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July 11, 2002

Bike-selling Scots strand Alaskan chicken hypnotist
Posted by Teresa at 03:31 PM *

Sent to me by David Levine, who found it in the Anchorage Daily News:

While she was trying on clothes at the British Heart Foundation’s charity shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, last month, the staff mistook Harris’ custom-made $1,800 bike for a donation and sold it for 10 pounds, about $15.

(…)

Her father, Steve Harris, who lives in Palmer, said she is staying in a hostel in Edinburgh. He last talked to her about a week ago.

“She’s upset about her bike, but the people in Scotland have been really good to her,” he said.

His daughter has always been a free spirit, he said. But he’s not sure how she became a fire-eating chicken hypnotist and ended up with a traveling circus. She had no background in the trade, he said.

Comments on Bike-selling Scots strand Alaskan chicken hypnotist:
#1 ::: Erik V. Olson ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 03:46 PM:

"I know what each of those words mean, but I don't understand them all together like that" -- Lisa Simpson.

#2 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 03:58 PM:

Yes; that's what I like about that headline.

#3 ::: James Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 07:16 PM:

You become a fire-eating chicken hypnotist in the usual way, I suppose. First, learn to hypnotise chickens. There's a bit of a knack to it, but it's not overly difficult. Hold the chicken down so her head is on the ground, legs strecthed straight back. Then, with your finger, draw a line in the dirt directy out from the chicken's beak, parallel with the chicken's long axis. The chicken will remain in the position you put her in.

The fire eating is a little tougher and takes more time. The first thing to remember is to tilt your head way back. The next thing is, if you have a beard or moustache, keep them well trimmed. The last thing is, don't use torches made of metal. Don't perform in public until you've mastered the art.

#4 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 11, 2002, 09:44 PM:

"Your Evil Overlordship, sir?"

"Yesssss?"

"Agent McTavish reports all is going according to plan. The charity people innocently sold the bicycle, and the young lady is trapped in Edinburgh."

"Excellent. Tell Fitzroy to prepare the flame-breathing chickens. Once we have subjugated their cackling little wills, everything from the Tweed to John O'Groats is in my grasp!"

"Nothin' can stand in your way now, boss."

"I trust, Hamish, that you intned that as the Evil Overlord equivalent of 'break a leg.'"

#5 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2002, 02:00 AM:

I actually thought this write-up was better:

"Texans Chip in to Rescue Stranded Chicken-Hypnotist."

I love the lede:

"The plight of an Alaskan chicken-hypnotist whose circus tour was cut short in Edinburgh when a charity shop sold her bicycle by mistake has tweaked heartstrings as far afield as Austin, Texas."

As far as I can tell, to be a "chicken-hypnotist" is to be a person who hypnotizes chickens. A "chicken-hypnotist" is not both a chicken AND a hypnotist, like a writer-actor-director-waiter.

http://www.drive-thru.org/cgi-bin/ax.pl?http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=573&ncid=573&e=6&u=/nm/20020628/od_nm/britain_hypnotist_dc_1

#6 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2002, 07:57 AM:

And as the score now stands: Unemployed submarine-building Texan engineers chip in to rescue fire-breathing Alaskan chicken-hypnotist stranded by eleemosynary bike-selling Scots.

It makes me feel like we're in the vicinity of a vast, long-dormant pun or palindrome. That, or divine providence is reminding us why English hyphenates compound adjectives.

Mike, all it takes is a prolonged drought. If their feathers ever dry out, those little monsters suffer spontaneous barbecue.

Jim, did they teach the SEALs to do that too, or is this one of those bosun's-mate things?

#7 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: July 12, 2002, 09:16 PM:

"Just relax. Now, when I count to three, you will awaken refreshed and lay an egg. But later, when I snap my fingers, you will be overcome by an irresistable urge to act like a human being...."

And now we have hyperlexical web-posting editors (and generic hand-waving physicists) philosophizing about unemployed submarine-building Texan engineers chipping in to rescue fire-breathing Alaskan chicken-hypnotist stranded by eleemosynary bike-selling Scots.

#8 ::: Dorothy Rothschild ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2002, 02:55 PM:

I live in Scotland and the story has been making the news here (and I've overheard discussions about it), so I'm quite intrigued that it's been picked up internationally! Slow news month...?

#9 ::: Mitch Wagner ::: (view all by) ::: July 13, 2002, 05:13 PM:

> Slow news moth... ?

Indeed. Isn't this the Silly Season, as in the C.M. Kornbluth story? Or was that August?

#10 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2002, 01:38 AM:

Not This August.

#11 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: July 14, 2002, 06:48 AM:

Dr. Not plots to (dare I say it?) take over the world; headlines read, 'Handwaving physicist comments in re skiffy editor blogging unemployed submarine-building Texan engineers chipping in to rescue fire-breathing Alaskan chicken-hypnotist stranded by eleemosynary bike-selling Scots.'

#12 ::: Jordin Kare ::: (view all by) ::: July 15, 2002, 02:56 AM:

Film at 11!

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