Nobody Here But Us Chickens

I’ve got to say that with the plastic squawking chicken, you’re never really alone.

I’ve got two to keep me company, and I’ve got to say that when I’m writing, or procrastinating or reading, the eternally surprised facial expressions of my plasticized buddies remind me to pay attention. And to get back to work.  

But their greatest utility is as a team-building device.

At a previous job, a co-worker’s husband bought one of these chickens for their grandkids to play with at Christmas. But my co-worker found the chicken obnoxious and put it into the Christmas White Elephant gift exchange at the office. I immediately fell in love with the goofy thing.

Someone else won the prize, so I was left to purchase my own chicken on my next road trip. When I saw the big bin of chickens at the front of Buc-ees, I didn’t stop at purchasing just one. I bought one for several of my co-workers.

During their office sojourn, the squawking chicks came in handy when punctuating a joke. As time wore on, if someone was having a stressful day, they’d squeeze a chicken and then…moments later…a chicken elsewhere in the building would reply. And then another…and another…until there was a glorious cacophony that ended almost as soon as it started.

There’s nothing like a shared daffy moment like a call-and-response using plastic noisemaking chickens to bring co-workers closer together. (The English soccer team agrees – they played with similar plastic chickens during the World Cup. Of course, they lost the following game, but you shouldn’t read too much into that. It wasn’t the chickens’ fault.)

As a freelancer who now works at home, alone, I really miss the opportunity to start a chicken shout-out. Somehow, it’s not nearly as much fun – or effective – when there’s no one to share in the ritual.

So. If you’re looking for (mostly) silent companionship or for a great team-building device, stop by the nearest Buc-ee’s ASAP and pick up a plastic squeaking chicken for just $4.99 each.


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