Sunday, December 28, 2014

Blackjack Chicken

“Do you prefer Peach or Strawberry?” I said sliding two paint cards side by side on the table.
“Are there any other choices?” Mr. Wonderful said sipping a cafe au lait.
“There’s also Punch or Ballet Slipper.”
“Other options?”
“Bubblegum or… I got it! Hot Pink!”
“… Uh, anything else?”

When my spouse said all he wanted for Christmas was live, egg-laying chickens to live in our backyard, I agreed on three firm conditions: 1) He would feed them; 2) He would clean up after them; and 3) I would paint their coop—pink!—to look like Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse to recapture my lost youth. But somewhere between me saying “Yes” to the chickens and me showing him the Hot Pink paint card, he had changed his mind. 

“We’re not painting the coop pink,” he said brushing all the pinkish paint cards aside. 
I spread out the pink cards again like a Las Vegas Blackjack dealer. “But having chickens who live in a coop that looks like Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse, won’t that be funny?” I smiled and nodded.
“Funny for whom?”

He did have a a point. The chickens wouldn’t get the joke. Nor would anyone who didn’t know Barbie’s Malibu Dreamhouse, which is most men and all feminists. Mr. Wonderful rationally understood the joke but his hesitancy told me it did not tickle his funny bone. Therefore only I would laugh when I saw the coop. As any good comedian knows, if you tell a joke and the audience doesn’t laugh, dump the joke. Therefore as much as I wanted a Bubblebum-Taffy-Hot Pink coop for his hens, I dumped the color cards—and joke—in the recycle bin.

But if magenta was out, what color for the coop would be in? Mr. Wonderful had an opinion. 
“What if we paint it red like a Midwestern barn?” he smiled and nodded. Hmmm, first we adopted a persnickety cat, then a rascally squirrel moved in, then we got chickens. Our property was turning into a regular farm that I didn’t the color combination on the coop to remind me of that fact. We lived in the suburbs not the great Midwest. After all we were us, not the Beverly Hillbillies. I vetoed the barn color scheme.

Pink was out, Red was out, but what could be in? I thought rationally about this, which is saying a lot since saying “Yes” to chickens but losing out on the coop paint color was irrational of me and I never should have accepted it. But that was then, we had to move on to now and what we had. Yes! That’s it! The coop should reflect what we had, who we were. 

“We should paint it to look like a mini version of our House!” I smiled, nodded and waved my arms toward The House’s exterior paint job.
“That’s promising,” Mr. Wonderful followed my gaze. He nodded but didn’t smile. 
“It’ll look like a mini version of our House.”
“But we don’t like our exterior color scheme.”

He did have another point. We had bought The House liking the exterior paint colors but not loving them. We knew that we wanted to repaint the exterior but we just couldn’t decide what colors. We fluctuated between what the neighbors had, what the neighbors didn’t have and the color scheme of a house in Beverly Hills that I loved. Or I should say, I liked the house but I loved its paint job. Anyway you looked at it, the two-man jury of us was still out on what to paint The House and therefore, chicken coop.

Ah, ha! Maybe we could paint the coop in the colors of what we wanted the exterior of The House to look like? Yes! This would solve the problem of the coop’s coloring and maybe help us decide what to paint our own abode. I pushed all my chips onto the gambling table. 
“What do you think of a brown varnish?” I smiled, nodded and slid a russet color card toward him. He seized the card and looked at it closely. Then he smiled and nodded.