Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Hens from Page's coop

Last night when I got home
from a cupcake run with Stephanie I noticed my mother, The Councilwoman, had called my phone.

You know, some people take their phones on the go, but ever since my father helped sponsor a No Texting While Driving bill here in Utah I've decided to not even tempt myself. Texting while driving? I didn't need a law to tell me about the dangers. I can't do anything and text. When I text I have to be sitting down, floor swept, dishes done, children napping, distractions zero. My brain, a phone keyboard, my fingers, it is all so clumsy. But Chup? He is always texting me while commuting. Which I find NOT safe. But, something about him disregarding his father-in-law's law to communicate with his woman does make me feel a little cheeky. In a Capulate sort of way.

When I checked my mother's message she sounded pretty insistent that I call her back.

"Courtney, this is your mother. Call me as soon as you get this message."

But it was Tuesday night which meant that more than likely she'd be passing ordinances at the city council meeting. I flipped on the telly to channel 17 and found her there with her cronies.

One passionate neighbor was at the public podium pleading for the life of his hens.

Ahh. I had forgotten. Tonight was the great Chicken Debate 2009. Provo was out in flocks asking the council to change city laws to allow them to have coops in their backyards. Animal rights are serious around here, and chickens are only allowed in certain areas of town. But with the growing popularity of having domestic coops the issue has grown intense. Just the other day Page was left with a dirty message. "Get rid of your chickens or else . . ." Because some people don't like chickens, as it turns out.

I knew it was going to be a long night for the controversy, so I decided to call and leave a message, knowing she'd get back to me when she could. As the phone rang, I was caught by surprise when I watched my mother on tv look at her phone, turn around in her high back chair away from camera and answer.

"Hello?" she answered like we were Watergate.

"Bbbut . . . you are on tv . . . and I am watching . . . you answer . . . but how can you answer . . . with the chicken . . . debate . . . avian flu . . .but . . . how?" I fumbled.

"Did you get Stephanie dinner?" she ignored my fumbling.

"Yes." I replied.

"And is she home?"

"Yes." I replied.

"Good. See you later." Click.

Then I watched her chair swivel around as if to say What phone call? I was sneezing. I always turn away from the public when I sneeze.

It felt so crafty.

I loved it.

Loved it so much, I spent the rest of the night eating cupcakes and texting my mother as I watched the fowl argument unfold. When there was a close up on her visage I reminded her to smile. I remarked how lovely she looked in pink. I made fun of some of the comments by the other Councilpeople,

"I love chickens, believe me I do. I even grew up being called the Little Chicken Whisperer. But I can't vote for this ordinance because . . ."

In turn she texted back, reminding me to floss and take the garbage out to the curb because I had forgotten to do so for the past three weeks and my can looked like the openings of a Pillsbury dough tube.

I don't even know who won, the chickens or the haters, but it was a most enjoyable way to spend my evening. I am glad that my dad's bill had nothing to do with texting while holding public meetings because that would be taking things too far. Definitely.