The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm: The Best Chicken In China

This is Ron’s second post to The Funny Farm. His first, Judy Put Her Foot Down, There Will Be No Chickens chronicles his struggle with his wife whether to get chickens, or not. I think you can guess the outcome of that debate.

Several decades ago I was invited to be the keynote speaker at an international conference in China. As part of the program, busloads of conference attendees were taken to a number of different locations by the Chinese government, mainly to showcase Chinese technological expertise and progress.

As the keynote speaker I was given V.I.P. treatment. This involved being given a limosine with a driver and a translator (minder) that led the convoy of buses of conference attendees to each location where I would be personally briefed by the principals. I was also being minded by several officials from the Canadian embassy who had briefed me on proper behaviour and who were very keen to make certain that I did not misbehave and embarrass Canada.

Most of the stops featured advanced technology or sophisticated manufacturing facilities. However, one unusual stop was at a town that produced millions of chickens annually that were claimed to be the best tasting chickens in all of China. The quality of the chickens was attributed to the special properties of the local water. Our convoy was unloaded at a public swimming pool at a resort at the base of a hill that was identified as the ‘source’ of this amazing water. The other conference attendees were entertained with beverages and snacks while I, as the guest of honour, was led by the Mayor and other Chinese officials up a winding path to the top of the hill to sample this special water.

There was a deep stone well with a small wishing-well type of structure with a pitched roof and a wooden bucket which was lowered by rope to retrieve water for me to sample. The Mayor, with great pride, dipped a large wooden spoon in the bucket and invited me to taste-test the water. With a bit of exaggerated ceremony I sipped the water several times and rolled it around in my mouth as if sampling a fine wine. The small group of the Chinese officials leaned forward expectantly to hear my appreciation of their water.  I paused and then, looking the Mayor in the eye, with great conviction responded as recorded below.

It was priceless to see the look of horror on the faces of the Canadian staffers who were supposed to make sure that I was diplomatically on my best behaviour. They feared that I had caused an international incident.  But as I had hoped, and expected, the Mayor and his entourage roared with laughter.  They got the joke and loved it. It brought a human connection to a day that had otherwise been very formal and somewhat contrived.

I hope you enjoy my story; it was a surreal experience. Ron

Thanks again to Ron for his story – although I do admit that it took me a second to get the joke as I initially mistook his impression of a clucking chicken, for a quacking duck. I have to give him an A for effort though and was impressed by him sending an audio file to accompany the post.

Featured photo credit: Istock

3 comments on “The Funny Farm: The Best Chicken In China

  1. Robin Stronk

    Good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are quite right – that is a hybrid – maybe a chuck, or a dicken? Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

    That was truly awesome 😊 what a great story and wonderful memory to have.

    Liked by 1 person

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