His wings, how they glistened! His drumsticks, how merry!
His skin gleamed and glittered, as red as a cherry!
Surrounded with garnish in the shape of a bow,
And the meat of his drumsticks was white as the snow!
The cooking time was over!
No one moved to open the microwave door.
Finally Mr. Jellby
strode forward and opened the microwave, releasing a huge cloud of fragrant steam into the kitchen. When it cleared, all could see the perfectly cooked, tender and juicy, crisply browned and gleaming .... CHICKEN
"Now, don't panic" admonished Jellby
, "This could be any chicken. No reason to jump to conclusions. No reason at all to assume this is your *ahem* missing friend. He could have just stepped out to allow you all to enjoy this delicious meal .... without feeling guilty. Eh?"
"Then explain this!" shouted Nate the great
, pointing to the melted green plastic glasses that were stuck to a wing. "Those are pooh
's glasses! He couldn't see a thing without them!"
shrieked and fainted. While everyone crowded around her, Jellby
quickly plucked off the green glob and handed it to ravenne
. "Quick woman ... into the trash, along with that cord. Before anyone notices."
held the plastic mess at arms' length as she quickly headed out to the trash bins.
consulted his clipboard, checking off several more boxes before addressing the group.
"Well, since the bird is already cooked ... and will spoil if left in the microwave .... we might as well remove all traces of the *ahem* evidence of "fowl play" *chuckle* and I'll just add an unfortunate holiday kitchen mishap to your claim form. Sign here please!"
"We can't eat poohbear_nc
!" cried WT Sharpe
. "He was our friend! Some of us even liked him! He's been murdered! Does no one care?"
cleared his throat, "Now sir, Mr. poohbear
is simply missing. There is no proof that the bird in the microwave is your *ahem* departed friend."
"What about his glasses?" asked DaleDe
"Why, what glasses?" replied Jellby
, looking back at the microwave .... only a shallow indentation remained where the glasses had been ... I only see a succulent, perfectly cooked chicken ... getting cold while we stand here. Let's eat!"
Everyone shuffled their feet and stared at the floor, too guilty to look at anyone else. Their consciences warred unsuccessfully with their stomachs. pooh
was dead. And delicious. And it was a holiday. And ....
suddenly exclaimed "All right .... let's give poohbear_nc
an appropriate holiday send off. And .... save on the insurance premiums. He'd want us to go on with the celebrations. And he'll be here ... with us ... sort of."
Everyone sat down at the table, Mr. Jellby
's empty chair. After a solemn moment of silence to remember their fallen comrades, the group turned to ravenne
, who was wheeling the chicken on a silver platter over to the table. Conversation halted while they did homage to the unexpected dinner.
whispered to Nate
always used to make jokes about poohbear
cooking himself. Those two were always fighting, but they were friends too. I wonder if this was a murder-suicide?"
replied "Yeah, right. If pooh
committed suicide by microwave, who pushed the Start button? pilotbob
smoothly intervened, waving his drumstick as if conducting an orchestra "Judging from the physical evidence ... if this delicious meal is indeed the late, lamented poohbear_nc
... the bags of corn strewn across the floor suggests the following tragic scenario: Mr. poohbear
, in shock after viewing the remains of Mr. pilotbob
and chilled by standing outside in the snow, returns to the kitchen. Whilst carrying the heavy bags of corn to the microwave, he is subject to a violent sneezing spell .... which causes him to drop the corn ... which he skids on ... head first into the open microwave ... where the impact knocks him unconscious and slams the door shut .... and the slamming door jiggles the wiring of the Start button ... and .... Voila! Dinner is served! Another tragic holiday mishap."
Tentative nods occurred round the table, as the moderators chewed on this possibility .... and on the chicken.
sobbed softly "I always used to call him 'tasty chicken' ... as a sort of loving nickname. I thought he liked it. Who knew it would come true?"
patted her hand kindly and asked "What's to drink? Didn't pdurrant
Everyone looked around the table in amazement. No one had noticed that pdurrant
had not accompanied them into the kitchen!
[End of Episode 5]