My wife and I didn’t go to the Indiana State Fair this year, the first one we missed (other than the two years affected by COVID-19 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. On the cover, 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.
Inside these magazines, let the puns begin. There are puns I am sure have made their way into every edition through the years. Let’s face it, there are only so many chicken plays-on-words you can come up with to name various sections of the periodicals.
Eggciting recipes: During Easter, we see this wordplay in every newspaper a hundred times. Enough, already. It’s, well, you know … eggasperating.
Online eggstras and eggsclusives: The plays-on-words here cover 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.
Cracking up: Their joke page, of course.
A chicken in every shot: Don’t have an adorable cat to feature in YouTube videos? Here’s some advice on how to capture your cuddly capon on camera.
Chicken scratch: Gifts and gadgets for chicken lovers with the subtitle, “Everything Our Readers Are Crowing About.” You 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: Ensuring the 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.OK, three times.
There were also questions in a feature called “Chicken Chat.” A better title would be, “Can We Squawk?” 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. What does that mean?
A: It is definitely a chicken.
Q: I raise quail. Recently, I found one running around my yard with half of its head missing. 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.
(Author’s note: Please, I beg you, don’t send me an email that says, ”Very funny, I get the yolks.”