Surely some of you enjoy perusing my dad's blog, which he created to set the record straight about any lies I might be perpetuating on The Internet, but which he now uses as a forum to discuss the subtleties of being a grouchy old hippie man. Well, a couple days ago, he wrote a post about something he doesn't know a whole lot about, which is minding his own business. He says that his wife Janice (of baby-wrangling fame) sometimes calls him to order when he gets in a dither about somebody else's personal life with the following admonishment: "Ain't Your Dog, Ain't Your Chicken."
Now, Janice is a woman of few pretensions and fewer words. She is from the for real Country--meaning rural east Georgia, meaning she cooks with Crisco and considers most stuff I do to be hipster nonsense. Dad is fascinated with people who can mind their own business as thoroughly and heroically as Janice can, and I'm pretty sure they both know that she's providing 100% of his street cred out in Madison County, where Dad routinely makes himself ridiculous in front of the locals by speaking in paragraph form and publicly admitting to voting for Obama.
ANYWAY. "Ain't your Dog, Ain't your Chicken" is a bit of family lore associated with the time the Dove Boys, which are a family of ne'er-do-wells out in Danielsville who can also roof THE HELL out of a house, were re-shingling my grandmother's roof. Be it known that Virginia has chickens and she used to have a whole lot of chickens until she got Russ, who was, during his lifetime, the scariest German Shepherd of my acquaintance. Virginia was passionately attached to Russ, and as he was intimidating and aggressive, it was necessary for her to set up a pretty extensive scaffolding of delusion around him in order to maintain the love. For instance, he detested the UPS man and would riot whenever the truck came up the driveway. He bit several delivery men in his day and also bit Jane one time when she hugged me in front of him. But whenever anyone complained, Virginia would say "Russ has never bitten anybody; he sometimes just grabs at people with his teeth."
Anyway, Virginia also refused to believe Russ killed chickens. But as he was a chicken murderer in his heart, it was only a matter of time before he got caught in the act by someone who was not blinded by love. That witness ended up being one of the Dove Boys, who was hammering away on Virginia's roof one day when he witnessed Russ' attack and brutal disembodiment of a Barred Rock hen. Understandably, said Dove Boy felt it his duty to climb down from the roof, trudge into Virginia's kitchen and tell her about it. Unsurprisingly (to me, anyway), Virginia's response was, "Oh, it's fine. Russ doesn't kill chickens--he just plays with them in his mouth." In his defense, Dove Boy had no way of knowing that when it came to that bloody-muzzled dog outside, the old lady in front of him was harboring a severely distorted view of reality bordering on what one might experience during a trip on psychoactive street drugs, so his response was, "Yes, Ma'am, I just saw him do it--he's out in the yard eatin' its neck right now."
And this is when Daddy Dove Boy yelled down from the roof through the skylight, "David, get back up here, boy! Ain't your dog, ain't your chicken."
Very wise. Thank you, Daddy Dove Boy. And thank you, Janice, for the periodic reminder.