Ann Bisky (and Kenny Rogers)


Here’s a drawing of my friend Ann Bisky. She writes, tweets, and creates amusing YouTube videos.

Last week, someone visited Ann’s blog and posted a link to a self-help book. Ann was annoyed with the person for using her blog as a promotional platform … but she was even more offended because the self-help book was about gambling. Ann felt like the person was insinuating that she had a gambling problem … but Ann doesn’t gamble at all.

When she told me about it, I immediately sent her a video of Kenny Rogers singing The Gambler. We had a nice little laugh about it.

Afterward, I poked around on YouTube and stumbled across more Kenny Rogers videos. I discovered some old commercials for Kenny Rogers Roasters, a food chain that served “home cooked” food and specialized in chicken. I saw those restaurants when I was a kid, but I never ate at them. (Whenever my parents wanted chicken, we headed to KFC. Colonel Sanders was a staple of my childhood. At all the important family gatherings, I remember seeing red and white buckets everywhere, speckled with warm grease.)

I haven’t seen Kenny Rogers Roasters since the early ’90s. I’ve never given it much thought, but I always assumed (in the very back of my mind) that the business sank like a rock and Kenny Rogers was sitting in a dimly lit room somewhere, hurling whiskey bottles at the wall and cursing Colonel Sanders.

However, I did some research on the subject. (In other words, I glanced at Wikipedia for seven seconds.) As it turns out, Kenny’s chicken empire is still alive and well … but not in the United States. According to the Wikipedia article, Kenny Rogers Roasters “continues to flourish in Asia, particularly in Malaysia and the Philippines.”

As I skimmed over the Wikipedia article, I was shocked and amazed. It’s so surreal (to me, anyway) to imagine people in Malaysia and the Philippines eating good ole Southern home cookin’. (Especially at a restaurant with the name “Kenny Rogers” written in blazing red letters above the door.)

For me, it’s perfectly normal to have lunch at a Chinese restaurant … or sit down in a sushi restaurant with my cousin Ellice and struggle to operate a pair of chopsticks … or go to a Mexican restaurant … or go to Outback Steakhouse, a restaurant with Australian signs hanging everywhere. But it blows my mind when I realize that people in other countries eat at American restaurants. (Think of the way Marty McFly reacted in Back to the Future 2 when he stepped into the Café ’80s.)

After I mulled it over for a little while, I realized that I’ve experienced this same feeling before. Many years ago, when I visited Germany, my friend Jochen told me that everybody refers to McDonald’s as “The American Embassy.”

I still laugh about that sometimes.

I didn’t sleep much last night because I was working on Ann’s portrait. I need to rest now. I’ll leave you with these videos…

20 thoughts on “Ann Bisky (and Kenny Rogers)

  1. I know. Me? A gambling self help book? Honestly.

    Btw Matthew I met a guy yesterday who told me about this horse he used to feed… Long story short I need to borrow a tenner. We’ll make a mint!

    I love the picture too, btw. :3

    • You noticed that too. I thought the rocking chair was a nice touch. Did the music sound a little bit country to you? I guess they were trying to give it an “American” feel. (I’m not trashing it at all. I just think it’s surreal.)

      Yes. I want Kenny Rogers Roasters to come back too!

  2. As you know I promote the work of others and to not mind if followers care to post links to their blog or how to buy their art, books, crafts. Some people post likes merely to draw people to their blog and that is OK with me too. But some things cross the line such as reference to unwholesome things or things inappropriate for view by my wordpress network family and those things get deleted and spammed promptly.

    • I understand what you mean now, Carl. When I first read this, I thought you were telling ME not to comment on your blog because the girl in the bunny costume was inappropriate. I’m so, so sorry about all that. I was totally mixed up!

  3. I guess when you start with a girl in a bunny outfit!.. It is fun and funny how the short posts we all do get mis-understood in so many ways. Great image you drew, I like it and the story along with it was a fun read. As to eating out with Kenny- I never had the pleasure but when I go to a foreign country I will make a point of it.
    Fun post, thanks

  4. Pingback: Child on a haystack | THE CHIA PET CIRCUS | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

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