Trina Machacek: A wish from a wishbone

I cooked a chicken a while back. From cutting it up to frying to baking to the final goodness of the last swallow it was good therapy.

Then I got some scrumptious chicken pieces from a friend who skips the frying and goes right to the baking. I have to say it was some of the best chicken I have had since my mom’s chicken was slid across the table followed by all the fried chicken plate fillups that accompanied her meals.

Of course to every story there is a down side. This down side comes from the view of the chicken.

No I’m not getting into the life and death brigade of the life of our meals. Let’s pick it up at the, “Ah! What a great meal,” part of the chicken. I will be at the front of the line of mysterious things and superstitions. Not that I put all my eggs, HAHA get it chicken/eggs… Moving on.

Not that I put all my eggs in baskets of the doings of superstitions. I just like to be amused by SOME of them. In this instance let’s discuss the wish bone.

Well right off I can attest to the fact that the wishbone of the latest chicken that entered my kitchen was not all that lucky for the chicken! But for me? Well only time will tell. Of course I have more than a 50/50 chance of getting my wish to come true. I do live alone you know.

So when the bone is all dried out and wished upon I win big and a loss can also be counted as a win. So of course that has a lot to do with the winning wish being HUGE and the littler wish always getting the short end of the bone. But! Yes a wishful, “but.”

But then I have to declare which side will be the bigger wish. I mean come on. There has to be some mystery and luck involved or why would we even wish upon the wishbone? Or a star?

I grew up wishing on the turkey wishbone. Didn’t even give a thought to the fact that there is a wishbone in a chicken. Might be because by the time a chicken breast made it to the dinner table it was cut into at least two or more pieces and the wishbone was but a thing that made a “dink” noise as it hit the plate with the other cleaned off bones.

Then once on a vacation I bought one of those rotisserie chickens laying in its plastic see through tomb under a warming light in a grocery store. I have to admit I was very pleased with the taste. Then we got silly and just pulled it apart and ate it like some Roman feast was happening and all bets were off. As my dad would have said — you just have to keep one foot on the floor!

Until I tasted my friends baked chicken that was the best non fried chicken I had ever eaten. Then! Magic of all magic I saw this tiny wishbone. It was like getting to the bottom of a box of Cracker Jacks and getting the prize. Oh, when prizes in boxes of Cracker Jacks were real prizes. AARRGGHH. Yes I have a treasure trove of old, very old Cracker Jack prizes. Doesn’t everybody?

There was this little, mini me sized turkey, chicken wishbone. Who knew? Well apparently more people knew that chickens have wishbones like turkeys do than I thought. I was fascinated by its size. I was used to getting the turkey wisher, about at least four inches from the hold on to edges on the bottom to the wished for top that would break your way when held just right.

I remember hanging it somewhere around the sink in the kitchen for at least a week — or much longer — until while doing the dishes one day and coming across it and calling out that it was “ready” to be wished on. There’s always someone who chokes up on their side to get an unfair advantage by using fingers as a fulcrum for leverage.

Ah but then came along the chicken wishbone! It is not as fulcrum friendly as a turkey wishbone. Nope this little dickens is just right for the hand of the woman. There is always something just hanging out, waiting to even the playing fields of life. Wow.

So when life throws a chicken out of an airplane toward you, be ready to catch it by the wishbone and know that the fairness of life may not be fair to the chicken, but it wasn’t to the turkey either. Wish happy.

Trina lives in Eureka. Her book “They Call Me Weener” is on or email her at


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