Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Focusing on the Chicken Part 5

        Lest people think that chicken posts have to be solely associated with food, I am ending my month of posts about the plucky fowl without focusing on food. This domestic fowl (and all its parts) not only ends up frequently on our dining tables, but also finds its way in quite a number of English idioms.

     Getting up with the chickens this morning, I decided to pay tribute to them in this post. Thinking that my brain could function better in the solitude of the early morning, my hopes were dashed when repeated sounds of a banging metal door shattered the silence. It always ruffles my feathers when my Korean neighbour chooses to announce her arrival or departure by slamming the door. This is not something trivial because our houses are attached to each other so the sound reverberates and sometimes, it feels like it’s a mini earthquake. I really do not know what goes on in that bird brain of hers but she has also been known to play handyman in the wee hours of the morning by hammering against the wall!

       When hubby sees me fussing like an old hen, he eggs me on to confront her. Refusing to do so does not mean I am chicken hearted; I just prefer to maintain a civilised relationship, well, for as long as I can. I would rather walk on eggshells than launch World War 3. Nevertheless, I have spoken up, when the need arose. Her multitude of cars often block our path, and there was once I could not reverse out because of her inconsiderate parking. I tried calling out to her several times but there was no response. Feeling a rage brew inside me, I got into my car and honked loudly! Fortunately, that got her rushing out, with an apologetic face, which I returned with an angry look.

        I know Buddhism warrants one to be humane to animals, but leaving food leftovers on the road to feed the stray cats is really taking things to the extreme. And scattering the stale rice mixed with yucky meat and vegetables over to the road in front of your neighbours’ houses is downright rude and irresponsible! This time I did not chicken out. I lodged a complaint to the house developer (at that time, the house developer was still overseeing our gated and guarded community). Her practice seemed to halt very soon after my complaint and I was feeling smug about it. Hubby told me not to count my chickens before they are hatched. How right he was! She was soon back to her nonsense. And I went to complain again! I later found out that her other neighbour had also marched to the developer’s office in fury, threatening to bring in the local municipal council.

        My Korean neighbour is no spring chicken but she dresses like one! She loves to wear skin tight pants and puts on heavy makeup. Despite being a housewife, she is tardy where house cleaning is concerned. The part-time Indian maid who used to work for me was also cleaning her house for several months. Saras finally could not take it, complaining to me that my neighbour’s house is extremely dirty and unhygienic! She does not even bother to clean up after her dog’s menstrual blood stains the floor!!! I’m not certain if this was one of Saras’ cock and bull stories, but she had nothing to gain by telling me this.

         Having good neighbours is scarce as hen’s teeth, but fortunately, my neighbours on my left are gems. The husband is friendly and helpful. The wife, who has a sunny side up, is not a mother hen but trains her two daughters to be independent. Both girls are polite and pleasant, always ready to lend a hand to their mother where household chores are concerned. If only my Korean neighbour is more considerate!

  1. Get up with the chickens - wake up really early
  2. Ruffle one’s feathers - annoy someone
  3. Bird brain - senseless
  4. Fuss like an old hen - get angry
  5. Egg someone on - encourage, goad or incite someone into action
  6. Chicken hearted - cowardly
  7. Walk on eggshells - try very hard not to upset someone or something
  8. Chicken out - run away from something because of fear
  9. Count your chickens before they are hatched - predict a successful outcome before the final outcome is confirmed
  10. No spring chicken - not young
  11. Cock and bull story - untrue story
  12. Scarce as hen’s teeth - extremely hard to find
  13. Sunny side up - cheerful attitude
  14. Mother hen - very protective


  1. Irene, I really love your chicken posts... So good.... I can't help smiling to myself after reading this part on your Korean neighbor :) great job, you write well.. I wish I could write like you :)

    1. Thanks, Elin, for your kind words. Glad it was of good entertainment. When I started off penning this post, I didn't mean to sound so critical. I just wanted a story where I could use the chicken idioms. But the rants just went on and on, and somehow the chicken idioms all fit in! Hahahahah!

  2. A very entertaining post. Good to rant out in your post than quarrel with your neighbour. Sometimes it is not because we are chicken hearted but its because we are thinking of long term staying as neighbours. I wouldn't want to make an enemy out of my neighbour. Some people can become really nasty and go all out to make life miserable for their neighbours when they are confronted. Thanks for the chicken idioms, I enjoy them all...Hahaha...

    1. Indeed true, Nancy. Actually, when I thought of writing this post on chicken idioms, I was merely wondering what story I could weave around the idioms. And then all the complaints started churning out....hahahah!