Texcapade: Chicken Sh*t Bingo
My parents moved to Texas from New Hampshire about two years ago, a distance of 1690 mi (2720 km). This is almost the exact same distance as the distance from Amman to Munich, Germany (1694 mi), Amman to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (1595 mi), Amman to Moscow, Russia (1648 mi) or even Amman to war-torn Southern Afghanistan (1625 mi). It’s pretty mind boggling to compare the cultural differences that come with the distances overseas to the same distances in our behemoth of a country… at first glance. Americans (or maybe most travelers?) spend 84% of the time they travel or live abroad pointing out differences between their homeland and their current locale, but I’ve realized that you don’t need to fly across an ocean or the Gulf of Mexico to get that adventurous experience.
TEXCAPADE #1: Chicken Sh*t Bingo
Ginny’s Little Longhorn, or Little Ginny’s, here in Austin, TX hosts a hilarious Sunday afternoon activity called Chicken Sh*t Bingo. The name probably speaks for itself, but in case you need an explanation, it’s fairly simple:
- First, you buy a ticket ($1) that has a number on the back of it.
- Then, seventy-something Ginny herself places a chicken in a cage that sits a board divided into squares labeled with numbers.
- After waiting, cheering, and yelling at the chicken, it eventually poops.
- If the chicken poops on your number, you win!
With the band playing Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire, signs from the 50s adorning the walls (along with decade old Polaroids of devoted patrons who have passed away), dusty old bottles lining the shelves and free self-serve chili dogs sitting in a crock-pot on a table in the corner… the background for Bingo is straight from a movie set, exponentially increasing the hilarity.
I had the pleasure of playing the game myself, alongside my older brother Mack and cousin Joe, but unfortunately I drew a number tucked way in the corner, where the chicken’s butt did not frequently go. Joe had the square, however, that was the right distance from the edge of the cage so that when the chicken was trying to get food from Ginny, her butt was hovering directly over his square. Perhaps it was this lucky draw, or perhaps it was the expert chicken intimidation at the right times, but after about 12 minutes, the chicken’s feathers opened up like the clouds of the sky and a poop rained down on Joe’s spot like a gift from heaven. Judging by the size of the poop, I think the chicken had snuck one of the free chili dogs when Ginny wasn’t looking.
$120 richer, “New Hampshire Joe” as he came to be known, promptly bought a beer for everyone at the bar (the $120 went a long way when the beers were only $2). All this at 4 pm on a Sunday. We’re not in New Hampshire anymore.