True Story: The Suit

[Editor's Note: Jack Grisham is an author, hypnotherapist, T.S.O.L. front man and all-around troublemaker. His weekly column, True Story, may or may not be factual, with characters who may or may not be real.]

The suit fit. It was long enough in the arms and just right at the crotch. He was worried about it being too constricting, but when he put on the head it was pleasantly airy. He admired himself in the mirror.

“Oh my,” he thought. “I'm a grand beast.” He ruffled his cloth feathers and stuck out his chest. “Bawk, bawk, bawk,” he called, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

His suit was magnificent and he hoped Stella would love it as much he did. He strutted about the room knocking into the furniture and breaking a vase. He was reckless and wild, a real beast–he was also out eight-hundred dollars, the cost of the size-42 chicken suit. The phone rang.

“Harry?” It was Stella.

“Yes, dear?”

“Why does your voice sound muffled?”


He tried to speak clearly but the slit in the beak wasn't designed for human sounds.
“I'm not sure baby, I–“

“Don't baby me; I just tried to buy a pair of work shoes and our card was declined. They said we made an $800 dollar purchase–Barbie's Pleasure Palace; did you buy something?”
Harry cocked his head to one side. He scratched at the carpet with his right foot.

“I'm not sure, dear.”

“You're not sure what? Look Harry, I'm trying, I'm really trying–even when all my friends and family begged me to bail, I've stayed. But you gotta do your part baby. You've gotta straighten up.”

Harry clucked an, 'Okay.'

“And, Harry?”


“Don't forget my mother is coming for dinner.” She hung up.
The doorbell rang.

Harry pulled at his head piece. It was stuck. The doorbell rang again.
“Just a minute,” Harry said.

“Harry?” it was his mother in law. “Let me in, I have to use the ladies room.”
Harry darted about the apartment. Frantically he fought to remove the head, but it wouldn't budge.

“Bawk, bawk, bawk,” He clucked.
“Harry! What's going on in there? Let me in.”

Harry flapped his arms and jumped onto the couch. He stretched his neck and crowed.

His mother in law shook the door handle.

“Harry! Open the God-damn door!”

Harry dashed to the piano and with his plastic beak he pecked out a quick tune. Nothing would dislodge the head. The sounds of the street floated seven stories up and clawed their way through the open living room window–the city noise aggravating him more.

“Harry!” She pounded on the door. “Open the fucking door!”
“Bawk, bawk, bawk,” He yelled.

Harry scurried to the window, crouched and jumped up on the sash.
“Harry! I'm leaving.”

But it was too late, Harry leapt. He flapped his arms as he fell. A yellow ball of cloth feathers tumbling through the air. Seven stories he dropped and when he landed it was rudely on the roof of a cab, crushing the steel, and then quietly coming to rest quiet dead in the rear seat–but Harry, the size 42 chicken, still looked magnificent in his suit.

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