Monday, January 19, 2009

In Which The Cold Nose Of Mystery Is Thrust Against My Flank

It was really hard to get this image to read clearly -- after I scanned the chicken skin it took me hours in Photoshop to clean things up. But I am saving the skin texture to use in some of my work...

So the missus has this dog, Amanda. She's an Australian Shepherd and a getaway dog -- she knows there's a wide world out there filled with garbage and cat food and other tasty treats. (Like this, for example -- it's a story, not an image, I promise. My mystery-writing buddy said a) it is actually a pretty good mystery story and b) it made him gag.)

We've been having trouble with the gate lately and yesterday the missus used her feminine wiles to get the next-door neighbor to help her fix the latch. (Why not me? Because the missus still hasn't made the connection between my years of experience as a janitorial and maintenance man and my ability to handle small household repairs. For reasons involving our delicate balance of power I am reluctant to enlighten her.)

Anyway. During the repair there was a moment of inattention and Amanda cut loose and headed out in search of something repulsive to eat. When I noticed I went out and looked for about twenty minutes before giving up.

And of course half an hour after that she was cavorting on the front porch. Watching her cavort is like watching me dance. It just ain't right -- it's like the passage of an evil star through the heavens. A bad omen.

Which is exactly what it was. Amanda wound up puking all over the kitchen floor, and once again it was hard to figure out what it was she'd been eating. Some kind of raw meat but I couldn't quite figure out what it was. My best bet is stewing hen.

If you touch the skin of a supermarket chicken it's soft and gelatinous. But if you get a cock or a stewing hen that's been out in the world running around and grubbing for bugs everything about the animal is different than you get from a store-bought chicken. The bones are harder, the meat more flavorful. And the skin has a texture that's tough and rubbery.

I found a patch of skin with that texture in the puke and while I was picking it up with a paper towel it sort of flopped over and there were some markings on it. I think they must have been a tattoo. So on a whim I took it up to the studio and scanned it in to see if I could pull out a readable image. As soon as the scan was done the skin went into the compost -- let's just say you don't want me to describe the way it smelled.

What I got was the picture at the top of the post. That and a dose of the weebs and the sound of ol' Bob Dylan's voice running through the back of my head --

Something's happening and you don't know what it is,
do you, Mr. Jones?

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