It’s an unknown fact that chickens form the very backbone of the concert industry. They’re always there to pick up the slack when someone forgets to tune the guitars for the Eagles or set up the drum kits for Ozzy Osbourne and Bozo Porno Circus. In fact, any band even half serious about going out on the road always checks to make sure that there are enough chickens available for the tour before they play that very first date. For as every tour manager knows, a musician that doesn’t have his own chicken is likely to yell fowl.

And Thelma was a very experienced concert chicken. Macy Gray, Norah Jones or Vince Gill, you name the act, Thelma had worked on the tour. She ran the soundboard for The Fabulous Thunderbirds, she showed Metallica’s James Hetfield how to comb his mullet and she even taught a young Mick Jagger how to dance. “I could kiss you,” Mick told Thelma after the band’s first successful tour 40 years ago. “But alas, you don’t have any lips.”

Then came that day when Thelma thought her goose was cooked. She had signed on to work a Jimmy Buffett tour, but one of the techs wasn’t quite down with working with chickens. “One of us has to go,” screamed the tech. “You just can’t mix chickens and parrot heads. It’s just not natural.”

Well, another chicken would have packed it in right there and gone home to roost, but not Thelma. She stared that technician down with her beady little eyes and said, “I can do anything you can do. But better.”

The game was afoot! A contest between man and chicken! And sure enough, whatever the tech did, Thelma one-upped him. He tuned guitars, she made them sing. He pointed the spotlights, she made them shine. On and on it went, no matter what the technician did, Thelma did him one better even though she was only half trying. In fact, you could even say she was winging it.

In the end, she won her spot on that tour. And the technician? Well, Thelma clucked him up but good, for she wanted that tour more than she had ever wanted anything in her life. Not just for her, but for all the chickens in the concert industry. Because Thelm knew that once she beat the roadie at his own game, her actions would open the door for chickens to work on all the tours, including Bright Eyes, Cher and Oleander.

And that, boys and girls, is why the chicken crossed the roadie.