Chicken A La King

An Elvis Impersonator meets a farm girl from Iowa and takes on a fast
food conglomerate in order to save a few chickens. Ali is a farm girl
from Iowa who meets Scott, an Elvis impersonator from Las Vegas. They
fall in love.....Sam Fullbein is known as the King Of Wings, a rich
chicken mogul who will do everything to protect his secret recipe. His
wife Mindy is a wealthy bored socialite, always in trouble with the
paparazzi....Mona Meredith is a sexy superstar devoted to saving
chickens from the evil fast food conglomerate....Scott and Ali take a
trip across the country only to be followed by a private investigator
as they battle against the evil fast food empire only to save a few
chickens from their fate and discover each other.



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2. Chicken A La King

Home now was a one bedroom flat, a small stucco covered place with terra cotta tile floors and wood beams in the ceiling. She had furnished it herself with a leather couch, a wooden coffee table, and a neat Navajo rug. She had a vast CD collection and turned on Etta James.

Tonight had been good. Scott was the first person that had actually been kind to her in Vegas and not some loser coming on to her. She turned on the TV and watched some news reruns. There was some news about the war in the Middle East, a kidnapping of a twelve-year-old girl in Reno and a spot about animal cruelty on a chicken ranch owned by a wealthy entrepreneur. She turned up the volume.

“Today the man America knows as Uncle Sam The Chicken Man is under investigation of alleged charges of animal abuse. Uncle Sam has denied all charges and the investigation continues. More tomorrow,” the announcer said.

She shut the TV off and was disturbed by what she had heard. They had raised chickens at her ranch in Des Moines and she knew what smart creatures they were, how they cared for their young and were dutiful breeders. She settled down to sleep; her long hair framed her face like a golden halo. That night she dreamt of dancing with chickens dressed in tuxedos on her ranch.

Sam Fullbein was in a foul mood. The media had blown this whole chicken abuse incident out of proportion and now he had to deal with the Federal Animal Control Board and all of the animal rights nuts out there in the country. It was bad press for him.

Uncle Sam The Chicken Man was fifty pounds overweight, had a receding hairline and was fond of doing a comb over to hide his bald spot. He liked to wear white polyester suits and sported a gold chain and pocket watch to complete the outfit. On occasion he would sport a gold crown on his head if the occasion were important, like a store opening or photo opportunity.

Born in New Hampshire, Sam learned to cook for farm workers on his father’s farm. Betty, his mother taught him how to cook. Then his father opened a service station and he began to cook for travelers on the road. He soon became known for his cooking, opened his first restaurant at age 31, and called it Uncle Sam’s.

His mother passed down a secret recipe for his famous wings and made him promise that he would never tell anyone the ingredients.

“Sammy, come here, I want to show you something”.

“All right Maa!”

“This is our family’s secret recipe...Just watch me....”

He watched as she sprinkled salt and pepper over the wings. Then she added vegetable oil and butter, a touch of Tabasco sauce and white wine vinegar. Then she added the secret spices, which she sprinkled from a tin cup.

“These are what makes the flavor unique. Don’t ever tell anyone this recipe. Promise me Sammy.”

“I promise Ma”.

She handed him a carefully folded white piece of paper and he tucked it away in his pocket. She died a year later of cancer.

Sam had grown rich from chickens and he considered himself to be The King Of Wings, so to speak. His national chain of chicken restaurants was famous and today he was headed to the Madison Avenue advertising agency of Demato & Light to hear the newest ad campaign. Better be damn catchy or heads were going to roll.

The elevator doors opened and he walked into a marble clad reception area. The receptionist greeted him pleasantly.

“Good morning Mr. Fullbein”

“Yeah, whatever”, he mumbled.

“Mr. Demato is waiting for you in the conference room.”

Sam walked into the conference room and ten people stood up to greet him with nervous smiles on their faces.

“Please, have a seat”. Mr. Demato held out a chair for him. Mr. Demato was a pleasant looking man in his fifties with a balding head and wire rimmed glasses, wearing a black T-shirt and black pants. Sam lit up a cigar and sat back to hear the pitch. Mr. Demato started speaking.

“We understand that today’s market is a constantly shifting demographic. But since the beginning of time there has been only one important factor in increasing sales and that is the customer. Mr. Fullbein, if I may, your customers know you as The King Of Wings, is that correct?”

All eyes turned to Sam puffing on his cigar.

“Yes, that is correct.”

“And what is more important to the kingdom than the introduction of a new wing, the X-TRA Crispy Wing?”

