There was once a time when a small group of my friends never went to a bar without a rubber chicken in tow. In an attempt to amuse ourselves and confuse strangers, we would insist on taking pictures of our friends, bartenders, and wait staff posing with the chickens (Ralphonso and Giselle were their names, and a more distinguished pair of chickens you can't even imagine). As the night went on, onlookers would invariably ask to also have their pictures taken with the plastic poultry. Those chickens were great ice-breakers, allowing us to easily identify other people who also had a sense of humor that was a little, well... you know.
Eventually we gave Giselle eyes and stuffed her with sand so that she could pose for her photo ops better. That might have killed her in the long term, as I recently found that her delicate plucked rubber skin had dried out, becoming brittle and cracked. I realized that it was time for her to move on to a better place. But she still had one last mission to amuse/befuddle.
At an somber, intimate gathering this afternoon, we interred Giselle. We said our good-byes, poured out a beer in her honor, and had some BBQ and cheesy potatoes.
But I take heart knowing that someday, someone will go to plant a tree or till the soil, and they will find the remnants of a once-proud fowl, along with a time-capsule containing photos of strangers in bars tongue-kissing a rubber chicken. And they will be confused.