Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Boy and the Rubber Chicken

Three nights ago, Jess and I went out with our friend Erica to the comedy show at the Hong Kong in Cambridge. No, amazingly, we did not have a scorpion bowl and thus did not end the evening passed out in a pool of each other's vomit. On the way there, however, I was mentally preparing myself for that very scenario. Why? Because every time I hear someone talking about their night at the Hong Kong, their story always begins with, "Oh my God I went to the Hong Kong last night," continues with, "and I had a scorpion bowl," and inevitably ends with, "and then I got soooooo sick!" It's as if these scorpion bowls are stronger than one might realize as one is drinking it. Either that or it's the vegetable tempura, that likely side dish accompanying the scorpion bowl. Or they're poisoned. Anyway, I was ready for the Hong Kong and its scorpion bowl challenge, but seeing as we were only three people, it would have been seriously unreasonable for us to order a scorpion bowl. Mind preparation and mix of excitement and dread: All for nothing.

For the most part, the comedy show was pretty funny. There was, however, this one comedian who was really into metal and had based his entire routine on metal references. This was really poorly thought out, as our 1/2 local and 1/2 tourist audience had no idea what he was talking about. Other acts, however, were quite funny. Though no one asked me what I did for a living, like when we went to the Improv Asylum, someone did come on stage and immediately say he was unemployed. I filed away my temporary aspirations to develop my own stand up routine after that.

Anyway, my whole point in bringing up this story was for none of the above information. It was, in fact, to tell you about the little boy and his rubber chicken. While we were walking to the T after the show, Jess and Erica were chatting. I was walking alongside them, not really paying attention to what they were talking about because something had caught my attention. On the side of the road there was a woman yelling, "Get over here and don't you EVER do that again!" By her side was an "I told you so" sister and an embarrassed father. (I'm of course assuming the relationships here, but it seemed all too obvious at the time). A few seconds later, a boy holding something, I couldn't yet make out what, zoomed down the sidewalk and into my view. He seemed excited, nay, exhilarated, and wore a smile so face-consuming that I found myself smiling too, as if we had been in cahoots on his unknown mischievous deed.

As he got closer, I saw what he was holding: A rubber chicken. A true Fozzie style rubber chicken. Wokka wokka! I giggled, and Jess and Erica took a moment to look at me funny.

I saw him approach his mother and his exuberant smile sadly faded as she began to scold him. We passed the scene and continued on to the T, and the boy with the rubber chicken's tongue lashing was soon out of earshot.

I mentally reviewed the scene and had so many questions: What had he done that his mother deemed so terrible that he must never do it again? How had she even seen him do whatever he did when he was so far down the street? Had the sister told on him? Why was he so excited? Did any of this have to do with the rubber chicken?

I hope it had everything to do with the rubber chicken.

I don't know why I told you this story.

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