Chicken Eating Pear Noises

I have resigned myself.  I will never be a writer.  A writer must create beautiful grammatically accurate sentences with all the words spelled correctly, on purpose.  They care passionately about prepositions at the ends of sentences, starting sentences with “so”, pronoun agreements, and gerunds (which I spelled gerands before the spell-check wiggly-line alerted me to my error: I am hopeless.)  So I have resigned myself to becoming a story-teller, because no one cares if a story-teller screws up the language a bit.  Sometimes it even makes the story better.  Case in point, the Afthead household had a bag of pears going bad, so my husband and I were removing the moldy bits so we could feed the brown and mushy bits to the chickens.  (Chickens turn rotting food into eggs, which is magic I’ve come to appreciate in our months of ownership.)

Three chickens evaluating pears prior to eating them

I scooped the pears into a bowl and said, with delight, “Now I get to hear my favorite chicken eating pear noise.”

My husband looked at me with that you are a doofus look he reserves just for his beloved wife and said, “I think you mean pear eating chicken noises.”

I was horrified.  Pear eating chicken noises sounded like the noises giant pears would make as they ripped my poor unsuspecting chickens to bloody shreds.  “No,” I insisted, “that’s backwards.”

Leave it to my mom, the retired English teacher, to show me the error of my ways.  “Think of it like a hyphenated phrase,” she said, “Pear-eating chicken noises is what you love.  Chicken-eating pear noises are the terrifying ones.”

Once again my grammar savant engineering husband and English degreed mother found the errors in my word choices.  If I wasn’t so stubborn I’d stop disagreeing with them and just accept my ignorance.  There is a reason I make them read everything I write.  They are good at this English language stuff.

But I am good at the creativity stuff, so I hauled out the fancy markers, grabbed Afthead Junior and said, “Let’s draw pictures of chicken-eating pears!”

My daughter, having witnessed the pear-eating/chicken-eating argument, asked for clarification, “You mean scary pear drawings?”


Behold, the chicken-eating pears.  They are terrifying.  They are chicken-eating.  They are bloody.  Keep your chickens locked up safe, folks.  You don’t want to see these monsters in your coop.  Nom nom nom,

Afthead’s chicken eating pear.  (Don’t know where he got the roasted drumstick.)
Afthead Junior’s chicken eating pear.  (Look in its mouth!  A head!  So scary!)

Yes.  Thanks.  I know.  It goes without saying.  I am a story-teller, not a writer.  And I am DEFINITELY NOT an artist.  No need to point that out.  It’s just rude.

Now off to go create the world of the chicken eating pears and how they wreck havoc on unsuspecting small farmers and backyard chicken enthusiasts.  Beware the pear!

Just in case you are wondering, the video below shows Rosie making the pear-eating chicken noises that I adore.  Listen close — it’s a subtle sound.

I Love Spellcheck

I’m just going to say it.  I love spellcheck.  I love that I know that spellcheck is spelled spellcheck and not spell check or spell-check because spellcheck doesn’t get a red underlined wiggly.  (Note, spell check and spell-check also don’t, so that means all three of them are right, right?)  I can’t spell.  Have never been able to spell.  Have been known to spell so poorly that when I right click on the red squiggly line it has no suggestions for me.  Buerocratic is one of my favorites.  You know the act of beuorocracy?  Why can’t spell check get what I’m trying to say?  Burocracy?  Whatever, “dumb organizational rules” gets no red wiggly line, but sometimes gets frowny faces from my boss.  (Frowney?  Frowning.  Who knew frowny wasn’t a word?)

Today spellcheck taught me two new things.  Would you like to learn them too?  if so read on!

1.  Those tiny green cabbages are Brussels sprouts.  Brussels like the country with a big B.  I had no idea.  Wikipedia tells me The Brussels sprout has long been popular in Brussels, Belgium, and may have originated and gained its name there.  I always thought they were brussel sprouts.  Thank you spellcheck!

2.  The plural of eucalyptus (had to use the squiggly line to spell that one) is eucalypti.  I have never thought of eucalyptus as something having a plural.  I use eucalyptus oil when I have a chest cold to keep me from coughing all night.  I suppose it is harvested from a grove of eucalypti?  Or say that you spill many bottles of oil at Whole Foods.  Have you caused a eucalypti cleanup on aisle ten?

Now rejoice all of you at your new found smartness due to my inability to spell.  Wonder how the Afthead is ever going to realize her literary dreams when she is baffled by spelling, verb tense and comma usage.  I’m already picturing the day my novel goes to an editor.  “Well, she can’t use a comma to save her life and she’s got the past, present and future all mixed up in a single paragraph.  At least she can spell.”

Heck yeah, I can spell.  Thanks spellcheck!