Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

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Algernon Sydney is Dead
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Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Thu Jan 16, 2014 8:40 pm

Feature: The Ugly Chickens by Howard Waldrop
No drabble for this episode.
Genres: Drama Mystery
Bardle: Playing Dead (buy the MP3!, fantabulous lyrics!)

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Thursday, January 16th, 2014
My car was broken, and I had a class to teach at eleven. So I took the city bus, something I rarely do.

Episode Art: Bo Kaier

Twabble: “ Mommy, I’m really missing Daddy a lot. I know Sweet-Pea, but that’s only because he runs so much. Just keep on reloading. ” by Kbilly

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:07 am

This episode is a winner just on the merits of the Bardle alone. Excellent ditty; glad I bought the album.

The story was interesting. I can't tell for sure of it was a homage to my beloved Southern sensibilities or a knowing mockery. But since it misnamed The War of Northern Aggression, I fear more of the latter.

The irony doesn't connect, because the Dodo probably was last seen on someone's dinner plate (and not one of the fine citizens of Dixie). Just like the Passenger Pigeon died on the dinner plates of (mostly) Damn Yankees.

Anyway, I loved the descriptions of the people and locations. They reminded me of the good parts of my youth -- less the damn skeeters and chiggers.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by strawman » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:11 am

Chiggers! Remind me of War of the Worlds, where I am the Martian invader. We have just about mastered the visible parts of Nature. It's what we can't see that is mastering us.
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Varda » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:52 am

This was a good story, and even though the downer ending was inevitable, it still hit home enough to make me feel really sad about it. I was really hoping they'd find some ugly chickens still alive among the regular ones. Norm's use of Pachelbel's Canon was particularly excellent, tying the ending with the earlier description of the graceful waltzing dodos. Made me feel all the feels. :( RIP, you damnable, ugly, delicious birds.
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:28 am

Varda wrote:RIP, you damnable, ugly, delicious birds.
The birds were, by all accounts, barely edible.

Only a sailor sick to his gills with scurvy, and dysentery, and coming off of 8+ months of: rancid salt-pork, rancid grog, moldy sea biscuits, and rancid sauerkraut (if he had an "enlightened" captain) could be expected to eat such a beast considering how foul it reportedly tasted.

We were some tough, tenacious bastards, once upon a time.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Varda » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:11 am

Then again, they'd never been prepared by Southerners. I bet by the time the Gudgers were done with them, those ugly little bastards were full of so much butter, bacon, fatback, ham, pork, and cheese that God Himself would have to look down on high and name the dodo the king of edible poultry.

After all, this is the part of the world where mac and cheese routinely gets classified as a vegetable.
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:35 am

Good point. Spices, bacon, and gravy cover a multitude of sins. But at what point does the dodo substrate become indistinguishable from Tofurky?

You don't see the wild herds of tofus going extinct do you? (Strong evidence that God has given up on us.)

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by mkapache » Sat Jan 25, 2014 3:56 am

Did anyone feel an almost lovecraftian flavor to this story? Not in the sense of horror beyond the imagining but in the way the story followed the lead down a rabbit hole of academia. Aaaand my pompous sounding post is now over.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Algernon Sydney is Dead » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:54 am

Maybe. Or it could be that we have been conditioned, Pavlovianly, to associate Norm's voice with creeping horrors and things man was never meant to know (and stories thereabout). :shock:

I suppose there were fore-shocks of Connor Choadsworth in this story too.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by StalinSays » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:22 am

mkapache wrote:Did anyone feel an almost lovecraftian flavor to this story?
"As he rounded the corner, an entity emerged from the shed, an entity whose countenance was so frightful as to reduce him to a state of abject horror. He fell back at its approach, struggling to regain balance, not just in his trembling limbs, but to reality itself. The thing, not chicken, but not man, not living, nor dead, released a perverse squawk, whose timbre was that of a universe gone mad."
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by strawman » Wed Jan 29, 2014 2:22 am

Yep, I def felt the Choadsworth vibe in this one cause, after all, what's closer to crypto than the recently extinct?
Having a "lost tribe" in north Mississippi in 1929 is a bit of a stretch, but that's some good imagination, probably inspired by the recent reports of sightings there of the ivory-billed woodpecker.

Def a DC-worthy story.
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by gunsofchekhovia » Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:20 am

In my neck of the woods, the old folk eat gaspergou when they can get it. I have not been exposed to that shit since childhood, but the memory of the taste (and worse, the smell) is still strong. I'd take my chances with a dodo. Couldn't be much worse.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Spindaddy » Tue Feb 04, 2014 4:12 pm

The worst part about this story is that I spent about 2 hours on wikipedia researching dodos, wondering what parts of this story were true and what parts were fabrication. I'm not sure if thats the mark of a good story or I need to be less gullible.

I enjoyed the hell out of the story though, even though I can't relate to the southern-ness of it.
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by strawman » Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:12 pm

Can't relate?
How about South Jersey's Pine Barrens? How about the Jersey Devil?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil
Can Connor Choadsworth be far behind?
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by Scattercat » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:33 pm

This story reminded me of one of the saddest (nonfiction) books I've ever read: The Song of the Dodo, by David Quammen. Highly recommended on both counts.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by tbaker2500 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:47 am

This was a great episode! I don't tend to like the long academic descriptions, but Norm acted it so well with the sense of urgency of this driven, slightly crazy individual. Immensely entertaining, and very at home in the Drabblecast. Bravo!
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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by El Barto » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:26 am

Hearing that this one won a Nebula Award raised my expectations ... and then I was disappointed. I kept waiting for something interesting, weird, strange, or SciFi to happen in this story and ... nothing really arrived.

It was a lovely story in its own way and I would enjoy listening to Norm read the phone book but it didn't feel much like Drabblecast material.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by bounceswoosh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:58 pm

I loved this story. That is all.

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by mediadavid » Sat Sep 06, 2014 3:42 pm

Yes, I'm afraid I don't really have anything too constructive to add, except to say that this is my all time favourite drabblecast story (so far).

And that song? Drabblecast perfection!

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Re: Drabblecast 310 – The Ugly Chickens

Post by SpareInch » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:45 pm

gunsofchekhovia wrote:In my neck of the woods, the old folk eat gaspergou when they can get it. I have not been exposed to that shit since childhood, but the memory of the taste (and worse, the smell) is still strong. I'd take my chances with a dodo. Couldn't be much worse.

I feel similarly about one of our local delicacies her in North East England. Disgusting stuff called Pease Pudding. You make it by boiling split yellow peas to a pulp in ham stock. (Posh chefs use water so they can mark it as Vegetarian on the menu, but they're wrong.)

It is so disgusting that I even avoid being around while ham is being boiled because of the smell. And I like boiled ham.

As for eating Dodo though. I'm given to understand that the leg meat was so tough and stringy that you couldn't get it to cook through properly, and the rest of the meat was so full of fat that it made you sick. The birds apparently went extinct because of rats eating their eggs.

Oh yeah... The story!

I rather liked it. A nicely written account of a wild goose, or Dodo, chase in search of academic glory. What's not to like. I especially liked the way the family had been living in poverty, not realising the value of the ugly birds they kept around out of pure sentimentality. Makes you want to go and sort out the attic right now, doesn't it?
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