Chicken Man

Good morning, Michigan!

In the land of Q.D….okay, you know what? I’m actually going to be a good sport for once. I am going to refrain from calling you QD Donut Munchers.


We were never going to be in agreement. And sometimes, it takes the bigger man to walk away. This is, after all, the land of second third fourth fifth chances.

And it wouldn’t speak well of me to continue poking fun at the unenlightened bakery zombies shuffling around the greater Lansing area, clutching their bland excuses for baked goods. Because I get it. Cultural and regional differences, etc. Taste buds polluted from Rust Belt heavy metals. Tragic, misinformed upbringings. Blah blah blah.  

However, having been agreeable to letting the whole donut tantrum slide, I find myself in the position of having to ask an awkward question of this convoluted Capital City:

Lansing, what in the ever loving donkey fucks is up with all the damn chicken bones?

They. Are. Everywhere.

Every time I leave to explore more of this city, I stumble across small deposits of poultry skeleton. And it doesn’t matter direction, or neighborhood. There they are and there they have always been—on sidewalks and in alleyways. On street corners and in parking lots 

Every. Fucking. Time.

I can’t seem to leave the tragedy of an MLK apartment without somehow stumbling into a pile of what was once a chicken’s innermost structure. Usually, they appear almost a little *too* neatly arranged. Like they were purposefully placed as some sort of weird offering, though to what exactly, I cannot say.

Because it’s just so…odd.

Even the frequency of the sightings leaves me with… questions. Because once, sure. Twice. Whatever. Every damn time? That seems almost a statistical impossibility.

And no, I don’t usually ponder the final disposition of the residual bits of long deceased barnyard animals. Scavengers, I’m sure, will ultimately tend to the problem. Foraging from the alleys; sneaking up from the river. There must be an army of unseen creatures playing Nature’s janitor around here. Because something is tidying up the crumbs of our hubris.

What I am starting to wonder, though, is if there isn’t some local hidden gem of a chicken place hiding somewhere in plain sight. A greasy, sneaky little shack of an establishment. Maybe at the back of an alley. Some tucked away “Mom and Pop” place. That’s been around forever. But not everyone is aware of its existence.

The kind of place where the line to order stretches around the corner. But in a blink is suddenly gone. Cash only. And you better know what the fuck you’re gonna order. Otherwise, the dominant, smeared apron behind the counter is gonna take away your place in line.

If there is such a mystical chicken place somewhere in the greater Lansing area, please DM me. Those are exactly my kind of jam. I am, after all, the guy who once drove 175 miles for a tenderloin. And who once braved a sketchy-as-hell back-alley Chicago hookup, just to walk away with the sausage of someone’s grandmother.

And no, it wasn’t nearly as gay as that might sound. It was just some authentic, made by a first generation immigrant, don’t tell the F.D.A., kielbasa. So it was worth almost getting shot.

But here in Lansing, it seems to be those chicken bones. They are the only clue.

Because who the hell just decides, “today, I’m gonna walk down the street and eat some fried chicken and when I’m done, I’ll just drop the bones.” No box; no bucket. No wrappers of any kind. Just leg and wing and, occasionally, breast bones, in a neat little pile.

There were moments I thought about taking pictures as proof. But it would be admittedly a little weird trying to get an artistic image of a discarded bird carcass. Because me being me, I’d have to find the right angle. And lighting. Scroll through the filters. While all around me people would be staring like “what the fuck is that weirdo doing?”

Like abandoning the bones of your meal in the middle of a Capital City’s downtown isn’t inherently weird?  

I’ve honestly never really viewed fried chicken as being a particularly mobile friendly food choice. Seems like it demands the structure of checkered tablecloths. And those folding chairs with ribbons of plaid plastic that Grandpa always brought to picnics. While the kids all run around like unsupervised maniacs, dodging the lawn darts they had thrown in the air. The ones that actually had a sharpened metal point. So if you were too slow? Well, you were just the weakest in the 70s herd and deserved whatever befell you.

Indiana might admittedly be backwards. In a lot of fucking ways. But they did, generally speaking, master the art of using trash cans. At least most of the time.

In all my years in the Hoosier state, having stomped it from tip to taint, I can honestly say not a single time have I ever stumbled into the discarded scaffolding of a broiler just hanging out on a random street corner.

So it’s just…fucking weird to see it here. Nearly every single day.

But honestly, it does kinda make me hungry.

Anyone know a good chicken place in Lansing?

About Typewriter Fox, fighter, lover, typewriter fanatic, and unrepentant Fenian bastard. Known to few, hated by many, but still typing the good fight.

View all posts by Typewriter Fox →