Woody Allen called one of his books Without Feathers, an angst-ridden response to Emily Dickinson's buoyant comment that "hope is the thing with feathers." In late May a creature seemingly brought forth from Woody's tormented subconscious was revealed to the public: the featherless chicken. Bred by a geneticist in Israel, the bird would allegedly withstand heat better--while alive, anyway. The featherless chicken thus joins the boneless chicken ("How did it walk?" Oscar Madison famously asked) and the rubber chicken as a comedy staple.
As the perpetrator of this column, I was immediately seized with gratitude, recognizing the exposed poultry for the surefire wacky-science page-filler it is. But I felt guilty taking advantage of this chicken served up on a silver platter--where's the challenge? So, having reported the existence of the undressed bird, I'm going to pass the buck and change the subject.
This article was originally published with the title Poultry and Poetry.