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A Small Favor
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A Small Favor

In the account books of friendship, a balance can never be struck. Favors are always owing. True, there’s some sort of record and you can, if you really push it, get overdrawn, but the Bank of the Friend is very forgiving of minor transgressions and small inconveniences. You can be lounging about on a weekend morning with no intention of dressing and driving out into the cold, but the call comes in and you saddle up.

Ringtone: “Hello.”

“I need help with the equipment I used in the sermon.”

“I thought that was just going to be one telephone.”

“It got more elaborate.”

(“Elaborate” is a word he uses when he let his imagination get the better of his judgment. In general, he believes in simple things: zen gardens, books of quotations or jokes, a single perfect leaf next to a perfect rock, wood floors instead of shag rugs. Over the years his friends have learned to fear “elaborate.”)

“More ‘elaborate’ huh?”

“Well, I wanted it to be a memorable sermon.”

(This was in response to an invitation to give a speech at a certain Seattle church’s 50th Anniversary.)

“And?”

“It started when I decided to give the sermon in the chicken suit.”

(He owns three full-body yellow-feathered chicken suits — with heads. There are full-body bunny suits as well and there was once, briefly, a full-body pink gorilla suit, but that’s two other stories.)

“But they’ve already seen the chicken suit.”

“That’s exactly what I thought so I decided to dress it up.”

“And?”

“So I went down to The Love Connection by Lake Union.”

(The Love Connection is a local “Adult” Toy Shop with a special line of lingerie, leather gear, and expensive, very large dildos for the truly ambitious.)

“And?”

“I told the woman at the store that I needed a large size set of red sequined bra and panties. She nodded and looked me over.” (He’s a large bearded man.) “It was clear she got requests like mine every day.”

“I imagine that she does, this being Seattle, the headwaters of the Gay Bear community of the Greater North West. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

“Yes, but I had to explain to her that size was an issue. It had to go over my full-body chicken suit.”

“What did she say to that?”

“She said, ‘Oooo, kinky!’ and then she got me some really spectacular foundation garments.”

“I’ve always said that it would take a man like you to make a woman like you.”

“Hey, I wanted to make my sermon memorable.”

“I see that you were well on the way, but where do I come in?”

“It started with the telephone. I had to get a prop telephone. So I went to Archie McPhee.”

(Archie McPhee in Seattle is the ground zero for bizarre gifts, weird props, practical jokes, and rubber chickens. It is where you go when you need something nobody has.)

“We’ve all told you time and again to stay out of that store. It’s like smoking crack for you.”

“I know, I know. But I needed a prop telephone quick. One with a body, a headset, and a dial.”

“Did you score?”

“Yes, of course. But when I was in the store I noticed that they had a cake for rent.”

“A rental cake? Doesn’t that get a bit stale?”

“Not that kind of cake, Jake. But a great cake. You know, the kind that strippers can jump out of.”

“More elaborate, right?”

“Exactly. In one blinding instant, I envisioned me, in a chicken suit, wearing a sequined bra and panties, jumping out of a cake with a telephone in my wing to deliver a sermon. Memorable.”

“Not easily forgotten, true.”

“So I rented the cake.”

“And?”

“Well, it is a huge cake. Six feet around at the base, four layers, five feet tall. With casters. Weighs about 125 pounds. So I had to rent a trunk. Which is where you come in.”

“I’m not shoving you around a church in your chicken suit inside a five-foot pink cake. Let’s get that straight right now.”

“No, no. I got that handled. Did it all. Got the cake to the church, got inside, had my chicken-suited self pushed out on the stage, and jumped out of the cake in the chicken suit with the foundation garments on and gave that sermon last night.”

“Memorable?”

“Yes, but I don’t think they’re going to ask me back any time soon.”

“A church has to have some standards.”

“Maybe, but these are Unitarians.”

“Oh. In that case, they’ll probably come around.”

“Anyway, I got the cake back to Archie McPhee’s fine, but now I’ve had to return the truck way out here in Ballard and I’ve got no ride back. Can you come to pick me up?”

“Are you still wearing the chicken suit with the bra and panties?”

“No. Of course not. Do you think I’m crazy?”

“Honest?”

“Swear.”

“Okay, I’m on my way, but if I see so much as a feather within a block of you I’m driving right on by.”

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jewel October 1, 2020, 3:26 PM

    Now I can’t unsee that. I wonder what the sermon was about. Dammit. DID YOU ASK WHAT THE SERMON WAS ABOUT?
    I mean….it was memorable, I guess. But I want more for my edifitainment buck.

  • Auntie Analogue October 1, 2020, 3:36 PM

    All that fuss & bother for a sermon that . . . (wait for it . . . ) . . . : laid an egg.

  • PA Cat October 1, 2020, 3:56 PM

    “‘Maybe, but these are Unitarians.'”

    Old joke, courtesy of a librarian friend:
    Q: How do you know when the Unitarians are trying to run you out of town?
    A: You find a burning question mark on your lawn.

  • jwm October 1, 2020, 4:37 PM

    Friends like that, I got a few. I always say, If you got a lot of oddballs on your friends list you may be one of them.

    JWM

  • Charley Hua Chu October 1, 2020, 5:15 PM

    Fulghum is what Fulchum does. It ain’t never simple.

  • Anne October 2, 2020, 8:33 AM

    Thank you for starting my day with a smile. I know very well the terrain in which these events occurred I have been forced into several meetings at the Unitarian meeting building. I think it should be mentioned that much of the full court press towards liberal insanity that permeates Seattle politics has been done by the Unitarian congregation–to hell with facts, or even truth–just do something shocking! I would think your friend in a chicken suit will be invited back many times!

  • Harry October 2, 2020, 9:51 AM

    I said it before and I’ll say it again (because I’m desperate for attention); if you do pick him up you must park on the other side of the road.

  • James ONeil October 2, 2020, 10:23 AM

    Not being judgmental, shucky darn I’ve been covered with far worse than chicken feathers.

    However I do wonder if it was Gerard in that chicken suit even though he tells the story in the third person. He seems intimately, overly, surprisingly familiar with the details and stores involved.

    Naw couldn’t be, gorilla suit maybe, but chicken suit, no. -grin-