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Losing Friends at a Country-Fried Chicken Chase Bar Crawl

The ultimate manhunt drinking game

Back in time, gun violence, post pandemic social scene, Optimist Hall, Waffle House
Aerin Spruill

A couple of weeks ago, the boo and I got a text from my girlfriend inviting us to a “Chicken Chase” bar crawl for her boyfriend’s birthday.

Normally, we’re not the type to commit to a social gathering prematurely, especially when it involves day drinking — or chickens. It was the sheer excitement on her boyfriend’s face when he alluded to the impending invite that conjured the obligatory reply, “Can we be in your group?”

Though she reassured me our being together was a requirement, I shouldn’t have counted my chickens before they hatched.

For those of you who’ve never heard of a Chicken Chase, you’re not alone. If not for this country band of hooligans, my own chickenhead self wouldn’t have known either. So here’s the skinny.

Someone buys a ridiculous chicken costume and curates the approved bar crawl list. Everyone attending the crawl throws in cash (we brought $20). Once gathered, draw names out of a hat, pick straws, etc. to determine who will be donning the chicken costume.

*Pause.* I did not read that part when she sent us the link. Had I known there was even a slight chance I’d be dressing up for Halloween two weeks into November, I would’ve kindly declined the invite from jump.

Once the chicken has been chosen, said person puts on the costume, takes the money pool and heads to one of the bars on the designated list to begin drinking with everyone’s money.

The rest of the group is then divided into teams. After 30 minutes, each team decides which bar to go to first and then the chase to find the chicken begins.

At each bar, everyone must have at least one drink, even if it’s water (*flips the bird*). Any form of cheating — sharing locations or side-texting, for example — is highly frowned upon, but I encourage you to get creative *wink*.

Aerin Spruill takes a mirror selfie wearing a chicken suit for the chicken chase bar crawl
Aerin prepares for the chicken chase bar crawl. (Photo by Aerin Spruill)

When a team finds the chicken, they’re allowed to text the bar crawl group and say, “FOUND.” Hints are allowed after a certain time frame and you choose how long to keep the shenanigans going.

If you’re lucky, you find the chicken at the first bar, save your money on Ubers, and can start drinking on everyone else’s dime. If your luck runs out, your team pays for a round and by then, most likely, all the money’s gone. Now that that’s out of the way…

The Saturday of the crawl was a gloomy one. The sky was dark and the clouds were threatening a day of unpredictable drizzles. Combine that with my feeling a bit peckish from the night before and you had the perfect setup for brainstorming escape plans.

A comfortable hour behind schedule, surely I was testing the patience of my friends. It felt like a “safe” window to call my girlfriend and inundate her with multiple excuses at once so she’d be inclined to get the ball rolling.

“Go ahead and get started without us, we’re moving real slow. We don’t want to hold y’all up and we forgot to get cash. We can just meet you at the first bar you go to,” I stuttered quickly into the phone. For a moment I thought we were in the clear as she aligned with her boyfriend in the background, but then the verdict came: “We’ll wait!” CLUCK!

We strolled into their living room two hours later and our rooster laid the ground rules. He then instructed us to pick a playing card, concealing the face. At this point, I was sweating. 1-2-3 *flips card to forehead.* I watched as everyone’s eyes darted around looking for the lone Jack, fully anticipating fingers outstretched at someone, anyone else in the circle.

After what felt like an eternity, I realized all eyes were on me. I flipped the card around as the room burst into laughter to reveal the “one-eyed Jack.”

My momma ain’t raise no chicken. I held my beak high as I stepped into the extra large bright yellow onesie complete with red felt wings and a chickenhead hoodie.

Though I was sure the secondhand embarrassment might kill my boyfriend, he stepped up like Colonel Sanders to be my sidekick.

Waiting for my friends to find me at Two Buck Saloon during the chicken chase bar crawl.

After much deliberation, we settled on Two Buck Saloon. Though it wasn’t as busy as it sometimes is on a Sunday, we chuckled awkwardly as we approached the bar, passing by stares of utter confusion.

I must say, the sheer judgment was worth it when I pulled $300 cash out to order a much-needed shot and cider.

At minute-marker 45, just when I began to worry about this chicken choking down too many ciders, my bestie thwarted our strategy by jumping through the doorway, arms outstretched, and screaming, “I KNEW IT! I FOUND THE CHICKEN!”

The final team showed up two and a half hours later to enjoy the last few chicken nuggets from our money pool, just in time for this chicken to return to her coop. Bawk, bawk, chicken, chicken. Bawk, bawk. Chicken dead.

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