I didn’t want to go, not even a little bit. In fact, if you asked me what my worst weekend imaginable looks like, I’d say standing in a desert with 90,000 hippies at a music festival. That’s the truth. Yet there I was, heading south in bumper to bumper traffic somewhere between the city of Riverside and Palm Springs, on my way to Cochella. I had packed a duffle with appropriate attire for the weekend: dirty cut off jean shorts, a suede fringe vest, Birkenstocks and some really tacky necklaces that I found at a thrift shop. When in Rome”¦
At some point on the drive, I resigned myself to going with the flow and decided to make the best of the stuff that was beyond my control. I was even mildly excited about seeing my buddy KOMA perform. When my phone buzzed I picked up assuming it was Rupert who was already camped out in front of the main stage. “Brah,” I answered but immediately regretted it when I heard my boss’s voice on the other end of the line.
I jotted down the particulars and hung up. Change of plans! In the nick of time, I veered onto highway 215 and headed for the laid-back beach town of Carlsbad, California.
My emotions were mixed. While I was thrilled to have dodged the hipster apocalypse, the subject of my interview was…how do I put this”¦Frieda. There wasn’t time to get into it. An hour later I was pulling up to my girlfriend’s house looking like a member of Village People. I fished through my duffle and took out my notepad and pencil. In a moment of sheer brilliance, I also grabbed the orange earplugs I’d originally packed for my rock and roll weekend. These’ll come in handy I thought to myself as I stuffed them in my ears and waddled up to the front door. I looked down at my watch: 2:15 p.m. I was right on time. “God give me the strength,” I murmured as I rang the bell. Frieda answered immediately and was all a flutter. Unsure of what was worse””90,000 sweaty people in a dessert or interviewing my girlfriend’s rubber chicken chew toy””I decided to dive right in and worry about the outcome later.
Bogie: Hey Frieda, it’s sort of great to see you. I know it’s going to be tough for you, but would you mind answering my questions in as few words as possible? Everyone knows brevity is not a strong point of yours, but maybe just pretend for today? Ok, you’re a complicated chick. I feel like you’ve been everywhere and are from nowhere. Tell me a little about how you came to be and what brought you to Carlsbad?
Frieda: Bogie, I rarely speak about my youth; I’ll just say that my father was a bad egg, and my mother was battered. I heard horror stories about what happened to young chickens in the system, and those Foster Farms just didn’t sound like my cup of tea. So I moved around a lot. I came to California because there are so many vegetarians in the state. I’m extremely health-conscious, you know? Staying out of soups, stews, and stir-fries is a high priority for me. The decision to settle in Carlsbad was a no-brainer. I did my research and learned there’s a disproportionately large number of seniors residing here…TONS of old people! That makes me feel safe, since I’m pretty sure that I can outrun the geriatric locals.
Bogie: Even I’m not a fan of Foster Farms. Their commercials are the worst! I was looking you up on Wikipedia like five minutes ago (doing my homework) and it says you’re an opera singer and fashion designer. I was wildly impressed at the combo. You know Wikipedia doesn’t always gets the facts right, but I’d like to hear about your said “singing career”.
Frieda: Wikipedia didn’t mention my stint as a street performer in Melbourne? I was a mime. Or my career as a professional auctioneer in Leningrad? Huh! Well, I wouldn’t describe myself as an opera singer. I studied with Maria Callas in Athens, and enjoyed some success as an understudy’s stand-in for a production of Cavalleria Rusticana at the Royal Academy of Music, but I left soon after that triumph when I started feeling that I’d stayed in Greece too long. I can see by your expression that you’re gearing up to ask when I was born. You’re trying to do the math in your head. Don’t bother. A true lady never divulges her age and my experiences are far more relevant than any meaningless number anyway. In recent years, I’ve spread my wings, musically, and appeared as a lounge singer from time to time just for fun. Critics have compared my voice to Tiny Tim’s, which is ridiculous! After all, his voice is much deeper than mine! In any event, fashion design is my true calling. Singing is merely a hobby for me.
Bogie: A mime? Aren’t mime’s silent? Nevermind, don’t answer that. Your blog, Frieda’s Fashion Friday, has been gaining popularity with impressive speed and your Frieda Original line has been selling out in department stores. How did you learn to sew? The attention to detail is incredible and yet you have no visible hands. How do you do it?
