Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, September 20, 2010


I recently saw a teapot that depicted Santa Claus riding a chicken. Considering how much it cost, I am sure it must have been art but I did not understand it. I've spent a lot of energy wondering about this chicken-turned-steed and its jolly old rider. Is Santa a teeny tiny man on scale with a chicken? If so, how does he carry all the Ultimate Buzz Lightyears and Halo games? Or is Santa normal sized (bell ringing beside the Salvation Army pot variety) and is the chicken super sized to accommodate him? If so, I do not want to meet it. Some of you may remember my blog about how creepy I think giant insects are, so you can just imagine my opinion of a giant chicken. If Santa has got to ride something other than a sleigh, what's wrong with a reindeer? I know reindeer are not really for riding but it's not like chickens are either. And the most important question of all: Did some teapot designer just get up one morning and say, "I'm gonna whip me up a chicken with Santa on its back. It will do wonders for the Earl Grey."?

It's a mystery. Much in life is. I'm going to segue now. Stick with me, here. It will make sense—or at least as much sense as Santa Claus riding a chicken.

I am happy to report that Stephanie and I have all our requested submissions signed, sealed, and delivered. That means we can work on the story that is whipping around in our heads. While the story is not a football story, the hero is a football coach so some football terminology comes into play. I have begun to wonder if non-football fans will understand the terminology. I think it's possible they will. I don't dance ballet but up know the meaning of barre, plie, and pointe—more or less, at least enough that I could read a book about dancers and not be lost. But I am worried that a reader might not understand our story, much like I cannot understand that blasted taxicab chicken and Mr. Claus.

So I'm going to ask for a little help here. Below is a list of football terms. If you don't follow football, tell us if you have a nodding acquaintance with them. You don't have to tell what they mean. It isn't a test. (If you do follow football, tell us the weirdest thing you've seen lately. Try to top that teapot.) There will be a prize.

The terms:




First and ten



In the pocket






  1. I understand the football terms, people who don't can still get the story while skipping over that stuff. What I don't understand is that chicken and santa thing. It's just too early in the a.m. for me to speculate on how that happened.

  2. I don't know some of the football terms although context will give me the clues I need in the ms. I'm sure. As for the Santa and the chicken, I have a theory. Lots of people collect chickens. Trust me. We had a furniture store, and chickens are a major part of many decors:-) I think the Santa was just a ploy to give the chicken-lovers something Christmasy to add to their collection. I'll be there will be chicken/Easter Bunny combinations as well!

  3. I know the terms. I am about as football crazy as you and Stephanie.

    The weirdest thing I have seen lately is when I looked in the mirror this morning.

  4. I'm familiar with most of the football terms--Dark Knight is there to keep me informed if my football education is lacking. As for Santa Claus riding a chicken...let's call that art and suspend our disbelief. And the weirdest thing I've seen lately is the archeological dig that has sprung up in my courtyard...seems I didn't get that memo, but the contractor assures me the find will be worth it.

  5. Santa riding a chicken? I don't think so. And for the record I will never, I repeat never, have any type of chicken decor in my house. My dad raised chickens, quail, pheasants, doves, ducks, etc. Pretty much anything with feathers. Bird poop was as common as grass at our house. So no feathered farm animals at my house. Not even ceramic ones! LOL

    Now down to business! Football! Yay! I've heard a little bit about this story and I think it's great stuff. And I think readers will be able to follow along just fine without actually being football fanatics like us!

    BTW Jean - thanks for the Tommy Tuberville birthday reminder! Poor thing! They lost to Texas on his birthday! That just ain't right!

  6. Got the football terms! We can add a few more if you want.
    Under Center comes to mind.
    I can see what Pamela is saying about chicken collectors, but I don't understand the premise of collecting items in the shape or with the image a creature like a chicken or a frog or whatever, in the first place. I guess I don't get putting something in your home just because it has a certain animal on it.
    Talk about creepy! Can you imagine a house full of all sizes of giant chickens, Panster?!

  7. Roosters seem to be a popular decorative item now -- the French country look. So perhaps that's why Santa is astride one. ::shrugs::

    Now to football.

    Wideout -- no clue
    QB-1 -- must be something about the quarterback
    SEC -- Southeastern Conference
    First and ten -- first down and ten yards to go, which is just about ALL I understand about the game of football.
    Blitz - nope
    Redshirt - yep, my son was redshirted his first year but he didn't play football. He ran track.
    In the pocket - nope, not unless it's referring to money in MY pocket
    Blackout -- only as it pertains to electricity
    SEC -- we already did this one
    NFL -- National Football League
    PAT -- nope

    Like Pamela, I think some things could be understood in context.

    I read a series of Silhouette Romantic Suspenses once that took place in Navaho country and it had a glossary of Navaho terms used throughout the book. You could always include a football glossary. Or not.

  8. As an artist, I have to say this is kitsch. But I understand. Collectors will collect anything. ;) That's capitalism.

    Look around your home. What do you see? If you had a collection and they added Santa to it, would you buy to display at Christmas? Maybe, maybe not. But I'll just bet there might be a Halloween symbol, Thanksgiving, or other holiday items lurking somewhere.

