Monday, September 9, 2013


A professor asked the college class, “Who decides if a baby is a boy or a girl?”

One bright young thing piped up and said, “Society.”

After my son related this fascinating tale of modern American education, I walked out to my chicken coop and watched as my thirteen roosters commenced to crow, spur, posture, fight, flap, peck, and gang rape their way through my flock of hens.

“Who told you, you were roosters,” I yelled. 

I sold twelve of the thirteen roosters to my next-door neighbor for six dollars and fifty cents a piece. He got a bargain.  My hens got some relief, and I learned a lesson about the nature of the species. Roosters do not lay eggs.

According to a recent scientific (so it must be good) study men think about sex 2,072 times every second of every minute of every day—girls, not so much, but this is, of course, because of rigid social conditioning and that poem about snips, snails, and puppy dog tails.

Personally, I’m glad my mother did not socialize me to be a boy so that I would have to think about sex constantly. I occasionally enjoy thinking about—oh I don’t know . . . breakfast or the Civil War.

When my husband was born, his mother, fooled by his resemblance to a rooster, socialized him to be a boy, which means that when he became a teenager he enjoyed riding naked on motorcycles through the Florida back woods but not to worry; he likes to point out he always wore tennis shoes so that he could shift and to protect his feet.

Now my husband (of thirty plus years) flies away to various locations around the globe on Sunday afternoon and gets home on Thursday nights, and I used to pick him up at the airport, my heart filled with that little frisson of happiness and excitement that accompanied the notion of my man coming home from the sea.
I was always glad to see him—for about five minutes, and then he would talk. I make him take a taxi now.

While coming home from the airport, trying to merge into a steady stream of traffic, and not get us crushed under a shuttle bus, I would often say stuff like, “I’m so glad you’re home, honey.”

A noise not unlike the sound of pizza being digested would greet this announcement.

“So how was your week? How was your flight? See anyone interesting in the airport like Caesar Milan?”

Silence. Silence. Quiet and then more and a bigger silence and then . . .

“Let’s get it on,” he would say.

“What?” My hands would clench convulsively on the steering wheel. “Should I pull off the road next to the palm tree or do you want to wait until we pass the merge sign, and please tell me this isn’t your idea of romance?”

The conversation often deteriorated from there.

What I want to know is who told my husband he was a rooster?

I’d like to thank them, because after thirty plus years, four kids, and ten grandchildren he’s still crazy about me. What can I do?  We’re just getting to the good part and I, for one, am glad that roosters do not lay eggs.

Linda (Henny Penny) Zern  

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