By: Dwayne Parton

Chicken Placebo

I went to the grocery store the other day. I go quite frequently because I only buy one frozen meal at a time. I picked up a bag of frozen chicken. I usually don’t think much about frozen chicken but I squeezed the bag as if I were checking the freshness of fruit. It squished. It’s frozen, why would it squish? I placed the bag back on the shelf and picked up another, squeezing the bag with both hands. It crunched. Hmm. I peaked through transparent window. All I could see was ice. I placed the bag back.

Determined to find a good one I search through the bags of chicken, squeezing a couple to see if they were ok. Squish. Crunch. I want it to feel frozen. Not iced over, and not thawed. Frozen. There are people walking the isles, and I am a little embarrassed at my ridiculousness so I just grab a bag. Squeeze. It feels ok. I buy the bag of chicken and a gallon of milk.

I get home to find the chicken is a little thawed, and a little frozen. It’s both extremes. Oh well. I put a few pieces in the oven to cook. It tastes fine, but my imagination is moving. Why was the chicken like that? There has to be something wrong with it. It must have thawed and then been refrozen(ish). Hmm. No that’s ridiculous. I eat a couple bites but find that my appetite is leaving. I can’t eat anymore. There’s gotta be something wrong with it. So what do I do? “Philip! You want this chicken?” I ask my unsuspecting roommate. He eats it with out question.

That night I tossed and turned. I felt like I had eaten a rock. A big rock. Maybe a couple. The next day, I felt worse. It has to be that chicken. I’m sure that’s what did it. I get home to find Philip sitting on the couch. If he’s felt sick then I will know it was the chicken!

“How’s your stomach? I think that chicken really did me in.”
“It’s great!” he laughs “I’ve got a stomach of steal!”
“Well let me go get some pizza then.” I retort, that really does a number on him.
“Even superman has kryptonite!” he laughs again.

I was hoping he would have confirmed my suspicion. It can’t be the chicken. I’m beginning to feel ridiculous and maybe a little guilty that I offered “bad” chicken to him. Perhaps, I’ve tricked myself into feeling sick. Kinda like the placebo effect but different. This mystery may never be solved.