September 17, 2009

Frozen entree

A bakery near my home has been around for years. In the early days, the staff lived above the establishment, where there were a few rooms and a terrace. Most of the time, there were just two or three young men there, so there was also space to store stuff: old equipment, appliances waiting to be repaired, that sort of thing.

At one point, the bakery employed a youth known to one and all as, simply, "Chicken". Nobody now recalls why, but that's what they called him. During his tenure at the bakery and in the rooms, somebody lugged a large non-functional fridge upstairs and left it on the terrace, pending repair. It sat there, large and looming.

The men in the rooms were prone -- as many other men in such rooms might be prone -- to pouring down their throats beverages with some little alcoholic content. Chicken was no exception. In fact, he was known to be rather more prone than most. As a result, there were times when he was rather more prone than most in other ways too.

Anyway, one particular full-moon night -- I added that little detail, why not? -- a particularly sloshed Chicken wandered onto the terrace to survey the scene. Noticing the fridge, perhaps hoping he'd find more beverages inside, he opened it. Then he stepped in and shut the door. Just as you and I might do, of course, climbing into a fridge. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Only, when he shut the door, an outside latch clicked into place. From his vantage point inside the fridge, Chicken could not get out. He pushed. He pulled. He rocked. He kicked, as best as he could kick while wedged into that compartment. Nothing budged the door.

He tried to shout, but he found that the beverages he had poured down his willing throat had temporarily inhibited his vocal capabilities. Besides, it was getting hard to breathe. So his attempts to shout emerged as something else.

This was the setting when, many long minutes later, one of Chicken's bakery colleagues, who had himself partaken generously of beverages, wandered up to the terrace to survey the scene too. In the moonlight, he heard a series of gentle clucking sounds: "Cucu, cucu, cucu", as it was described to me these years later.

Rather, the colleague thought, like a chicken.

Of course, it wasn't a chicken. But it was Chicken. The colleague pulled open the door of the fridge. With a resounding thump, Chicken fell out.

True story. I swear.

4 comments:

radhika misra said...

I do NOT believe you! this time DDD i think you have let your imagination run WILD! :-))

LOL

Anonymous said...

ver nice. Loved it.

Kshitij

km said...

Awesome. Deserves to be a sticky on your front-page.

Aditya said...

Riveting.