Killing Chickens


As a kid my mother used to make a joke when the McDonald’s drive-thru took too long. This was before they took credit cards.

She’d say, “what, are they killing the chickens or something?”

My brother and I always laughed, or rolled our eyes or both.

We got older, yet still we laughed, rolled our eyes, or both. We started dating. My brother had long-term, strong, targeted relationships. I dated like shotgun pellets in a tree full of birds.

Once, I was dating a girl named Fern; her real name was Kate, but people called her Fern. She didn’t like McDonalds.

We were on our way to the train–it was late. My mother asked if we’d like to stop for McDonalds. I said, “yes.” Fern said nothing, but ordered a milkshake. The line was slow, long.

“What, are they killing the chickens or something?” my mother said.

I didn’t laugh as hard as I usually would have; it was cut short. Fern was bristling, I could feel her heat.

“McDonalds tortures birds,” she muttered to me.

I rolled my eyes. “I know, please, not now,” I tried.

So, she addressed my mother. She went on for a while. I’d heard it before; “it’s barely real meat anyways, they keep them in cages, poison them”–I’d seen the documentary with her.

Fern was practically in tears by the time she finished educating my mother from the backseat. It took so long that we had made it to the window before she finished–out of breath and wet-eyed.

I put my arm around her and sighed. I couldn’t see my mother’s face. The drive-thru window opened. It was a young girl, two nose piercings.

“What, were you killing the chickens?” my mother asked the girl.

They both had a good laugh. Fern took the train alone.


38 replies to “Killing Chickens

      1. yes of course, sometimes (or more often) it is good to look at things this way. The contrast underlines the drama even more but in the same time it forces us to relativize 😄

        Liked by 1 person

  1. hahaha, I know this joke, my mom tells this in different variants, when we have to wait too long. Uhh, difficult theme, however…. what petting, what eating? …. Torture and poisoning is of course no way… hmmm, I am the cowardly and leave everyone his opinion and do not argue me …. I think it is good when this theme is enlightened, but everyone must decide themselves. Because of this, going alone on the train is ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it is a difficult issue that I’ve put below the surface of this story. Not entirely my intention I personally don’t eat any fast food and don’t think much about this issue but I know it has its dark dark corners

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I try to avoid fastfood aswell. But Cattle breeding and fastfood are other themes than this joke. The joke just say I do. Not want to wait and has nothing to do. with fast food. Your mum was o.k. To Go on. And Fern should not even have ordered a Shake when sehe ist so umsetzen of Mc Do.


    1. yes, it is no fun to read the ingredients of food! And the joke of this mother´s joke actually is, that they think they wait too long for fool in a fast-food…..bizarre …; ) … and by the way, I like Fern’s protest, but it is still no reason to be offended.

      Liked by 1 person

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