It’s official: we finally beat 1980. Not with new wave spandex pants or fanny packs, but by topping the previously held record temperature for all July 10th’s on record in Wichita. Yesterday we topped 1980’s 110 degree heat by one degree. When I got in my car to drive to the Donut Whole to work on a short film project Michael Carmody had devised, my car told me the temp was 120. That might have been under the hood, but I could be convinced that the thick air I was breathing in was hot enough to cook my lungs. Even as I plowed down the street, an old t-shirt from the back seat draped over the steering wheel, the windows rolled down, my Camry was an oven on preheat and I was a soon-to-be baked chicken.
At the Donut Whole, Michael handed me a cardboard box. As we opened the flaps, stray feathers puffed up and hung in midair. Inside was a rubber-faced chicken head, bright white feather suit, flappy rubber feet, and what looked like orange leggings. The whole thing was easy enough to pull on over my jeans and t-shirt, but the feathers stuck to my moistening skin, found their way into my mouth.
What you should know about wearing a chicken suit is that it is transporting. All at once you become a carnival worker, a restaurant greeter, a best friend, a monster, a toddler yearning to excel beyond a stumbling gate. The things projected onto costumed chicken men are boundless.
This will show at the Tallgrass Film Festival. Props to Michael Carmody