    What about Santa riding Uncle Sam or fireworks just like when Slim Pickens rode that rocket? What about pilgrims riding turkey tea pots? You name it, artists can create it, especially if there's a market.

    As for the football terminology, I'm cool with everything. I LOVE football, cheerleading, the chill in the air, football jerseys, team banners and flags waving in the wind on passing cars, team flags flying from porches, you name it. Give me a team to cheer for and I'm down with it.

    I agree with Pam. Even if these terms were unfamiliar to me, the dialogue or narrative combined would explain them to a novice. After all, it's not what is shown on screen that we understand most, but the underlining emotion in an actor's eyes. Dialogue and narrative are the h/h's eyes for a reader. And a reader fills in everything in between using their imagination. Give enough and the reader will comprehend the rest. ;)

  9. I got all the terms. :-) Thanks to everyone who took the time to share your football comprehension with us.

  10. Thanks for the feedback, everyone!

    OF--You're getting that teapot for Christmas.
    Crystal--I thought it was a little bit of a train wreck
    Pam--Thanks for stopping by. You're right of course. Context is everything.
    Sherry--Tommy was thinking of you. I'm sure of it.
    Ms. Classy--I think you need a giant chicken dressed in a Crimson Tide uniform on your grounds. What would the neighbors say? What would Dominant Twin say? Not Dominant Twin would love it. I'm sure of it.
    PM--Thank you. That was very helpful. I guess I got carried away with worrying that people wouldn't know what the SEC is.
    Kathy--You're head always takes me to a place I want to go. Remember I have Greg Head.

    For those of you who do not know, Greg Head is a Jack-o-Lantern wearing a number 12 Alabama football helmet. 12 is Alabama QB Greg McElroy's number, so we call it Greg Head. Stephanie bought it for me and we are very superstitious about it. Greg Head does not like to travel to other houses to watch the game. He likes to be at home to watch the game on his own TV. Though he is a bucket, he does not like to have food put in him. I put a tiara on him during the San Jose State game and Stephanie about had a come apart. (He was playing a splendid game and I thought he deserved a tiara.) Last week someone had evidently thought it was good idea to put a cat toy mouse in him. The Guy discovered it and was not amused. He said he would have no zombie mice eating Greg Head's brains. Thank goodness Stephanie wasn't here.

    Stephanie--Are you ready for some football plotting? I've got some thought. That's not good.

  11. I was about to bring up Greg Head as a Halloween decoration! I guess, if we considered football chotzkes (sp?) we might consider collecting #12 decorations for Panster. Think of the entertainment value! Now, Greg Head on a gator might be very amusing! Or a long horn steer! Hm, there could be capitalistic opportunities here.

  12. Jean, you need to write the book, Greg Head's Brains, A Jack-a-lantern and the Zombies Who Prevented Championship Win #15. ;)

    PM, way to pay attention. Jean put the extra SEC on the list to make sure we were paying attention. :D

    Cheryl and PM, we need to go out and get ourselves a Newton Head!

    Jean, you know I want a Monk Head too. ;)

  13. Michelle--Let's get Not Dominant Twin on a marketing plan.

    Kathy--PREVENT win #15. Oh, no, no, no. You thought I wouldn't catch that.

    That Auburn/Clemson game was brutal.

    I tried to find you some heads on the internet but all I can find are pumpkin carving patterns.

  14. You caught that, eh? LOL! ;)

    Yes, the game was tough. Clemson fought hard and that poor quarterback played admirably. People can learn a lot by watching how athletes continue to fight back through pain even when the next hit could be THE one.

    Aw! Do they have Phantom of the Opera heads or Captain Jack Sparrow heads? ;)

  15. Kathy--I stand by that it's a contact sport and people get hurt--they know it going in. But when I saw Kyle Parker (Clemson QB) on the sidelines leaning on his teammate and all the others gathered around with their hands on him, I got a little teary eyed. I think I was sensitive because Precious Angel got his arm broken in the high school game Friday night. He didn't tell anyone until the game was over. He plans to play in a cast.

    Don't know about those heads. We'll have to check into it.

  16. Boy was it a tough game! You should have been sitting there with me! I felt sorry for the QB. Those guys were hitting pretty hard so someone was bound to get hurt.

    Yes, Kathy, a Newton head would be just the ticket! War Cam Eagle!

    Sorry about PA! Hope he's doing all right!

  17. I'm going to have to make a picture of Greg Head and post it.

  18. Okay, girls. I have found y'all an Cam Head. You know I love to do this for you.

    I will have to email you the link because I not smart enough to insert it here. I can paste it but it won't link.

  19. Wow! I'm ordering one. Maybe Cam Head and Greg Head can have a scrimmage! QB to QB...

  20. Okay. But remember Greg Head doesn't leave his house. Cam Head will have to come over.

  21. Okay, since we are the visiting team this year...Playdate!