Rent to AdoptOpinion
My U.S. Marshall friend recently posted a question on Facebook, asking what the best western movie ever made was. A few people had offered replies by the time I saw the post, and all of them were wrong. The answer, of course, is Lonesome Dove. Some claimed Tombstone, which is a great western movie, and the closest second to Lonesome Dove there is. But it’s still a million miles back.
Now, some of you may be thinking, “Well, that’s your opinion, Kendal, but there are a lot of great John Wayne movies that might be better than Lonesome Dove.” John Wayne was arguably the greatest western actor of all time, sure, but Lonesome Dove is still better than any other western. You are, of course, welcome to your opinion. It’s wrong, but you’re welcome to it.
One of my favorite parts of Lonesome Dove is the sign Gus made, that says, in part, “We don’t rent pigs.” Gus said, “A man that does like to rent pigs is, he’s hard to stop.” Which is true, I’m sure, or Gus wouldn’t’ve said it.
If you’re the type of person who likes to rent pigs, I really can’t help you. I used to raise hogs, but I never rented any. I did loan one out on occasion, but only to a very good friend. There’s just no use taking a chance on losing a perfectly good pig.
But if you’re the type who likes to rent chickens, I have good news for you. According to a recent article written by Tori Holmes for Wide Open Pets, which was sent to me by several readers, you can now rent chickens. A company called ‘Rent The Chicken’ is offering some of the best deals I’ve ever seen, bar none, on long- and short-term chicken leases. You’d be hard put to find less expensive, higher quality chickens for rent than the ones at Rent The Chicken. And I say that with a perfectly straight face; as far as you know.
Tori’s article asks, apparently in all sincerity, “Have you always wanted to enjoy the benefits that owning chickens comes with, but aren’t sure you can make the long-term commitment?” Which is a good question, as questions go. Although I had never previously considered the benefits of chicken ownership, as soon as I saw that question I began to reevaluate my chicken ownership paradigm. And after I had seriously considered all the benefits I’ve been missing out on over the years by not being a chicken owner, I decided to continue missing out.
Not, of course, that I have anything against chickens, or those who own them. Chickens have brought me great happiness in my lifetime, mostly in the form of fried eggs and chicken & dumplings, but I figure I’m probably going to be able to keep on benefiting from those things without being an actual chicken owner, myself. These are just some of the benefits of living in a capitalistic country, where we can buy what we want without having to grow it ourselves.
And to tell the truth, it wasn’t the factors you might expect that caused me to pass on the very attractive prospect of renting chickens. The feeding, and watering, and stepping in chicken doots, and egg gathering, and the very real risk of chicken attack; no, those things are detrimental, but I could handle all of them. It was the idea of long-term commitment that stopped me. I’m just not sure I’m ready for the kind of relationship every chicken deserves. I’m sure I’d let my cluckers down, sooner or later. I can’t, in good conscience, do that to such a noble bird.
The benefits of chicken ownership, I readily admit, are numerous and alluring. Namely, free eggs. Well, free in the sense that I wouldn’t have to go to a grocery store and pay for eggs. I would, of course, have to go to a different store and pay for chicken feed, and chicken water troughs, and chicken coop materials, and probably chicken medicine. And I’d have to invest a considerable amount of time building a coop, and feeding the chickens, and gathering the eggs (Not all in one basket, of course. I’m no fool). I’d also have to guard the chickens from varmints and chicken thieves and the U.S. gubmint, which would probably come for my chickens, sooner or later, just like it eventually comes for everything. After all that the eggs would be free.
Tori’s article points out that, when renting your chickens from Rent The Chicken, a date is set for picking the chickens up later. She goes on, “However, what many families found is that once they have chickens, they can’t imagine their life without them.” So Rent The Chicken has an ‘adoption’ plan in place, for such events.
No doubt I’d get attached to my chickens, like so many do, and couldn’t bear to part with them. I’d end up taking them everywhere with me, holding parties for them, buying them little hats and sweaters. What would the neighbors think?
But I realize that, like pig renters, a man that likes to rent chickens is hard to stop. So if you’re that type, you might want to give Rent The Chicken a shout.
And if you do rent you some chickens, and you get attached to them, as so many do, remember not to let them watch Lonesome Dove with you. If they saw the scene with Peach and her rooster, I don’t think they could bear it . . .
Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never rents anything he can buy. Write to him at [email protected]