Poultry Questions

Recently, in a moment of weakness I volunteered to accompany my son's class in a song for their school program where my son is singing a solo. I can play a little guitar, so this didn't seem like that big of a deal - a nice parental bonding moment. Then the plot thickened - "You'll sing along with the kids, right?"

Brain: "Uh, no. No I won't. Who would want to listen to that?"
Mouth: "Maybe, if you provide drinks first."

That Mouth is always getting me into trouble. But I'd like to draw your attention to the question in bold. That my friends is a real live Poultry Question, meaning when you ask a question like that you're being a chickenshit. Why did I ask the Poultry Question in the first place? Habit. A bad habit. One you might have too.

Today was the first rehearsal, and I was pretty nervous. Me, the teachers and a roomful of antsy kids. Pretty scary...

I played, sang, screwed up the lyrics, fat-fingered a couple of chords and it all came out OK in the end. The kids enjoyed it and so did I. The performance probably will too, and if not - so what?

Point being, there are innumerable examples in daily life where we're afraid of bogus crap. I could list at least 10 Poultry Questions that went through my inner monologue today, but that might bore you. Aha! That's a form of Poultry Question too. See what I mean?

My newly-devised program for dealing with Poultry Questions is to ask two follow-up questions.

1) What is the worst thing that could happen?

If the answer does not include divorce, bodily dismemberment, or death, then proceed to the second follow-up question.

2) Is it worth doing?

If yes, then done. Do it, and let the chips fall where they may. If no, it won't be long until you get to apply the algorithm again.

Or you can just remember Julien's advice.

At the end of the day no one is going to remember any but your most egregious screw-ups. Actually that might not be a bad aim - you're going to screw up anyway so might as well do it with style and make it memorable. Embrace the suboptimal.

Bawk, bawk.

Jeremy Ulstad

Dad, IT Architect, Hack Musician, Sailor

Minneapolis, Minnesota http://jeremyulstad.com