Bullet-hole chicken

By David Grima | Sep 26, 2019

Welcome to the first week of fall!

As if on cue, I saw three geese heading approximately south late on Saturday afternoon, while I was wandering about in the Home Depot parking lot looking for my car.

I did find it.

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It must be said how nice it is to be able to drive around the South End in all directions for a change, and not be diverted by the construction that was with us all summer. My main abiding reaction to the repair work on so many of our roads is a bit gloomy, however. I just keep thinking that with so many stretches of road being so new right now, it is likely they will all need to be repaired or rebuilt at about the same time in the future, whenever that turns out to be.

But I guess we can leave worrying about that to another day.

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Sometime last year, after the Parkland mass shooting took place in February 2018, a certain gentleman I know well was sitting at home somewhere in Knox County when there was a knock on his front door. It was a chap from the FBI office in Boston. Those who know my friend might say it was about time, but it wasn’t.

The FBI guy wanted to know why he had been promoting mass shootings on his Facebook account.

“Huh?” was my friend’s reaction. (The truth is, that’s his reaction to a lot of stuff these days, but that’s not part of this story.)

It turned out to be one of those things where what one writes cannot be interpreted properly out of context, in particular with phrases somewhat like “Can’t wait to slaughter more children!”

The gentleman from the FBI pointed out that my friend had indeed posted that. My friend scratched his head, then suddenly it hit him in a flash. He had responded some time earlier to a post by an otherwise unknown Facebook user who was bragging about his arsenal of weapons, or some such thing, which prompted him to make the facetious comment which, when read at face value, had attracted the attention of the FBI.

Apparently, it did not take long for the G-man to figure out what had happened and that my friend was relatively innocent, and he apologized for interrupting his slumber and got ready to leave.

Rather shaken by this unexpected encounter, my friend (who owns no guns, but does have the largest collection of flashlights known to mankind) said he supposed he would be careful what he posted on Facebook in future, and to his credit the G-man told him not to worry, that free speech is still mentioned in the Constitution.

Two weeks later, there was another knock on the door, and it was again a G-man from Boston who opened the conversation in pretty much the same way the first guy did. This time my friend was a little more on his game, and explained he had already had the “Visit,” and wondered whether or not people in the FBI office actually talk to each other. Might have saved one of them the trip, I suppose he meant to say. But at least both gentlemen from the FBI behaved like gentlemen.

I mention all this in the light of the recent case in which a threat posted on Facebook caused local police to warn management at Walmart in Thomaston, leading the store to be closed three hours early one day last month for fear of the possibility of a mass shooting taking place there, also causing an investigation that lead to the arrest of a gentleman from Connecticut at a house in Rockport.

It's a funny old world we live in these days, isn’t it? Kind of sad, too.

* * * * *

So far, I have managed to catch just one episode of Ken Burns’ latest marathon television documentary series, “Country Music”. It dealt with the period from approximately 1953 through 1963, or thereabouts. I was not taking notes.

All my life I have had a special place in my heart for Ray Charles and his hit “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” without really knowing exactly how or why. It was quite a revelation, therefore, to learn from the Burns machine that it appeared on an album Charles released in 1962, and was turned into a single that topped the charts in the U.S. and in the Olde Country that same year.

1962 was the year before I was sent to school to learn about the world and about numbers, and so I most likely spent all my days loafing in and around the house, where the radio was almost always on. So, no wonder I heard that song again and again until it imprinted itself into my fresh gray cells.

* * * * *

I suppose, then, Ray Charles is the foundation upon which all my love for music has been built, in a manner of speaking.

* * * * *

Here is a different story, also illustrating that way children learn things very young while often not knowing exactly why.

Uncle Frank says his daughter, now all grown up and a respectable mother, learned at an early age that the chicken that came to her dinner plate was often called bullet-hole chicken, and to prove it she could see the holes where the dinner had been shot.

She continued to believe this until she was in high school, when somebody pointed out that the "bullet holes" in the chicken were actually the marks where the creature had been impaled on the rotisserie at the supermarket.

* * * * *

Speaking of birds, I should have known better than to mention the three Rockland crows in last week’s piece of printed nonsense. My reference to the trio seriously upset the Four Seagulls of the Apocalypse, who plague me so much here in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. They seem to believe I have been spiritually unfaithful to them in some semi-literary way.

For four really stupid birds, they sure can get some complex ideas into their silly feathered heads. They are most exasperating.

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Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Sep 28, 2019 12:57

Silly ramblings but still fun...Thanks David!

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