Monday, May 4, 2009

Say that again?

I think I've just had my most absurd New York experience to date.

I came running down 7th Street when I spotted a chicken on the loose, strolling down the sidewalk in the rain.

There was no farmer in sight. The only one who came close was a caretaker of one of the street's community gardens who admitted to just having shooed it outside, out of fear that his dog might attack it.

Seeing I didn't have my cellphone with me, I hollered for a couple of guys across the street and asked them to come over.

"There's a chicken in the street", I said as way of explanation.

"Say that again?", one of the guys responded, holding his one hand to his ear.

They came over. I pointed at the poultry.

One of them called the police, spoke to "Robert" who said he was going to transfer him to another department, but politely asked "Is there anything else I can help you with today, sir?" before doing so.

"No thank you Robert", the guy said. "I think the chicken will be all for today."

In the mean time, people passed by, every single one doing a double take on the chicken in our midst, some deciding to stop and hang out along with us.

"Look at the size of the feet on that thing", one said.

"I think it's actually a rooster", I said.

"Yeah, a young one", another said.

"It's got some some nice colors on it", one chipped in.

At one point a guy passed us by, and said it had probably escaped from the garden down on 5th between C and D.

Me, being in my running gear and all, offered to run down and see if someone was there.

When I got there, four burly men were standing around a picnic table drinking lemonade.

"Hey", I said. "You guys missin' a rooster?"
"Yeah...", one of the guys answered a little hesitantly.
"Oh", I said. "you know, 'cos it's walking down 7th Street right now".

They remained silent for a second for comedic effect, then laughed their guts out, two of them eventually agreeing on coming back with me to fetch it.

By the time we made it back to 7th Street a whole bunch of people had assembled around the poor feathered thing, mostly hippies, people with dreadlocks and girls with see-through bags filled with vegetables and organic food.

One of the guys from the community garden shyly said hello to all the peeps, walked into their midst, grabbed the chicken who made a discontent little sound, and pouf!, within a second or two the whole group of people had disintegrated, everyone going each their way, on with their daily lives.

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