In the early 1990’s a very small middle aged Chinese man wearing a black tailcoat, bow tie and what looked like nerd specs rushed into our Charlotte Place shop, bowed and then said “Sir, do you have chicken naked?” On being shown a rubber chicken he got very excited, flung his arms in the air and shouted “Ah, yes, chicken naked, chicken undressed.” He purchased one and then bowed again before leaving.
A quick check on the internet reveals that rubber chickens have long been accepted as being educational and a way to find humour and the rubber chicken was a traditional prop in two man vaudeville comedy acts.
We once sold a rubber chicken to a taxman who said that when interviewing people suspected of underpayment of tax it helped to reduce tension if at a difficult moment in the interview he pulled the rubber chicken out of his briefcase and placed it on the table.
A long distance lorry driver who needed a replacement rubber chicken about every 6-8 weeks explained that he used it to settle road rage disputes.
In the late 1980’s when mobile phones were much larger than now a customer at our Charlotte Place shop used to cut open the rubber chicken and fixed Velcro before inserting his mobile phone. He could regularly be seen pacing up and down Tottenham Court Road having serious conversations with the rubber chicken pressed to his ear.
In America in the 1950’s a rubber chicken was considered such an essential household item that it was included in the cost of living index.
There has been a comedy Act called ‘The Rubber Chickens,’ a rock group called ‘The Atomic Rubber Chickens’ and a group of American students as a University project wrote rubber chicken lyrics to Roy Orbison’s 1964 number one hit record ‘Oh Pretty Woman.’
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