Episode #202 — The Rubber Chicken Museum

We’re now at episode #202, which means we’re through being grateful to our mothers for their support and back to making it all about us. (Thanks for being willing to do an episode each, Lynn and Marily!) That’s not to say we’ll never do a family-oriented episode again. Stay tuned for full episodes of just Captain or Warren Oates talking. And if it sounds like dead air, that definitely doesn’t mean we’ve decided to take a week off to go to an undisclosed Great Wolf Lodge location. We love having buckets of water dumped on our heads and sitting in pools full of strangers and their shedding skin cells. (Note to all lawyers: This statement is only made for parody purposes and in no way reflects the high hygienic standards of that fine resort corporation.)

The point is, it’s officially summer and while we have plans with our respective families and friends (but not with each other — we don’t particularly get along), our number one priority is providing you with quality podcast episodes. Television may be teaming with reality competition filler, but we’ve got exciting, thought-provoking entertainment all summer long. Wondering which Ernest Borgnine film is worth watching? We’ll tell you. Want to know more about Spuds MacKenzie’s sitcom career? We’ll find out for you. Curious about which baseball fields are the most streak-friendly in the United States? You might have to find that out on your own, but we’re going to want to talk with you after the fact.

We’re even here with some summer travel tips. Are you thinking of heading to the greater Seattle area this summer? It’s a great time to go — the weather is warm, it doesn’t rain in July and August, and the hiking trails are waiting to be explored. But before you head out in search of orcas and Sasquatches (is the plural “Sasquatchi?”), spend a little time in the city. Seattle is full of fabulous museums including the Seattle Art Museum, the Museum of Pop Culture (or MoPOP, not to be confused with MMMBop), the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, and, of course, the Rubber Chicken Museum.

We were lucky enough to speak with Shana, the founder of the Rubber Chicken Museum, for this week’s episode. She walked us through the who, what, when, where, and huh associated with collecting rubber chickens, and in the process, we found a kindred spirit. Think you know everything you need to know about rubber chickens (which is, quite possible, nothing)? Our discussion with Shana will change your chicken point of view!

The rubber chicken is steeped in American folklore, so it makes perfect sense to have a collection. Shana elaborated on how the idea for the museum came to her in the first place. And when you visit the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle and see the storefront for Archie McPhee, her choice will make even more sense. The museum is in the store but has an identity all its own. Patrons gain historical context about what makes rubber chickens funny, learn whether this is a distinctly American thing (it’s not), and see a variety of rubber chickens on display, some with famous associations and autographs.

As much as we hate to break it to you, the historical preservation of rubber chickens is a losing battle. The downside is that each part of the collection won’t last forever. The upside is that means the museum collection is ever-changing. And the rubber chickens that are degrading (physically, not emotionally), have the added benefit of looking entirely haunted. Maybe our haunted toy friends could rehome a few …

This little snippet hardly does justice to Shana and her museum. Listen to her interview as you drive to your own 4th of July destination. You’ll want to become her best friend as much as we do. If Seattle isn’t in your summer plans, you can still check out the Rubber Chicken Museum online, follow their store mascot on Twitter, or see store updates on Facebook. But try to make it out there soon, before your rubber chicken of choice breaks down. Be sure to pick up some outlandish items at Archie McPhee’s while you’re there! And since you’ll already be in in the neighborhood, would you mind also stopping by Trophy Cupcakes to get us a strawberry lemonade cupcake? It’s only a block away. Thanks, you’re the best!

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