Sam was surprised. This was something new.

“X-TRA Crispy?”

“Yes, the King of Wings has a new secret recipe and it is to make the crunchiest, crispiest wings in the kingdom. The new crispy sensation to retail for $7.99 a bucket, a breakthrough in the chicken market.”

Sam Fullbeins eyes were about to bulge out of his skull. So this was it? This is what he spent millions of advertising dollars per year on? For a bunch of Harvard flunkies to tell him to make his wings X-TRA crispy? His cell phone rang.

“Hello? Oh yeah sweetheart, I’m in a meeting, all right?

He slammed the phone shut. All eyes were on him waiting. He hesitated a moment.

“I love it!”

The room lit up in smiles. The King Of Wings was back in action! A new campaign to reach over two hundred million households in America, Sooner or later they would all be paying a visit to Uncle Sam the Chicken Man.

Mindy Fullbein shut her cell phone off. Screw him if he was in a meeting! This was important! She’d spend more of his money to show him who was boss.

Mindy was 28, a full figured brunette that Sam had hired as his personal masseuse while he was still married to Mrs. Fullbein The First. Before you knew it, she had become Mrs. Fullbein The Second. Mindy was a natural spender and couldn’t resist a sale. Diamonds, personal trainers, limousines and designer clothing were some of her favorite pastimes.

Being the wife of a chicken mogul was no easy task. It required that she be groomed and coiffed at all times in case the press, the social pages, or the paparazzi were lurking about.

She dialed her cell phone.

“Get me Mario please...”

Mario was her hairdresser and knew how to tease her wimpy bangs into submission.

“Mario, I need an appointment at 3:00 today. It’s an emergency.”

“Yes Mrs. Fullbein.”

But before seeing Mario she had to see Jason. Jason was her latest boy toy personal trainer, a tall handsome super stud on and off the weight machines. Jason did all the things Mr. Fullbein could not, for a lot of cash of course.

“Jason. I have to see you....”

“Hey Mindy, it’s cool, come on over.”

Mindy got behind the wheel of her new Mercedes and headed up Fifth Avenue. Jason lived on the upper West side in a luxurious filled with weight training gear overlooking the river.

Behind Mindy trailed Dexter Shack from the World Mag agency, the largest leading agency for gossip magazines in the country.

Mindy didn’t know she was being followed and drove straight to Jasons apartment where Dexter captured some candid shots of Jason and Mindy greeting each other passionately at the door.

“Yes!!!!” Dexter chuckled.

These shots would be headlines soon.

Chicken houses dotted the land 30 miles northeast of Batesville, Arkansas. There was a gagging stench outside the Super Chicken Ranch and Manuel Vargas looked up from his fried tortilla and cornmeal lunch.

Dust and dander was thick in the air today, he noted. How different this place was from Mexico where he grew up. Manuel was forty-five years old, his face weathered and his hands rough from a lifetime of working on farms. Sam Fullbein, the boss and owner of the land, had promoted him from ranch handler to manager of the Super Chicken Ranch.

He knew his job well and was respected by the workers who were mostly of Mexican decent. If there was one thing he knew it was chickens. His wife Rosalita worked on the farm too, mostly cooking fresh tortillas for the workers and caring for their young son Pedro.

Sam Fullbein paid him a good wage $15.50 an hour which was more than most made, most of them working for minimum wage. It was hard, grueling work and there were more than 25,000 chickens to manage.

Many of the local workers were desperate for jobs and ignored the arsenic, ammonia and other chemicals from the chickens that created health and environmental hazards on the farm.

His cell phone rang.

“Manuel? It’s Sam.”

“Hi Boss.”

“I want you to keep your eyes open for any media type people nosing around the ranch. They’re in our business again and I don’t like it.”

“Yes sir, no problem Mr. Sam”.

“Did you get that last shipment of birds out?”

‘Yes Boss.”

“Good job”...

He hung up and walked into one of the side barns off the Big House. The barn doors opened and a crack of sun burst in shining right on Lili and her chicks. Lili was a hen on the Super Chicken Ranch. She and her husband Ritchie had escaped the fate of The Big House and lived a very quiet and peaceful life in the back barn. Lili was a concerned mother and guarded her chicks cautiously from any danger.

 

Ritchie had narrowly escaped death once at The Big house and recounted his tale of horror many times to a concerned Lili. He now sat in front of her strumming his new guitar made from wood and string.

“I tell you Lili, it was the worst day of my life.”

“Oh dear, you don’t have to tell me if it bothers you.”

