Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Dreamed A Dream of Roast Chickens

The other day, I was watching B-Boy wolfing down a whole roast chicken that was in the fridge, when suddenly I  had a "madeleine moment" à la Proust. A flood of recollections from my tender youth went through my head like a tsunami, bringing back long-forgotten memories.

I was about 7 or 8 years old. My two brothers and I were watching a black-and-white Disney cartoon, with Mickey Mouse, Goofy and Donald Duck being Robin Hood and his merry men. One of the scenes that mesmerized us then was the banquet scene, where Mickey and his men were sitting around a big table piled up with food. There was a plate filled with whole roast chickens, and Mickey took his bow and an arrow attached to a cord and shot one chicken then pulled it back to eat it. I loved that scene!

And I remember how later on, my brothers and I discussed about what we would do if we were super rich, you know, like some bad guys plotting a bank robbery and they would ask each other: And what would you do with your share of 30 millions dollars? And there would always be someone who says: I'll buy ten mansions and fifty sports cars! And another one says: I'll go to Las Vegas and rent me some hookers, etc..

When my brothers asked me what would be the first thing I'd do if I were a zillionnaire, I answered: I'll eat a whole roast chicken like Mickey Mouse!

I told the story to B-Boy and he laughed so much he spit out some of his roast chicken. But to me, at the time, eating a whole chicken was the epitome of a life of luxury. It was so inconceivably decadent and wasteful that even now, when I can afford to buy and eat a whole chicken, it just wouldn't seem right to do it. During the time when I was working as a freelance translator, I would sometime receive a check for 12 or 15 000 dollars, then nothing for a few months, then another cheque for 7000$, then nothing for another 3 months, etc.. Since I had no discipline or budgetary sense, the boys and I would gorge ourselves on lobsters and truffles and fancy restaurants for a week or two, followed by months of macaroni and cheese. So it's not like I don't know how to indulge myself. But eating a WHOLE chicken? Who do you think I am? Bill Gates?  

I couldn't find the Mickey-Mouse-as-Robin-Hood cartoon on YouTube, so here's something similar:

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