Chicken wings

Farm Forum

A local chiropractor talked about Hunter’s Thumb on the radio the other day.

It was the first I’d heard of Hunter’s Thumb.

He said it was a sore thumb caused when hunters wring the necks of downed birds. Do you suppose there’s a Medicare code number for chiropractic manipulation of Hunter’s Thumb.


Our dysfunctional government thinks of everything.

My mother must have had Dinner’s Thumb. She was wringing chicken necks on just about every day of the week that ends in “y.”

If there was a hierarchy for chicken parts back then. the least favorites were chicken wings and necks.

Breast meat won out. Kids also liked drumsticks. Moms were stuck with the lowly wing, Dad got chicken necks.

Planet Earth was being inundated with chicken wings.

Then along came a family restaurant in Buffalo, N.Y. where Buffalo wings were invented, slathered with hot sauce and sold for…well…chicken feed.

Those then cheap buffalo wings solved forever the world’s chicken wing glut. The most abominable chicken part moved up in the pecking order, and now flutters hell to breakfast.

I’m impressed what advertising has done for a useless, ugly appendage that just hangs around and flaps.

A chicken wing’s only contribution is that experts, called chicken sexers, read the chick’s sex by something they see in its bony wing structure.

In my salad days the chicken wing was the Sunday dinner platter’s ugly duckling. The excitement started after church with a barbaric back yard spectacle.

Execution was by my neck-wringing mom. Just 4’9”, she could wring with the best of them. It was a bloody sight made even more so because a chicken with its head cut off really does run around like a chicken with its head cut off.

Later on our family’s economics improved after the Depression, we could afford a sharp hatchet. Mom retired from neck wringing and her Dinner’s Thumb never needed chiropractor expertise.

Buffalo wings (a.k.a. chicken wings) have attracted a gazillion fans, mostly young adults willing to fork over money for something fattening and messy which when eaten requires a side dish of dabbing napkins two sizes too small to mop up the mess.

The Buffalo, N.Y., creators once sold their juiced-up but inexpensive buffalo wings for a couple of bucks a dozen.

Others have since jumped on the wing wagon with Cajun wings, Chinese wings, Honey wings, African wings, Aloha wings, Anti-social wings, Dingaling Wings, Bombay wings and one marketed as Lollipop wings. Chicken growers everywhere are smiling and urging genetic researchers to come up with a three- or four-winged Rhode Island Red.

I think buffalo wings are one of history’s most amazing marketing coups, right up there with the hula hoop, DVDs of Big Foot sightings and beach volleyball as an Olympic sport.

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