Don’t believe everything you read. If there’s anything you might take away after reading this column, I hope you believe that simple fact.
Hmm…I think there’s something wrong with my point, but I just can’t put my finger on it.
Anyways, the point I was trying to make is about how in this day and age, the internet allows anyone who has a keyboard to write just about anything they’d like for public consumption, which makes it tougher for everyone to discern fact from fiction.
Case in point: The mystery of the genetic robo super-chicken.
My father is a very educated and wise man. He came to this country from China nearly penniless, and yet he’s gone on to become a respected university professor, written a text book, and owned several businesses. He and my mother managed to raise my brother and I, support us through college and send us on our way to make our own lives.
Yet for most of his life, as with most people of his generation, when they read something in a newspaper, book, or magazine, they could usually trust that the information they were reading had been thoroughly vetted by an editor or publisher.
So you can understand how an errant e-mail might distort my dad’s “reality field”.
Let me just say, before I begin, that I did not make the following up.
Not so long ago, a friend of the family forwarded an e-mail to my dad with a disturbing report. The e-mail, written entirely in Chinese, claimed that Kentucky Fried Chicken (now known as KFC), in an effort to cut costs and boost profit margins, had managed to genetically alter the DNA of a chicken so that these new chickens no longer had feathers, bones, a beak, wings, legs, or heads.
Essentially, KFC had created a living, breathing, full-sized chicken nugget.
Upon further investigation, I was astonished to learn that when these boneless blobs of chicken roll around vigorously in their chicken coops, they sweat honey mustard sauce.
OK, OK, I just made up that last part. But, it’s not like after reading about this robo-chicken that someone’s going to read my little fib and say, “OK Wayne, now you’re just being silly!”
Seeing as how my father has always loved eating at Kentucky Fried Chicken (as does all of the Chan family, which probably has something to do with his DNA being passed along to all of us), he was immediately taken aback and aghast.
In fact, he was so repulsed by what he had read that it prompted him to write a letter to the president of KFC to seek out the truth.
In his letter to the president of KFC, my Dad wrote:
I have enjoyed eating KFC products for many years. However, I am writing to you today because of an e-mail I recently received that deeply troubles me. The claim I’ve read is that the reason Kentucky Fried Chicken has changed it’s name to KFC is because KFC no longer serves real chickens.
I would appreciate it if you would respond to these allegations so that I might be able to continue enjoying your products.
Surprisingly enough, KFC did manage to reply to my dad’s thoughtful letter. In it, they assert that this rumor was an urban legend and that KFC serves the same type of chickens that we all might buy at our local markets.
Fair enough. The only problem I have with their explanation is that it doesn’t exactly give me a vote of confidence when the last time I visited the supermarket I bought a big tube of boneless ground chicken.