Some other chickens gathered around to hear the story.

“Come on, do tell”, said Henrietta, an old hen

“Well, it was a cold February day, there was snow on the ground and they gathered us up in some crates and stacked us on the back of an open truck. It was freezing and I thought my feathers would fall off. Some of my buddies froze right there and didn’t make it off the truck.”

“That’s terrible!” crooned Charlie, a wise old cock.

“Then we arrived at the Big House and they pulled some of us out of the crates and others were plucked off with a forklift. There we were dumped onto a conveyor belt. Some of the girls fell on the ground and were stepped on. Moving vehicles and heavy equipment crushed some.

Sighs of horror echoed through the barn.

“Then they hung us by metal shackles on a moving rail and we were sprayed with water and electricity. That’s when I escaped, before they could zap me. I saw the rest of the guys go through a tank and then their throats were slashed by a big blade.”

His eyes tear at the memory.’

“How did you get away?” asked Charlie.

“I ran like hell. I ran out the door and hightailed it back to Lili.

“Sounds like you were in hot water”, said Henrietta

“Oh, for sure”

“Thank Goodness you’re safe now Ritchie”. Lili hugged him

Ricthie continued to strum his guitar.

“I’m one lucky guy”.

Manuel walked by them, his heavy work boots kicking up dust on the floor. Some workers followed him. The chickens scattered about, running to dim corners of the barn.

“Quiet” said Lili, guarding her chicks. She snuggled down in some hay. It was going to be a long summer.

It was a quiet evening at Sam Fullbein’s mansion, except for him screaming at his wife. Sam turned and looked away.

“What the hell is this?” he screamed, shaking a tabloid in his hand. He turned around.

“Nothing”.

“Nothing? You call a picture of you kissing this, this...gigolo.... nothing? Are you trying to ruin me? Do you want me to have a heart attack?”

“No, it was an accident! It was an innocent peck on the lips and that garbage tabloid has blown it all out of proportion...And he’s not a gigolo, he’s my trainer.”

“I don’t believe you!” he sneered at her.

“Well, believe me, I would never cheat on you Sam! I swear, I swear on my mother’s grave!”

He looked her square in the eye.

“I am going to cut you off Mindy.”

“What?”

“No more credit cards.”

He picked up the phone and started dialing. She grabbed the phone out of his hands.

“You can’t be serious.... You can’t do this to me!” Her eyes filled up with tears

“Alright. All right, but I am warning you. One more incident like this and I am cutting you off, maybe for good.”

“I am so sorry Sam”. She hugged him

He pushed her away.

“I have work to do. Please leave me alone now”.

She left the room and Sam sat back in his tall leather chair. This room was his sanctuary. His trophy room, filled with trophies and awards from the chicken industry from his years of hard work. His phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Sam, Newirth here...”

Dave Newirth was the number one man at Mmm! Foods. A respected leader in the industry his conglomerate did over ten billion dollars of business worldwide.

‘Sam, I want you to come to a meeting at the Food Exposition on Monday. We have a business proposition for you”

“Sure David, I’ll be there”

“See you Monday at 10:00 am”

“Bye”.

Sam sat back and thought about what they might propose. He had a pretty good idea. They wanted to buy him out. He wouldn’t sell, because that would mean disclosing the secret recipe. He had worked hard for twenty years, building fifty restaurants in fifty states. His chain was worth 50 million dollars. He was damn rich. Why did he need anybody to be his boss?

The TV was on and he looked at the screen. It was Mona Meredith the sexy superstar turned animal activist. God how he hated these pesky celebrities always toting some cause they knew nothing about. He turned up the volume on the remote. She was hot though, he thought. She was a catch! He watched her show Cove Island every week.

Mona was clad in a tight white T-shirt accentuating her breasts and her full lips were a soft pink. She spoke quietly.’

“It’s cruelty”

“Why do you feel this way, Ms Meredith?”

“Animals have feelings. They care for their young. They have minds and hearts, its been scientifically proven. They are being killed senselessly.”

“What are you doing to stop it Ms. Meredith?”

“I do not eat meat. I do not support the barbaric institutions that kill animals. Everyone should stop eating meat and the world would become a better place.”

“Thank you Ms Meredith...That was Mona Meredith, star of Cove Island.”

Sam Fullbein turned the TV off. These celebrities were killing him, killing his business. But business was still good; there were still a healthy population of people eating Uncle Sam’s Wings. He dialed the phone.

“Demato?”

“Yes”

“Sam here...Get that X-TRA Crunchy campaign in effect immediately. I want advertising, print, broadcast...a full blown campaign.”

