Many of us have hidden talents. Secret, tucked-away qualities that we bring out only for parties and benign entertainment. I once knew a girl who could guess the number of Jelly Beans in a jar every time. As an adult, this is a pretty neat trick. As a 3rd grader, you become a god.


In kindergarten, I went to the Jelly Belly factory for a field trip. I’d have liked to see the wheels turning as she tried to calculate the amount in those big, rolling tubs.


I also knew a kid next door who knew how to stack a deck—at least, I’m assuming he must have, since the mother fucker only won at Mag Blast when he shuffled the cards.


I’m callin’ you out, Kenty.


My talent was nothing nearly so useful as winning free candy or kicking the ever-living shit out of another kid through dishonest card games (I SEE YOU, AND I KNOW WHAT YOU DID). Nope, mine was more of a physical talent. One that has yet to take the world by storm.

I could turn my belly fat into a bawking chicken.

The end result was startlingly similar to last week’s breakfast bagel.


I don’t remember how I discovered this talent is irrelevant. All you need to know is that one day, when I was about eight years old, I discovered it, and it was beautiful.

Since this is such a useful unique skill, I have provided step-by-step instructions below, so that you may amaze and concern any number of friends around you:


Bawking the Chicken: 

A Guide

  1. Lift up shirt to expose pale, flaccid belly. No hard bodies here.
Prime Bawking Belly material.

2. Secure shirt above belly by either tying it into a sexy schoolgirl knot, or tucking it under boob folds. Keep as much stomach exposed as possible without exposing the nipples.

Hairy bellies are acceptable, as long as the hair does not obscure the belly button.

3. Place hands hands on stomach, cupping the hands to form an “O” shape around the belly button. Press in slightly and grip either side of the belly. (Author’s note: For context, this is considered a kissing-cousin of the “Bagel Belly”)

Decent Bawking Belly form. Try to curve your hands more.

4. Push and pull the belly back and forth, mashing the excess belly fat against itself. The belly button will open and close accordingly.

Your chicken is ready.

5. Make bawking sounds.

Your mother would be so proud.


Don’t be afraid to really get into it. Lean back and bawk defiantly at the moon. Bawk with pride at your guests. Bawk especially at children on the streets as their parents clutch them tightly and hurry away. Trust me, this is gold. 

This bit never failed to elicit hearty, knee-slapping (belly) laughs from every member of my family at nearly every occasion. Thanksgiving, Saturday-morning-cartoon commercial breaks, family movie nights. I wish I was lying when I say that my parents would call me into the living room to parade my newfound talent to their friends and coworkers. One guy was even running for governor.


He was a Libertarian, so he barely counted, but still. Also: is their mascot really a porcupine?

I stopped bawking the chicken in public sometime around the 8th grade, when even we simple homeschooled types became self-conscious of our bodies, and painfully aware of our innate awkwardness.

But, occasionally, after a night of light moderate binge drinking and stilted love-making,

I’ll still pull back the covers, and reveal my talent to my partner.