5 cent chicken

I was on this show twice when I was little and we lived in California.

The first time, Cowboy Bob (I think that was his name…I think that all these shows had a “Cowboy Bob”…) was selling chickens for a nickel.

“A chicken for a nickel!! Man!! I’ve gotta get me one of those!!”

I must have been thinking something like that because I started frantically digging in my pockets for a nickel.

I don’t think that I ever had a nickel in my pocket…ever….but that day I had 4 pennies.

4 pennies.

4.

I started yelling as I noticed the little girl sitting next to me pull a shiny nickel out of her purse…..”I’VE GOT 4 PENNIES!!!  I’VE GOT 4 PENNIES!!!”

“I’VE GOT 4 PENNIES!!”

I think that Cowboy Bob looked directly at me and then said, “Oh, no….we need a nickel for one of these chickens. Now….who has a nickel?”

It was the little girl who went to my church who was sitting next to me.

She had the nickel.

She held it out to Cowboy Bob….and he gave her the chicken.

That’s when I really lost it on live TV.

Sometimes when my 5-year-old is really losing it, I wonder, “Where did that come from? Why is someone in my family capable of such red-faced rage?”

Then I remember the Hocus Pocus show…and I know where he got it from.

Cowboy Bob grabbed me from the bleachers and carried me off camera to my mother.

That was when I learned how the market works….and about injustice.

A couple of days later, the little girl showed me her chicken at church…..and I think that I decided that a chicken might have been too much trouble, anyway.

The second time that I was on Hocus Pocus, my little sister was on the show with me.

Sometime during the show, they had a marching contest.

I remember, “OK, KIDS!!! GET IN A BIG CIRCLE!!! WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A MARCHING CONTEST!!”

I marched like a maniac….furiously lifting my knees higher and higher in aggressive rhythm….higher and higher.

No one had ever marched with such purpose.

I was going to the treasure box!!

I knew it.

At the end of the contest, as I stood there panting, the clown man, Hocus Pocus himself, said, “OK!! IT’S TIME TO PICK A WINNER, KIDS!!! WHO’S THE BEST MARCHER?!!”

I knew at a young age that I shouldn’t gloat….but the answer to that question was easy and clear.

“It’s a no-brainer, Hocus Pocus….now get on with it!! Send me to the treasure box!!” I thought.

That was when he said, “I think that it’s this cute little girl!!”

I looked over and that clown had MY SISTER by the hand and was leading her over to the prize box….the treasure box….the goal.

My spirit fell….but after the 5 cent chicken debacle, I knew that I had to hold it together….so I didn’t cry….this time.

She got some doll clothes that you stuck together with glue.

She didn’t even lift her knees….she just shuffled around in a circle looking cute.

That’s no prize-winning marcher….that’s just a cute little blonde girl.

THAT’S MY LITTLE SISTER WHO STOLE MY CHANCE TO GET TO THE TREASURE BOX!!! MY LITTLE SISTER!!!!

Apparently, that’s enough to sway the clown judge, though.

I wish that I hadn’t remembered that.

It’s not smart to reopen old wounds.

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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