July 30, 2014 – Tim, Addie, Sawyer and I drove over to the little market in the center of town today to make a beer delivery. The owner, Mustache Frank, has agreed to carry a selection of the Happy Chicken Brewing Company’s craft beers. It’s a wonderful opportunity for us because it represents a steady income. Addie has quite the head for business and brokered the deal. We call her, The Closer!
We pulled up in front of the store excited to complete our transaction. We had already decided that when we were through, we’d stop over at the ice cream stand and pick up a gallon of Maine Wild Blueberry frozen yogurt to bring back to the flock in celebration. I hopped out of the truck to tell Frank we were there so he could grab the dolly and help us unload.
Frank was busy ringing up a customer, so I moseyed over to the candy aisle to wait for him. I was pondering how tasty a gummy worm might be when I overheard a familiar, thinly spoken voice that sent shivers up my wings. I peeked around the end cap and realized my worst fear. The voice did indeed belong to my arch nemesis, the chicken-loathing, chaos-causing, fear-inducing dreadful excuse of a bibliognost, Eunice the librarian.
Eunice… that woman is loonier than a three dollar quack.
The bell over the entrance door clang goodbye to the customer and I heard Mustache Frank call to me.
“Okey dokey, Hap… I’m all yours. Let’s grab that dolly and get those beer crates unloaded. I’m looking forward to getting the coolers filled with the Happy Chicken Brewing Company brand. I think our customers are going to love it!”
What happened next was like watching a faint-hearted goat navigate the haunted house at Spookyland. Eunice’s head snapped up when she heard Frank’s comment. Her hands started to shake and she dropped the hot dog on the floor leaving a trail of green relish down the front of her white cotton blouse. Her eyes darted nervously left to right, top to bottom until she spotted me next to the paper towel display. Her mouth sprang open. Her hands grasped the sides of her head and pulled outward a clump of mousy brown hair. She let out a spine-chilling scream that washed over every nook and crevice of the tiny market.
“Good Lord Almighty!” Mustache Frank roared tossing his clipboard into the air and jumping onto the toilet paper shelf. “What in the love of Mike was that?!”
For a large man, Frank is surprisingly light on his feet. He grabbed a salami stick from the carousel display and held it over his head like a warrior ready to defend his kingdom.
Eunice was still screaming, her feet frozen in place while Frank dashed from corner to corner of the store looking for an intruder that did not exist. I have to admit, that I was in no hurry to calm poor Eunice down. She has not been very nice to me and my feathered family. I was tempted to let the scene unfold naturally, but the bell over the door jangled once more as Tim and Addie and Sawyer crossed its threshold. They had seen Moustache Frank through the glass door, zipping to and fro with the salami. They arrived just in time to hear Frank bellow.
“Come out where I can see you, you yeller-bellied sap sucker!”
I heard Tim turn to the ladies and state excitedly, “They’re looking for a bird!”
At some point in the chase, Moustache Frank jumped on the counter for an aerial view. Tim picked up a giant fly swatter and dashed down each aisle as if he were a swashbuckler. Addie and Sawyer stood in the doorway. They had seen the same sight as me. Eunice. She wasn’t hard to spot; she was still hollering as if something had crawled up her head and gave birth to its babies in her hair. I started to laugh picturing it. As fun as it was to watch poor Eunice, I had to put an end to the pandemonium or risk losing our deal. I spotted a display of toy whistles not far from where I was standing. I grabbed one that was neon orange, put it to my beak, and blew for all I was worth.
Moustache Frank looked confused. Tim realized that he had flown up to the hot dog counter and was now face-to-face with the infamous chicken-hating cataloger. I had to intervene with the precision of a hostage negotiator.
“Eunice… we mean you no harm. We’re just here setting up our craft beers in Moustache Frank’s fine establishment. We mean you no discomfort. Please… let us finish our business with Frank and we’ll be out of your way so you can eat your hot dog in peace.”
I thought I had been quite diplomatic in spite of how bad Eunice makes me feel. She in turn shrieked like a banshee and bolted from the store.
I turned to explain things to Frank, but he was too busy laughing to hear me.
“That one is turned tighter than a wingnut! She has been since the 3rd grade when I tied her braids in a knot. C’mon everyone – let’s get this fine product of yours on the shelves where they belong!”
On the ride back home, we talked about Eunice.
“Gee,” I said. “I feel bad now knowing that Eunice has been afraid her entire life.”
“Still,” said Addie, “that’s no excuse for how she treats us.”
“True,” Sawyer agreed, “but I’m with Happy. I feel bad. Maybe we should help her relax.”
“Why don’t we slip her some of our moonshine?” Tim offered.
“I think we need to figure out how to get close enough to her to have a conversation first,” I laughed.
The rest of the day was spent doing chicken things, but I couldn’t get what Moustache Frank said about Eunice out of my mind. I was going to have to fix this. I just wasn’t sure how.