Family Secrets Revealed, #4: The One About Checking Your Chickens

Last time I told you that I’d finish Family Secret #3 with a story about coalmikinosis. You’ll still get your coalmikniosis story, but you’re going to have to wait for it a little bit longer. Today’s Family Secret involves more friends that seem like family. You need to know this secret so that if we’re ever sharing a meal together in public some day and one of us unknowingly spills something, we’ll be able to discretely communicate that to one another. That may not seem like a useful skill, but if you’ve ever needed this stealthy communication, you know what a valuable resource this is.

I’d like to introduce you to Ken, Patricia, Albany, Mickey, and Merideth Irvin. The Irvins became part of our family in the late 1980s which is why most of the pictures I have of Albany and me look a lot like this one:


In case you needed a laugh today, you’re welcome. Sigh. So much that I could say about this picture. And yes, that’s CPQ in her large-white-collar fineness. We should just move on with the story, but before I do, don’t you agree that I should sue my legs for non-support? I was living on the edge there trying to support all my weight on one spindly ankle. Twenty-something years, three children, and a very fluffy muffin top later, I look like a marshmallow with toothpicks poking out the bottom. The fourth decade is a mean one, friends.

Ken and Patricia were my  parents’ best friends and Albany, Mickey, and Merideth were more like cousins or even siblings. We spent almost every weekend together at our house or their house. We vacationed together, ate many meals together, played games together, watched air shows together….They were an everyday part of our life. So even though no one in my family was present at the time of the following incident, it somehow has become woven into the very fabric of my family’s favorite sayings.

One day, the Irvins were having a family dinner at a local restaurant. Albany was talking, which if you know Albany, means no more than if I’d said, “Albany was breathing.” For Albany, breathing and talking are almost the same thing. Anyway, in the middle of her story, she noticed that Mickey was trying to get her attention. He waited patiently for Albany’s next breath, and therefore, the only pause in the conversation to point at his shirt and whisper, “Albany, your chicken.”

Albany had no idea what he was talking about. She figured Mickey was just being Mickey and continued with her story. The next time she took a breath, Mickey jumped in and tried again.

“Albany, check your chicken.”

Albany looked at her plate and around her place at the table. She wasn’t even eating chicken. Mickey could really get on her nerves. Anyway, like she was saying….

This time Mickey was louder and more insistent. “Albany! There’s something on your chicken!!”

By this time, Albany was exasperated.

“Mickey! I don’t have any chicken. What in the world are you talking about?!”

Mickey looked embarrassed and said, “You spilled something on your shirt.”

Sure enough, Albany looked down and saw that she had dripped part of her lunch on her chest.

“Okay,” she said, “but why were you talking about chicken?”

Mickey’s face turned fire engine red and he said, “Well, I didn’t want to say ‘breast,’ so I figured you’d know what I was trying to say if I said you had something on your ‘chicken’ because chickens come in breasts.”

So now if anyone in my family tells you you to check your chickens, at least you’ll know where to look.

I introduced you to Albany and her family so that I could let you know that all of Albany’s talking practice has parlayed into a career for her. She was recently selected to be one of the newest hosts on QVC. Eventually she’ll be on the night shift, but for the last couple of weeks she’s been making a few daytime appearances so that the audience can get to know her. I still haven’t been able to catch her on TV, but she’s supposed to be on this Wednesday (June 24th) from 9  a.m. until noon and Friday from 6 until 9 a.m. (all times are Eastern Standard Time).

These times aren’t carved in stone, as I found out last Tuesday when I tuned in to watch her. For whatever reason, her segment was bumped. I’d never watched QVC before, but K is already concerned that I may have found a new addiction. All I said was that the anti-frizz humidity spray was amazing and that it would certainly be useful for all that Southern humidity we’ll soon be handling and his smart alecky pants reply was, “And so it begins.” Whatever. You do what you need to do to support your family. Right, Albany? Anyway, if you get a chance, you should watch her do her thing on the QVC. But I take no responsibility for any ordering that takes place as a result.

P.S. If you need to catch up on any of the other Family Secrets, click on “Family Secrets” in the Category Section on the right where my list of favorite blog friends should be but for some reason isn’t.



Filed under Family Secrets

16 responses to “Family Secrets Revealed, #4: The One About Checking Your Chickens

  1. I’m already a fan, I can tell.

    True confession: When we were first married and Big used to travel all week, I’d turn on the Q for company. A pacifier for a 21 year old, if you will. Took me around 7 years to order, but I’ve not made that mistake again. Much to Big’s chagrin, we usually have a monthly or every other monthly little package from our friends at QVC.

    And now I’m embarrassed and will leave.

  2. And in case you were wondering (as you have in the past), you don’t look Asian in this picture. Veddy modrun and vogue.

  3. Great story & picture! 🙂

  4. I love the old picture you whip out from time to time. They make me giggle because I remember when I thought the jumper CPQ was wearing was THE CUTEST THING!

    Anyway, good to know about the chickens and all…especially since there is a good chance we may be dining together in the near future!

  5. CPQ

    Sigh. I wish I had learned about the all-important tweezer back then.

    I hope you don’t have a picture of me with the green floral jumpSUIT under which I also wore that ginormously collared blouse.

    That I loved.

  6. You and your friends dressed very differently than we did in college. Of course, when I was in college plaid shirts were all the rage and they’re not much better.

    Your Family Secrets posts are some of my favorites. And you said you’re moving to the south. Anywhere near Oklahoma or Arkansas?

  7. Love that picture! I so remember that fashion phase. You gals wore it well. I never could pull of the big white collar. At first, I thought your friend had a strange hat on…I was wrong. Still not sure what that is though?

    I watch QVC often late at night.. when G goes on business trips. I will be looking for Albany! Maybe I’ll even call in!! I will never look at chicken the same again…love that story.


    I’m not sure if I’m laughing harder at that chicken checking or that picture!

    I love the old picts…that is just good stuff!!!

    And QVC…….FUN! Going to check out Albany, Fo Sho!

  9. Michelle Martin

    Loved the blog today. Good memories of the Irvin family. Time has gone by but the memories are still clear as if it was yesterday. Going to be checking on Albany.

  10. check your chickens. hahahahahahahahahaha!

    oh, i’ll never be the same again.

  11. This is so funny! You have me smiling and giggling over on this side of the computer. Now, the next time I eat chicken or spill chicken I’m going to think of this story.

  12. Should I be embarrassed that folks are discussing my chickens or delighted that someone’s interested in them?!?!? There alot longer than they used to be…so I’ll go with delighted. In fact, my oldest daughter announced (in public, of course)that when she grows up “she wants nice, big, long, floppy boobs just like mine”! Pleasant.

  13. Wait a minute, you went to OBU? Where have I been? I went there, too. We must talk and figure out our 6 degrees of separation.

  14. Pingback: Leaving On a Jet Plane…Sunday’s When I’ll Be Back Again « Snoodlings

  15. Pingback: Friday Fragments: Disney Stepmoms, Betsy Ross, and Friends | Snoodlings

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