In the age of Donald J. Trump, United States president, you might find yourself grappling with some disturbing questions that keep you up at night with existential worry. Are my friends and family safe? Will the world exist tomorrow? What would it be like to drive a truck around Houston, hauling a giant inflatable chicken with a Trump face?
So, in an attempt to bring a little closure to what might be the most pressing of these concerns, Free Press Houston spoke with a man who actually managed to get his hands on a 14-foot tall inflatable Trump-chicken and chauffeur it around the city for two hours on Tuesday afternoon. He asked us not to use his name, so we’ll call him N.
N said that his Trump-chicken jaunt was in connection with Indivisible Houston, a group he’s involved with that’s been protesting Trump’s recent tax reform efforts through a national campaign called Not One Penny, as well as Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns.
And while what N is protesting against is a real downer (“He’s literally trying to raise taxes for poor, working people,” he said), the fact that driving a giant Trump-chicken around ain’t exactly a bad way to spend a weekday afternoon helped to brighten his mood.
Of course, this week was N’s inaugural giant inflatable chicken cruise, so he didn’t have too much hauling data to draw from. But he said that when “We Are The Champions” came on the radio as he was cruising down Memorial at 25 mph, he’s never felt more alive.
“It was a very uplifting moment,” he said, noting that most of the drivers in traffic around him took pictures and seemed to approve of what he was doing. “For the most part it was just a joyride for me.”
Still, as N explained, life can’t be all Queen songs and anti-Trumpers cheering for you and your giant inflatable chicken while stuck in traffic. There are low bridges to deal with. And tree branches. And also Trump-supporting, road-raging elderly folks in expensive vehicles.
“There was a couple physically awkward moments,” N said. “It’s tricky driving around Houston because of the chicken’s height. We had two straps anchoring the blowup doll, and some safety straps to make sure it doesn’t fly off, and we had to drive below 30 mph.
There was also one gentleman, he was driving a really, really nice vehicle. A gorgeous Mercedes. He tried to scoot me off the road. He drove in front of me and hit the brakes, and then pulled alongside me again really close. That guy, he rolled down his window and flicked us off and shouted ‘fuck you’ at me.
Another guy was maybe too positive. I was on Memorial and I see this guy in oncoming traffic, he had this total ‘what the fuck’ look on his face. I could tell he had something on his mind. He sped up and turned around and came up beside me and screamed thank you for doing this. He was a very positive person.”
By the way, if any of this appeals to you and you’d like it to happen in your own life, Chris Black, the chicken’s owner, said it’s not difficult to purchase your own inflatable Trump-chicken. Chris and his wife Elle started a Kickstarter to purchase their chicken for $450 from a Chinese website earlier this year and they met their fundraising goal by the end of the day, but now you can find inflatable presidential poultry everywhere from eBay to Etsy. Sizes range from 6 feet to 30 feet tall, and Chris said ordering one is a good way to bring people from all walks of life together to take selfies underneath a giant chicken that looks like the president.
While N experienced a few middle fingers and fuck yous on the Houston highways, Chris said he’s never gotten a negative reaction.
“We took him to Austin once for a rally there,” he said. “There were a few Trump voters there who took selfies with it, I think they enjoyed it as much as the left. It’s not an issue, I think it’s just the perfect icon to rally behind. When you see people’s faces with the chicken, they’re all smiles. It’s therapeutic, really.”