What I Learned From One Month Of Not Eating Raw Chicken
This sound familiar? You wake up feeling exhausted, with barely any memory of how last night ended. Your wallet is fifty bucks lighter, your house is a mess, and maybe a stranger’s passed out on your couch. You manage to clean up (barely), you trudge to work, and you try to ignore that little voice in the back of your head, telling you what you already know. What everyone knows. What you’ve known for a long time: you’re eating too much raw chicken.
That was my life, too, until about a month ago. And then one headache-filled Tuesday, after one glistening raw chicken breast too many, I finally made a decision. I put my foot down and decided to clean up my act. “No more raw chicken for me,” I said. “Not for AT LEAST a week.”
“Whoa, hold on there!” you might be saying. “You think I should cut ALL raw chicken out of my life? What am I, some kind of psycho? Some kind of psycho rabbit, who only eats clover, and grass, and the green fuzzy stuff I see on rocks in the woods? Rock fur? Rock fur, Is that what that’s called?”
Nah, man. I’m not an “evangelist” who wants you to stop eating raw chicken forever. But maybe you’re a little like me, and you could do with a break. Just to try it out.
“Yikes!” you might be saying, now. “Yikes-a-rooni! Eeeeeee… Jeez, whoa, oh man, yikes! I can’t do it! Eeeeeeeeeeeee” But you know what? You CAN do it.
Here’s what I learned from going one month (one WHOLE month) with ZERO raw chicken.
1. Your Friends Still Want To Chill
The first day I went chick-free, I was nervous. My friend Dan texted me just like he does every day: “u want 2 get chickles 2nite? Shop N Shop having big sale”
I texted Dan back immediately in an anxious panic, not sure what I was even typing. It was mostly unconnected letters and numbers, mashed out with my knuckles. (Autocorrect made a few of them into words.) Dan then called me to see what was up, and I told him about my plan.
“Yikes-a-tootie,” said Dan, understandably. I don’t think he’d ever even SEEN me without a morsel of quivering Pink between my thumb and forefinger. But he thought it was kind of an interesting idea, so instead of picking up a twenty-pack of thighs, we sat on my lawn and played Catan. At the end of the night, Dan just had to laugh.
“I don’t know if I could do it,” said Dan, shaking his head, “but you still mean so much to me, my friend. Good luck, little guy” (I’m shorter than Dan). I smiled. Then I said “Thanks, Dan.” And we shook hands. Still friends. Even without the raw chicken filling our mouths.
2. Your Boss Will Not Fire You
Raw chicken isn’t just an after-hours thing, obviously; it’s the “grease” that makes the “gears” of business “go”. Think about it: how many times have you looked out into an audience of managers, mid-powerpoint, and noticed that half of them were thoughtfully chewing on some wing cartilage? How many times have you paused a presentation to pull a stringy white tendon out of your own huge ivorine teeth? And when you land that big account, how does everyone celebrate? Naturally, by ripping open a cling-wrapped styrofoam tray, cheering as that stringy wet chicken juice flies all over their formerly-crisp white Business Shirts.
But you know what? That’s not what your job is really ABOUT, if you know what I mean. You get what I’m saying? Maybe you’re a welder, or maybe you make apps for phones, or maybe you run a maple sugaring business among the trees. The chicken is just a “help” throughout the day. It’s not actually your JOB, if you see what I’m getting at? It’s not your JOB to consume gelatinous morsels of that tender beaked animal.
So when someone at the workplace offers you a slice of the ol’ “Bird Of Paradise”, you can just shake your head and do some paperwork instead. Or make an Excel file. Put some numbers in an envelope. Whatever your job entails. You’ll thank you for it.
3. You Sleep Better
Ever notice how, after you have a big, juicy bowl of raw chicken, you sleep badly? Me too, though I never made the connection at the time. But it turns out it’s a thing, and there’s even a word for it: “Chicko Tummy.” No one’s sure exactly why it happens, but for some reason, eating “nature’s big wet treat” seems to increase restlessness and decrease REM cycles.
By putting the raw chicken on hold, you’ll probably find that your sleep is deeper, and your dreams aren’t nearly as scary. You’ll have less nightmares where a wheel made of meat cleavers is rolling through your town, cutting up all the people you know. And when you wake up? No more tiny bones in your bed! How’s THAT for a “good morning”!
4. You Save Money
I hadn’t realized how much raw chicken I was really eating until I sat down at my kitchen table and crunched the numbers. (I used the eraser part of a pencil to push the calculator buttons.) The cheapest cut of chicken is usually the drumsticks, which can go on sale for about a dollar a pound. Assuming you’re eating twenty-five pounds per day, that’s over twenty dollars! Every single day! That may not sound like much, but that’s enough money to buy a new suit after a while. And then, once you have the one suit, you can get another one, after you’ve saved up more money. That’s just how money works. Cool, right?
I never used to have any suits at all, but after this last month, I have five. All different colors. One is navy blue, even though I’m NOT in the Navy! Turns out any old civilian can wear it! So riddle me this, friend: why even JOIN the Navy? Ya gotta love it!
5. Everything Is Less Wet
This was a big one. Fellow raw-chicken-eaters might know this feeling: you wake up, ready to get your feet into some slippers. You blearily wipe the sleep crumbs from the corners of your eyes, and plunk your feet down into the ol’ slippums. But instead of soft, welcoming, cottony warmth, what do you get? A coating of cold, thin, pinkish slime, absolutely DRENCHING your slippies. And the quiet little slurp sound that suggests something is a puddle.
Guess what? That puddle? That puddle liquid? It’s from the raw chicken you were storing in there last night. What IS that slow-moving liquid, anyway? It’s not blood; it’s not mucus; it’s not saliva; it’s just a kind of “mystery fluid”, like that stuff that drips from the Alien’s mouth in Alien. Or that might be saliva. It’s conceivable that stuff in Alien is actually saliva.
After just TWO days of abstaining from raw chicken, my whole apartment had dried out COMPLETELY. Most of the surfaces were instead just crusted with whitish flaky stuff, which I guess is what happened when the water left and went into the air. And that remaining crust was easy enough to scrub off with a piece of burlap and a little elbow grease. Now, when I bring home a “night friend”, they say, “Wow! Yikes! Yikes-a-whuh-huh! What a dry pad!”
Have my nights gotten HOTTER since I went chicker-free? Well, I don’t mean to brag, but… (now imagine I’m winking at you right now)
6. Conclusions, All Like The End Of This Article Thing, It’s Almost Over
So that’s it! Just one month, and my life has turned around completely. Am I committing to an entire life without raw chicken? Naw, dude; I still crave that shimmery glist’nin’ skin over that coral-colored muscle tissue, like some great fleshy pearl held aloft in my palm. Like an egg sac laid by one of the best biggest gods. I still want to put it into my mouth and chew it like it’s gum until it’s a huge luxurious bolus that fills the spaces around my teeth and even kind of hurts to swallow. I still laugh when I see it on a shelf, or in a bag, and think, “I’m going to consume that. I’m going to consume that and become strong!”
But you know what? I don’t NEED it. I’m still me, and I’m just as much a me even without all the raw chicken powering my arms and legs. And if you think you wouldn’t be? Well, why not put your money where your mouth is? Go raw-chicken-free for just a month, and see if you don’t feel better.
You just might find that you’re more… CHICKtacular (!) after all!