like a wolf. It really was good, just in case you don’t believe me.

The table next to us finished sharing honorable young Gwendolyn’s birthday cupcake and started to gather up their things to go. Young Gwendolyn was swinging between my chair and a chair at her table. I turned around and said, "Happy Birthday, Gwendolyn!" She didn’t look at me, but just kept on swinging. However, she did say thank you. Not to be ignored I pressed the conversation. "Today’s my birthday, too!" She stopped swinging, looked at me and smiled and said, "Oh." I asked her how old she was and she told me she was 5. I said, "Well, I’m not 5 - I’m 34 today." She again smiled and very politely said, "Who cares?" Now, don’t misconstrue things here - she wasn’t rude or hateful. She just stated very politely and matter-of-factly that she didn’t care how the hell old I was. I laughed because there was no way I could be offended by fair Gwendolyn on our shared birthday. She was 5 and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the old lady talking to her at that moment. I couldn’t say I blamed her.

I then asked her where she was from and even though she didn’t ask where I was from, I told her anyway. Then out of the blue young Gwendolyn blurted out "CHICKEN NUTS!" I blinked and looked over at my mom who had been observing our conversation. We both kind of laughed, then little Gwennie again blurted out "CHICKEN NUTS! CHICKEN NUTS!" I said, "Well, uh, Gwendolyn, I think you’re just about the silliest thing I’ve seen today!" She grinned and once again proclaimed that poultry has testicles. Her mother, who had been occupied gathering up Gwendolyn’s very tiny 2-week old baby brother, was now ready to leave. She took Gwendolyn by the hand, but not before the child again yelled "CHICKEN! NUTS! CHICKENNUTSCHICKENNUTSCHICKENNUTS!" I looked at her mother, nearly asking if the poor thing had Tourette’s, but decided against it. Her mother said, "What is she saying?"

Now I, being a lover of most children, didn’t want the obnoxious little thing to get in trouble for saying something inappropriate, so I didn’t tell her mother that the child had at that point hollered CHICKEN NUTS at me approximately 7 times. Instead I smiled widely and said, "I. Have. No. Idea." Gwendolyn looked up at her mommy and said, "CHICKEN NUTS CHICKEN NUTS CHICKEN NUTS MOM!!!" Her mother looked at me like I was stupid and deaf and said plainly, "She’s saying ‘chick-ken-nuts’". Then took the birthday girl by the hand and led her out the door.

It was after they had exited the tavern that our whole table exploded into gales of laughter and of course, all 5 kids yelled "CHICKEN NUTS!" the rest of the day.

It was the best birthday ever.


Stewed Hamm said...


Carrie said...

Wow! That sounds like one interesting birthday! Her mother must be so proud of her!

Anonymous said...

This is the funniest thing I've read all day. I have tears streaming down my face. Thank you.

Jen (friend of Melessa)

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...