Thursday, November 14, 2013

On Waking Up to a Rooster

To the careful observer, a rooster is one of two things to the sleeping person: either he is an idyllic wake-up call, or an alarm clock from hell.

Roosters worked as alarm clocks in the old days, if rural legends are to be believed. (That brings up the question of what a rural legend is, and whether it is made up by people who don't actually live in rural areas.) According to legend, the arcane rooster, at the exact moment when dawn breaks, feels in his bones that he ought to crow, and crows loudly, consistently giving the happy farmer something to wake up to.

This may or may not be true. I wouldn't know, since I have never been a happy farmer, although I have been happy and I have lived on a farm; the roosters, however, disappeared long ago.

However, I have a number of reputable sources informing me of just how inerrant the divine rooster is, such as the various Disney movies and local farm stereotypes.

Sadly, society evolved past the delightful custom of owning a rooster, and instead substituted mechanical alarms. I am unconvinced that this is the better alternative, since the only snooze button available to the rooster is the chopping block. And besides, a “cockle-doodle-do” is much easier on the ears than incessant beeping, and tends to foster a warm sense of rustic value, something that is lacking in today's postmodern society.

However, it is also my duty to inform you that not all roosters produce this pastoral appeal. While I trust the fables of my home turf, roosters change from continent to continent. In Africa, for instance, it is apparently a custom to starve your roosters so that their melodious crow degenerates into a cross between a screaming baby and a dying cow.

This accentuates the mental instability of both the roosters and their owners. As a result of their conditions, African roosters have lost their sense of time and thus crow at intervals throughout the day. Several times I've been startled to find my neighbor's rooster waddling up to my back door and screaming a “cockle-doodle-do” at my back before returning to his quest for moldy rice in the nearby trash pit.

If you are in the unfortunate position of having been asleep when one of those roosters is waltzing by, my recommendation is to wear earmuffs, particularly if you are on the top bunk of a bunk-bed. The mosquito net is useful for keeping mosquitoes out but not as useful at keeping you in when an unexpected caterwaul sends you flying off your bed in panic.

With this in mind, please be careful in your selection of a rooster, making sure that it is thoroughly American and well-fed. With a rooster, you too can feel like a happy American farmer living the rustic life.

And if, for some bizarre reason, you are dissatisfied with your purchase, eating the rooster is always an option.


  1. This post cracked me up. Thanks for the laugh (and the warning), Jake!

  2. *cackling*
    Unfortunately, American roosters also crow at all times of the day. They also smell.