I've been AWOL, doing something I am excited to tell you about... but I'll tell you about it in my next blog post. Today, I want to take a momentary break and give you an update on Henrietta, the paper-mâché chicken I built for a chicken Wing Fest trophy more than a year ago in April 2015, along with a chicken wing trophy holding a bottle of hot sauce. (Henrietta, by the way, is named after the large chicken in the zany Daniel Pinkwater children's book The Hoboken Chicken Emergency, a favorite of my son during his childhood.) I wrote about the details of building these trophies in a blog post of April 2015. You can find that post HERE.
In May 2015, the first annual Glens Falls NY Wing Fest was held, and ironically, both trophies were won by the same local pub, who proudly displayed them in their window for the entire year. I admit I had a hard time saying goodby to Henrietta when she left my home to embark on her new adventure.
In May, 2016, the 2nd annual Wing Fest was held and there was a tie, between that same pub, and a new local dinner-and-movie restaurant. Barely a block apart on the same downtown street, they agreed to share the custody of the trophies over the coming year.
Meanwhile, this past winter I was contacted by a woman in Chicago, who had seen a photo of Henrietta online, and was hoping to commission me to make a trophy for their Wing Fest, too. Ultimately, her committee decided to work with someone locally, but I was flattered by the attention.
Why am I telling you about that now? Because a few days ago, when I was out-of-town doing the exciting thing I'll be telling you about in my next blog post, a local animal rights activist suddenly noticed the chicken trophy in one of the restaurant windows, and wrote an angry letter to the editor of the local newspaper, titled "Chicken wing award is in bad taste". My husband shared it with me when I got home, and IAnd I've been having a good laugh about it ever since. Here's most of the letter.
I am not heartless, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that the ridiculously goofy expression on the face of my paper-mâché chicken would be interpreted as being "in great pain", that I would be accused of "gross callousness" for my design, and that my silly chicken would incite an angry diatribe on animal rights. I mean, this chicken is made from TOILET PAPER! Yes, it's a papier-mâché mash of mostly shredded toilet paper, with flour, Elmer's Glue-All, and joint compound!
Today I wrote a rebuttal letter to the editor of the paper, and I look forward to seeing it in print. With a 300 word limit, I had to restrict my thoughts, but luckily I have no word limit here on the blog. So I am able to muse over the ridiculousness of his letter, when there are so many more horrific things going on in the world than the imagined demise of a paper-mâché chicken at the hands of a papier-mâché ring of fire! And I can wonder why it took the letter-writer more than a year to notice the trophies in the window. And I can be baffled why my chicken provoked such ire, when Disney movies, such as Bambi and The Lion King, regularly brutally kill off parents of young animals. Or when tv shows and movies regularly depict not only animals, but children in grave peril.