“Yes sir”

“Demato?”

“Yes?”

“I want to be in the commercials”

“Pardon me?”

“I said I want to star in the commercials. I want the world to know me as The King Of Wings”

Laughter was heard on the other end.

“Sorry”

“Did you hear me?”

“Yes sir!”

“Well, get on it...now!”

“Yes sir...”

Sam sat back and smiled. This was war. He would show them all who were The King Of Wings.

Ali woke up and looked at the clock. It read 10:10 am. It was a sunny Sunday morning and she had worked the night shift. Her uniform lay on the floor and the side of the bed kicked her shoes. She got out of bed, went into the bathroom and took a pee. Then she showered and brushed her teeth.

 

She was just about to prepare breakfast when the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“How are ya Baby? Look outside your window!”

She looked outside the window and there was Scott sitting on a silver Harley Davidson motorcycle in a navy blue Elvis costume with silver rhinestones on the front of his shirt. He waved to her.

“Come ride with me baby, I got a wedding to perform.”

“A wedding?”

“Come on out”.

She got dressed, brushed her hair, and flew out the door. He gave her a kiss and she jumped on the bike.

“That’s right, get close baby”.

She hugged his waist and they sped off.

“Where are we going?”

“To the Graceland Chapel”.

“All right!”

They drove past houses and apartments, sped past a commercial area and soon pulled into the Graceland Chapel. It was quiet and cool inside and organ music played quietly. She checked out the pictures on the wall and learned that a lot of famous celebrities had gotten married there. Scott appeared holding a guitar, a microphone, and some people started to wander into the chapel.

“Have a seat babe, I’ll be done in no time,” he whispered to her.

“Welcome to Graceland folks,” he said shaking hands.

She took a seat at the back of the chapel, watched, and waited. The groom arrived and stood nervously at the front of the chapel with Scott. They talked and joked, Scott putting him at ease. The bride was in the back getting ready. More guests arrived and sat in the pews. Scott addressed the crowd.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Graceland. It is my home and I welcome you warmly. God bless you all.... We are gathered here today to witness two very special people tell the world of their love for each other. Fred and Loretta.”

The crowd applauded. The video camera was rolling.

Scott began to sing strumming his guitar softly.

“Love me tender, love me sweet, Never let me go...You have made my life complete and I love you so...Love me tender, love me true. All my dreams fulfilled, for my darling I love you and I always will.”

The bride walked down the aisle accompanied by her Father and took her place beside her husband to be. They looked madly in love.

“And now ladies and gentlemen, the moment of truth...Do you, Fred, take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife, to have and to hold, to honor and obey in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, till death do you part?”

“I do”

“And do you, Loretta, take this fine young man Fred to be your lawful wedded husband, to have and to hold, to honor and obey, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, till death do you part?”

“I do”

“You may kiss the bride.”

They kissed and everyone clapped. Scott began to sing again and the bride and groom danced. Other couples soon danced also.

“Love me tender, love me long, Take me to your heart, for its there that I belong, and will never part...Love me tender, love me dear. Tell me you are mine, I’ll be yours through all the years, till the end of time....”

Ali sat and watched the wedding taking place. It was so strange to her, all this show biz stuff. She was used to farm weddings in Des Moines, where everybody knew everybody and you married someone you had known your whole life. Most of her friends had gotten married right after high school to their high school sweethearts and most of them had kids by now. She thought of Chet and knew how much he had wanted to marry her.

“Let’s do it Ali, we’ll have a big wedding right here under the oak tree, we’ll have a barbecue and a band”, Chet had said all excited.

She suddenly felt sad and caught Scott looking at her. She smiled for him. No need to be depressed here and now. Scott was breaking into another song.

“Here’s one to remember little lady.” Scott said.” It’s called, “Treat Me Nice.”

“When I walk through that door, baby be polite, You’re going to make me sore, if you don’t greet me right, Don’t you ever kiss me once, kiss me twice, Treat me nice...”

When all the dancing was over the couples filed out of the chapel to a waiting limousine and drove away. Scott came over to Ali and put his arm around her.

“Pretty awesome huh?”

“Yeah, it was magical.”

“It’s a good gig, marrying people”

“Is it? Are you a minister?”

“No, I have a special license.... Was this your first Vegas wedding?”

“Yes, they don’t have weddings like this in Des Moines”.

“Won’t be your last...Ready to go riding?”

“Sure.”

They hopped on the bike and sped off into the downtown area of Las Vegas

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