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Location: Midwest, United States

I floss daily, brush after every meal, and trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

The chicken is dead. Long live the chicken.

It’s a sad day in the Oral Hygiene household. The chicken is dead.


The chicken is an alarm clock. I’m sorry… was an alarm clock. As you can see, he’s lost the arms on the face of his clock, making him just a jolly, rock-n-rolling shell of his former time-keeping self.

I have to admit, I haven’t always loved the chicken as he deserved to be loved. I did not choose him. He was a gift, and a gift I didn’t appreciate much at first. Initially, I thought he was kind of horrifying-looking, and when I heard him sing, I quickly decided I hated him. The chicken’s alarm, you see, is a song. A maniacally cheerful, disturbingly mechanized song. Imagine a simple rock riff as interpreted by a hurdy-gurdy, and floating above it a prominent vocal track sounding something like Robin Williams as Mork from Ork if Mr. Williams had recently sucked a large hit of helium. The song goes like this:

Wow!!! Yeeeeaah!!! Hey baby wake up!!! Come and dance with meeeeeeeee!!!

The song goes like that. Over and over and over and over, into infinity, until the battery wears out or someone slams their hand into the chicken’s coxcomb, thus shutting off the alarm.

So I hated the chicken. His song was so annoying. And the creepy combination of rosy cheeks and “cool” sunglasses made his face look like Jimmy Buffet in clown make-up. He seemed to me to have a smugly expectant look on his face, a look that said “Hey baby, I know I’m 20 years older than you, I have a beer belly, and all I can play on this teal guitar is cheesy bar blues, but you know you can’t resist my shades and red goatee/wattle. C’mon over here and sit on daddy’s lap.” I just didn’t like him.

But I found him useful. I hate getting up early, and back before I had kids, I had a dangerous addiction to the snooze bar. The chicken had no snooze bar, and his song was so annoying, and so very very loud (he had two volumes: merely obnoxious and downright deafening) that on some mornings, it was the only thing that would get my ass out of a warm bed and into the cold morning air. I would place my regular, snooze-bar-equipped, laziness-enabling alarm clock next to my bed, and the chicken across the room. It wasn’t a pleasant system, but it worked.

Once O. was born, I no longer needed such a grating back-up alarm clock. I had a little alarm clock with a very loud alarm and no snooze bar right there in my bed. At some point the chicken migrated to the bathroom, serving as a simple timepiece rather than an alarm clock. And somewhere along the line my feelings for him softened. Maybe because he was no longer ripping me out of bed with his horrible song, maybe because I was mellowing with age. For whatever reason, I began seeing him as a bit of cheery kitsch innocence rather than an icon of cheesy middle-aged masculinity.

And then, a couple days ago, in one of those domestic mishaps that arise from tired parents trying to do two things at once while simultaneously holding a squirming baby, I knocked the chicken from his high shelf in the bathroom onto the unforgiving tiles. His inner workings spilled out, and when I picked him up to try to piece him back together, the hands fell off his clock. I knew his days as a clock were over. Now he’s just a chotchke sitting on the basement shelf overlooking the rock set-up. Maybe he’s happier there, where the music happens. But without his clock workings and without his song, he just doesn’t seem himself.

chicken face

But thanks to the sturdiness of his plastic visage, he remains undaunted. And still, now that I look at him, pretty creepy. In a lovable way.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Requiescat in pace, rock-and-roll alarm chicken. Though I'm sure I will go to my own grave with the memory of that nastily cheerful song in my head whenever I think of him. Better than the Jesus bear, but not by much...

yr ma

6:05 PM  
Blogger Orange said...

Hands, shmands. What I want to know is, if the rockin' chicken has no ears and no nose, how on earth do his Raybans stay put?

7:26 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

I had a roommate in college who had this clock. I can still hear its little voice taunting me after all these years. I'm afraid I can't share your reluctant admiration for the plucky and undaunted chicken-without-hands.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Feral Mom said...

Oh Thank God you didn't throw him away. He's obnoxious, but I (unaccountably) love that thing.

Wow. Yeah. Hey baby, wake up. Come and Dance with Me! Burned. Into. My. Memory.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

What a lovely elegy, dear!
He has "lived" a good life...

7:33 AM  
Blogger Green Fox said...

I will buy that chicken off you, if you are willing to part with it!

We have one of these chicken's at the summer camp I work at, we use him to wake the kids... Tragically, this year he was dropped for the last time... He no longer sings and all of his clock hands have fallen off.

We desperately need a new chicken, he has in a way become the camps mascot.

my email is

if you could please get back to my that would be awesome!

I made this account just so I could send you this message. I'm completaly serious, I will pay you for that chicken if he still sings.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Frances Davis said...

I had a friend at work who had this clock and the little song, if you can call the alarm a song, has haunted me for years! Really, I think I love this clock, although I hate mornings too much to add him to them as an alarm clock. A regular alarm is disturbing enough.

9:08 PM  

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