Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wingin' it at The Pond

I’m convinced homelessness will be eliminated when Habitat for Humanity begins using discarded chicken wing bones to construct residential dwellings.

This occurred to me yesterday afternoon when I watched one of the Regular Joes run through a plate of hot wings like his pants were on fire, which I suspect they were about 20 minutes after he’d consumed them.

As I’ve pointed out before, there are six Regular Joes in my bar and they’re all conveniently named Joe. It’s as comforting as it is confusing.

This is the manliest of the Regular Joes. He constructs and repairs 1,500-degree furnaces in the local steel mill. He’s so manly even dweebs like me begin to feel marginally manly when he lets us sit within four bar stools of him.

He’s the kind of guy who douses things like bananas and ice cream with Tabasco so it’s always fun to watch him ramp up a menu item that’s already described with the adjective “hot.”

First he applies a 40-second dusting of pepper so thick it begins to eclipse the sunset-colored wings.

The real fun begins when he reaches for the Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. It’s a kind of rectal rocket fuel favored in Thai restaurants where they want to kill off their customers.

It has a banty rooster on the label and when Joe squeezes the bootle you can almost hear the rooster scream. He shoots a pencil-thick stream of the stuff all over the plate until the appetizers resemble a hearty sort of soup.

Then he begins to do what looks like orally dry clean the bones. You don’t want to tell a guy like Joe this but, man, the guy really sucks. I’m always surprised when he doesn’t eat the bones just to teach them a lesson.

Four minutes later and all that’s left is a pile of bleached bones so white it looks like they spent a month in buzzard country. We instinctively begin inching away in case he’s still hungry enough to seize one of us by the neck and squirt Srirachi up and down our arms.

I’m mystified by our national wing mania.

Hooters Restaurants estimates it sells more than 30 million pounds of chicken wings each year, which is odd. I thought people went to Hooters for breasts.

And how did a meal as messy as chicken wings become a finger food?

The same restaurants that hawk chicken wings -- and there’s a joke in there somewhere -- would eject any customer that ate spaghetti with their hands, but it wouldn’t be any messier than eating sauce-slathered wings.

And the concept of flying chickens always confuses me. Is the chicken evolving into a flying bird? Or did it once have the ability to fly and is losing it?

Certainly, there’s no danger of ever seeing airborne chickens again, not with us gobbling all their wings.

I guess a chicken can fly, but it can’t be very far or very high, not without the assistance of a Joe-sized slingshot.

My 10-year-old daughter can step over chicken fence and I guess chicken fence was designed by crafty chicken farmers to contain wanderlust-stricken chickens.

I might not mind it so much if it wasn’t for the waste. I see all those bones and the recycler in me becomes restless.

Native Americans, as cited here from this June 29 post, used every bit of the buffalo they slayed. We nibble at the measly meat and pitch the bones. says if you lined up all the wings Hooters sells every year it would encircle the earth at the equator, a pseudo-fact which, if you’re like me, is already beginning to brain barnacle for future useless retrieval.

That sounds like a lot of fun, but lacking in any practical application.

That’s why I’d like to see my idea of using chicken bones to construct residences for the homeless.

We can call it “Bones for Homes.” I think it’s an idea that’s bound to really take off.

Yes, take off like a chicken.

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