Chicken Denied Entry to Taj Mahal: Security Risks Cited

We travel with the rubber Chicken. I spent a lot of time in India in 2007 and during one extended trip Linda joined me for about 10 days. I was based in Mumbai for work, and we also visited Goa (beach), Delhi, and Agra. The Taj Mahal is in Agra – a several hour drive from Delhi via the ‘highway of death‘.

There is a reasonable level of security at the entrance to the Taj Mahal (metal detector and a pat down). Since the Chicken is not metal, we passed the first test. I had the Chicken in the pocket of my shirt, so it was visible (it did not occur to me that maybe I should hide the Chicken). Following the metal detector, you encounter a security officer who performs a physical inspection (separate for men and for women).  The security officer saw the Chicken, grabbed the Chicken, looked at the Chicken, laughed at the Chicken, pulled on the Chicken to ascertain its composition, and then promptly told me I could not enter the grounds with the Chicken. He informed me that I would need to check the Chicken in the bag storage facility and pointed me in the appropriate direction. I argued the Chicken was safe and not a threat to the Taj Mahal or any visitors – ‘pictures only – rubber’. The security guard laughed and again pointed me to bag storage, where I paid about US$1 to check the Chicken (note on exit I was solicited for a bribe to recover the Chicken – since we have two I would have left the Chicken – but a very brief but loud and animated display quickly resulted in the prompt return of the original Chicken).

Next Chicken stop – Grand Canyon.

Chicken, Where Are You?

And The Winner Is

Brynmar Bland accurately identified the location of our first Chicken pic:

The chicken is somewhere in Cambodia, outside of some sort of tomb or tribute to some goddesses of that area. I’m not even close, am I?

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Indeed, the devatas with the Apsara headdresses and costumes are found in the inner courtyard of the second enclosure at the temple Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We did not mark the exact spot of the photo, so it is possible they are within the first enclosure.

Beautiful and striking even after hundreds of years. Rub their breasts for good luck.

The Next Chic Pic

OK, the next pic is a bit of a trick. Click here to see the next chicken picture and follow the Chronicles of the Chicken.

The Chicken Chronicles

A Historical Perspective

We have a rubber Chicken. The details of how the original Chicken came into our possession are sketchy, but it started several years ago and originated with Linda’s co-workers in Evanston, IL USA. The real story must go back farther than that, since the Chicken’s soft rubber belly notes China as the place of origin. I believe all this began in the late 1990s.

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I also do not clearly recall how the craziness started. At some point, the Chicken began joining us on our trips and vacations, and a photo collection began to emerge documenting the Chicken’s travels and adventures. It is all rather stupid when you think about it and write it down.

chicken_vietcongHowever, everyone loves the Chicken. On countless occasions, we have been photographed in the process of photographing our Chicken. People want to touch the Chicken. To hold the Chicken. To caress the Chicken in hopes of figuring out what in the world is inside the Chicken that makes it feel so weird. People want to understand why two Americans are taking a picture of a rubber Chicken.

Certainly the main reason this adolescent behavior continues is that the pictures are funny.

Seriously, when is the last time you saw a Communist Viet Cong soldier getting his picture taken with a rubber Chicken?

When we say everyone loves the Chicken, we mean everyone.

To be completely honest, we actually have two rubber Chickens. In 2004, Linda felt that the original Chicken was ‘getting too dirty’ and acquired a second Chicken. Though also Made in China at presumably the same time we were living there, Chicken #2 was ironically purchased in the United States . I prefer the admittedly nappy but svelte Original Chicken, while Linda prefers Extra Crispy.

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The Chicken Photo Contest

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www.deanandlinda.com is introducing a new, regular feature to our blog. Chicken, Where are You? On a regular basis, we will post a photo of the Chicken. You should guess where the photo was taken (try to be precise). We will provide the location and circumstances surrounding the photograph prior to posting a new picture. Please play along.

Click here to play Chicken, Where are You?