Saturday, April 02, 2005

Lost, But Not Forgotten

Well, Frank Perdue has finally lived up to his name, the New York Times reports. Lived up to it, though dead.

Mr. Perdue is the poster-boy for the late 20th Century consumer economy. He took a barely passable product and built an empire on it, thanks to a perennially amusing ad campaign, an efficient but stomach-turning factory method of chicken-breeding, and (according to the obit) some sharp practices, like union-busting, courtesy of the Mafia.

His chickens were bland and mealy; chewing the meat made your teeth sticky; and, despite his boast that his birds were fresh, not frozen, their bones roasted black--a sure sign that someone in the chain of commerce had iced 'em, but good. They used to say that the notorious color of the chickens' flesh--a rancid yellow--was induced by putting marigold petals in their feed; an additive that did nothing to improve taste or food value, needless to say. And the folds of skin next to the cavity were always pendulous with gobs of disgusting fat. The best that could be said for a Perdue chicken was that it hadn't come from a company run by Clinton supporters.

But those ads! And the cachet of eating a gamboge bird! The little buggers sold like hotcakes, driving decent chicken from the market, as bad money drives out good.

I close with an old clerihew:

Frank Perdue
Has something new:
Chicken franks!
. . . No, thanks.

Verse © 2005 Nathaniel DesH. Petrikov


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