It was an overcast winter day when the Methodists and Catholics gathered at the Methodist Church for their Advent Bible study at noon. The followers of Wesley of course brought extra scripture along, knowing the papists didn’t usually read the Word of God or own bibles. Little did they expect the mob rule, mayhem and mischief that was to descend on their holy group. It was a Wednesday and, as everyone knew, the Senior Center in Loup City served fried chicken midweek. The scripture discussion was a penance for some since that meant missing the Senior Center meal.
A few minutes after beginning, a great sound from downtown could be heard; it was akin to a roar of misery and pain. Cellphones began ringing around the study table; the Senior Center water line had been shut off, there would be no fried chicken that day. The greatest generation and the second to the greatest generation had taken to the streets with pitchforks and torches in protest of the absence of their cooked fowl. Rumor was the mayor was being burned in effigy. Sheriff deputies looked on helplessly as they were pelted with pierogis and kolaches.
As the Lord would have it, that was the day the study group was given a donation of fried chicken from Joe’s Market (Joe’s compassion and fried chicken are legendary). Fearing the rioters would discover they were eating well, the concealed carry Catholics and machine gun Methodists took to the windows to defend their white and dark meat. The mob was more than two blocks away but they could see some sniffing the air looking for trouble, and anything fried.
One brave soul walked out the back of the church, snuck up the alley and threw a chicken leg toward the Baptist Church. Immediately the famished mob caught the scent and besieged the Baptists, who didn’t know what they were being besieged about. In the end, the clock struck 1 p.m., the time officially in Sherman County and most rural counties that you must stop eating and rioting. The crowd disassembled and walked hungry, tired and disappointed to their homes. Fortunately the only casualty was the chicken leg; the presumably gnawed bone was never found. That was for the best; as the Methodists knew, the Catholics would have made it a relic and placed it in a shrine in memory of the Advent Chicken Riot of ’18.
A Merry Christmas to all and a Blessed New Year!
Fr. Richard Piontkowski