Frieda: I’ve never known how to sew. I don’t concern myself with the implementation of my ideas except as a supervisor. I’m an intellectual. My talent lies in my ability to imagine and describe. It’s a three-step process that goes like this: First, I decide what kind of ensemble I want to create. That’s easy. I’ve always had very definite opinions when it comes to fashion. For example, you can never go wrong with feathers! The next step is the most challenging. I must communicate my vision to my blonde personal assistant, who doesn’t speak a single word of Chicken. Lastly, my assistant does the sewing! It’s the easiest task imaginable for her, because I am there every step of the way; looking over her shoulder, advising her, guiding her, keeping her on track, telling her where she’s going wrong. I let her know, instantly, when she’s deviating from my plan. If she makes a mistake, I have her make the necessary changes immediately. That way, she doesn’t have time to feel frustrated or inadequate. What a cushy job! Finally, I model my clothing myself. Not everyone can wear my designs. Not only do they look best on a certain body type, but they require a certain amount of confidence and flair. Fortunately, I do seem to have gained a faithful following. My clients are loyal because I keep my styles fresh and unexpected. A Frieda Original will never be boring!
Bogie: Blondes might be challenging but they are far more competent than redheads. Trust me, I have first hand knowledge. Moving on. You’re best friends with my girlfriend, Lola, which is as sweet as it is noisy. What does a typical day with Lols look like? It’s too bad she’s vacationing in Hawaii today, otherwise she could have joined us.
Frieda: I still can’t believe she didn’t take me on her vacation. I’m carry-on size for cluck’s sake. In spite of our deep mutual respect and affection, Lolie and I don’t spend all that much time together. It’s not surprising. We’re both extremely busy; Lolie with her lizard hunting, and I with my fashion designing. I usually rise early because it’s easier for me to concentrate without her nipping at my heels. Later, when Lolie wakes up, I stay on top of the table so I can keep an eye…a wide, blue eye…on my personal assistant’s handiwork. Often, Lolie tries to drag me down from the table, but my personal assistant knows that, so she places me out of reach. Lolie is more than a little envious of me, you see. Can you blame her? I have the perfect body, a wardrobe that’s to die for, a thriving career and I get lots of attention whenever I speak. No wonder she wants to chew me to bits””I’d be jealous of me too!
Bogie: How about that? Hard to believe she didn’t take you on her quiet island retreat. Anyway, a ton of chicks have been asking about how you keep so svelte? I mean your legs are something that women gawk over. Do you have a workout routine? Or special diet you abide by?
Frieda: I wish I could help other young hens with an easy recipe for poultry fitness, but there is no magic shortcut to good health and vigor. I’ve been blessed with good genes and a flighty temperament. I stay active. I hate to be cooped up for long periods and I spend most of the day running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I have good bones, which is to say, they’re hollow. That helps keep my weight down. I always have my mouth open, but you’ll never see any junk food pass my lips! I watch what I eat. Really! My eyes are ALWAYS open! Robert and I like to go out on the weekends and shake a tail feather at local nightclubs. We’re experts at The Chicken Dance. You may have seen us on YouTube in “Passionate Poultry Polka Performance.” The video went viral a few months ago.
Bogie: I’ll have to look that up on YouTube. No offense but sitting here this long with a chicken is making me a little hungry. Before things get weird can I just ask you a few quick questions for the lightening round?
Frieda: That’s not a question. You’re trying to rattle me!
Bogie: Standing or laying down?
Frieda: Standing, definitely. Chickens who lay around end up in a sandwich!
Bogie: Floral prints or stripes?
Frieda: I wouldn’t limit myself to one or the other. I want it all!
Bogie: Baritone or Coloratura soprano?
Frieda: Soprano coloratura, specifically, soprano leggero. My voice moves the audience to tears.
Bogie: Wagner or Puccini?
Frieda: Puccini. La BohÃ¨me is one of my favorites.
Bogie: Dishwasher or washing machine?
Frieda: Neither. I prefer a relaxing bath.
Bogie: Turkey or Pork?
Bogie: Sandals or platforms?
Frieda: Platforms. Height works to my advantage, and I’m tall to begin with. I always say I’m 11″1″, because that sounds more feminine than 12″, don’t you think?
Bogie: Uh”¦yeah, totally. Ummm”¦Long or short walks?
Frieda: Short. Lola takes me for walks from time to time, and she lacks stamina. When I need to travel long distances, I fly…first class.
Bogie: Rubber or plastic?
Frieda: Rubber, darling. All my body parts are real, and I dare any TMZ reporter to claim otherwise!
Bogie: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Frieda: Chicken, without a doubt. No one and nothing comes before ME!