On the phone Rob is telling me, "The weirdest thing just happened to me. I don't mean regular weird, I'm mean the weirdest thing ever."
"What." I know what he means by "weirdest thing ever". He means, "weird even for US."
He launches into the following story. All of it's true. Really.
While I'm at daycare picking up the kids he gets a knock on the door. On our front porch is a 6'7" (or so) humongous fella we know slightly. His name is Darren and he's the least known of the three siblings who come from a well-known family in town.
He greets Rob and then says, "Sheryl Sweeney told me three years ago I could have that chicken that's in your yard, so I was wondering if it's okay if I go ahead and take it."
Rob said exactly what I would have said which was, "Um... what?"
"Sheryl Sweeney. She said I could have the chicken. About three years ago."
The chicken in question is actually a large metal rooster (about as tall as me) that's hanging out in a forsythia bush in our side yard. To me it doesn't seem to stand out, but for some reason it's well-known in the neighborhood. When I bought it a few years ago it was gorgeous, brightly colored and I was madly in love with it. Unfortunately, the man who sold it to me didn't tell me it was an indoor chicken so I put it outside to liven up the yard and it promptly faded to a dull yellow color and is now rusty. Still charming but not nearly as cool as when I bought it.
Sheryl Sweeney used to live in my house. She was a terrible renter and destroyed the place. We had to completely redo everything inside. The walls were punched out and the blown insulation poured out of the walls. Graffiti, trash, broken windows. I had to take her to court for damages and, unfortunately, garnish her wages because she refused to pay after the court ordered her to. It was not a happy time for anyone.
And now Sheryl Sweeney was somehow at the root of the near-abduction of my chicken.
Patiently, Rob explained that we've lived in the house way longer than the last three years. The chicken was purchased around six years ago, long after Sheryl Sweeney had come and gone. She never owned the chicken, the chicken was never here when she was here and I paid for the chicken myself and painstakingly creatively anchored it down because the wind kept blowing it over.
He ended by saying, "It's my wife's chicken, not Sheryl Sweeney's." And speaking man to man, Darren should know that you don't mess with a woman's poultry yard sculpture.
And yet, Darren was insistent that Sheryl Sweeney had the right to give away my chicken. He knows this because she told him when he was in the hospital. With a Stroke. "So maybe it was four years ago, not three," he added, as if that made more sense. And he already has someone to paint it and everything. He had big plans for my chicken.
And that is how Sheryl Sweeney planned The Great Chicken Heist of 2009. She sent a stroke-adled rube who is swayed by tacky yard art to haul off my chicken.
But score one for the home team thanks to my vigilant husband. Take THAT Sheryl Sweeney!