My wife and I did not go to the State Fair this year. It was the first time we missed it (other than the two affected by COVID closures) since we moved to Indiana in 1982. Mary Ellen’s favorite thing is going to the poultry barn to see the baby chicks. I love to get a grilled you-know-what on a stick. We don’t talk much about our favorite things on the way home.
Menards sells magazines called Chickens and Poultry World—both dedicated to the proper care and breeding of our feathered friends. In the intro to one of the publications, the editor is seen holding his buddy, a handsome Springer Spaniel. I guess he has learned he’ll attract more chicks holding an adorable puppy than cuddling a rooster.
Once the reader gets inside the magazines, let the puns begin. There are puns I am sure have made their way into every edition over the years. Let’s face it, there are only so many chicken plays-on-words you can come up with to headline your stories or to name various sections of the periodical.
Eggciting Recipes: During Easter we see this pun in every newspaper a hundred times. Enough, already. It’s, well, you know … eggasperating.
Online Eggstras and Eggslusives: This section directs you to websites where there are a dozen more dreadful puns. You can also get a half-dozen. The plays-on-words here run the spectrum from horrible to somewhat clever. Mary Ellen and I only eat cage-free eggs, and we want the jokes to have free range, as well.
Chick or Treat: How to dress up as a pullet or hen for Halloween. Is that scary, or what?
Cracking Up: Their joke page, of course.
A Chicken in Every Shot: Don’t have an adorable cat to make YouTube videos? Here’s some advice on how to capture your cuddly capon on camera.
Chicken Scratch: An article featuring gifts and gadgets for chicken lovers with the subtitle: “Everything Our Readers Are Crowing About.” Here, you can buy an app that figures how many eggs annually to expect from your flock. Yes, it’s called a cluck-u-lator.
Get the Shell Out: How to ensure a maximum daily egg production from each breed. This pun is also used in Turtle Monthly Digest in articles encouraging pet owners to exercise their aquatic friends with a daily walk.
Fowl Language: A glossary of important terminology for bird lovers. Actually, I like that pun. But once or twice is enough. Okay, three times.
There were also questions in a feature called “Chicken Chat.” A better title would be, “Can We Squawk?” Geesh, now I’m making stupid puns. Of course, I know nothing about chickens, but I would like to take a stab at some of the answers.
Q: My chicken seems bored. Her head is down and she is all fluffed up. Do you know what that means?
A: Yes, it is definitely a chicken.
Q: I raise quail. Recently I found one with half of its head missing, running around my yard. What should I do?
A: It’s too late.
Q: I am considering hatching chickens myself for the first time. Any suggestions?
A: No, but if you are successful, we’d like to interview you for this magazine.
Retired television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to [email protected]