Nebraska Man Wants to Ban "Boneless" Chicken Wings

Having solved all other problems in the country, including systemic racism, the pandemic, and growing unemployment, one man is tackling a problem that affects Lincoln, Nebraska, but really plagues our entire nation.

Ander Christensen recently stood up in front of the Lincoln City Council and urged the city leaders to make Lincoln a "social leader" in the country.

"We have been casually ignoring a problem that has gotten so out of control that our children are throwing around names and words without even understanding their true meaning," said Christensen. "I propose that we as a city remove the name boneless wings from our menus and from our hearts."

Oh, them's fightin' words, bub.

Boneless chicken wings are tasty and wonderful and are little nuggets of honey barbecued joy. So if you have a problem with boneless chicken wings, you've got a problem with me, and I suggest you let that marinate!

Before I get you riled up, I should mention that Christensen only has a problem with the name "boneless chicken wing," not the little nugget itself.

In a dark little corner of YouTube usually only reserved for Flat Earthers and QAnon Qrackpots, you can see a video of Christensen's speech. You can even hear someone in the crowd burst out laughing until Christensen turns around and says, "Excuse me, I'm trying to—yeah," before turning back to solve Lincoln's worst social ills.

Christensen then explained what was ruffling his tail feathers. "Nothing about boneless chicken wings come from the wing of a chicken," he said.

Yes, and "Rocky Mountain Oysters" are not actually oysters, but you can still get a basket of them for 10 bucks. And buffalo wings are not made of buffalo, but it's a mixed-up, muddled up, shook up world.

And yes, I know buffalo wings were invented in Buffalo, New York, but this only makes my point, so don't "at" me, as the kids say.

He added, "Boneless chicken wings are just chicken tenders, which are already boneless."

NO! That is a flawed premise. Chicken tenders are long, thick cuts of chicken meat. Besides, if you're going to be a stickler about things being boneless, then I take issue with the word "tender."

There isn't a part of the chicken called "the tender." You can't order a pound of tender. No one says, "He kicked me in the tender."

It's because the the term is a metaphor, like "boneless wings." They're not actually wings and neither, if you want to be picky about it, are the little drumsticks on a plate of wings. But Christensen doesn't seem to worry about that little technicality.

Besides, I ate some buffalo chicken wings today with a friend, and they were decidedly not tender. The breading was rather hard and crunchy, and not at all tender.

He rambled on, "I don't go to order boneless tacos, I don't order boneless club sandwiches, I don't ask for boneless auto repair. It's just what's expected."

This is what philosophers call reductio ad absurdum, which is Latin for "don't be an idiot."

Actually, it's Latin for "argument to absurdity" or "an appeal to extremes." It means reducing an opposing argument to its stupidest-sounding extreme because you have no real argument of your own.

Saying you don't order boneless tacos or club sandwiches is the kind of specious reasoning used by Facebook philosophers who wouldn't know a logically sound argument if they wore headphones.

I don't need to order poison-less tacos or nuclear waste-less club sandwiches, because that's absurd. We would be there all day if I had to specify which things I didn't want in my food.

The reason we have the term "boneless chicken wings" is because it's what linguists call a retronym. That's a new term created from an existing word as a way to distinguish it from the original meaning.

Take "bass guitar," for example. We already had a "guitar." but when someone invented a new guitar that played lower notes, we needed another word to distinguish it from a regular guitar. We couldn't just say, "Hand me the guitar. No, the other one." And I don't want to go into a restaurant and say "I'd like some chicken wings. No, the other kind."

Finally, the proposed ban tramples my First Amendment rights. I should be able to order my nuggets of breaded chicken with any term I want. If I want to call them boneless chicken wings, I will. If I want to call them poison-less chicken wings, that's my prerogative. And if I want to call them Freedom Wings, then by God, that's what I shall do!

It's the freedom to call chicken nuggets any name we choose that makes this nation so great. And anyone who hates boneless chicken wings hates America!

So to the Ander Christensens of the world, I say, you can have my boneless chicken wings when you pry them from my cold, sticky fingers.

Photo credit: Erik Deckers (Me. I took that photo.)

My new humor novel, Mackinac Island Nation, is finished and available on Amazon. You can get the Kindle version here or the paperback version here.