Saturday, February 12, 2011

Revenge of the Chickens

Headline: DELANO — A California man attending a cockfight has died after being stabbed in the leg by a bird that had a knife attached to its own limb.

Finally, after millions, no billions, of chickens have sacrificed their lives to feed us fat people, one poor chicken gets in a lucky shot for the chicken kingdom of the world. "Take that you bastard. That's from all of us!" I suppose one should not make light of some poor soul losing his life in a freak accident, but hey, he was at a cockfighting event, one of the most cruel "sports" ever invented by the many twisted minds of humanity.

  Cockfighting was legal in Oklahoma until 2002 when a vote by the people outlawed the practice, but only by 56% of the voters. I guess that means 44% enjoyed seeing animals, outfitted with knives on their legs, slash each other to ribbons. "Hey Bubba, did you see how far the blood flew from that old Red Rooster there? Hand me another beer." Yeah, that's great Saturday night entertainment all right.

Proponents of cockfighting fought long and hard against the bill.  Some of the reasons cited was that the ban was too vague, would confiscate cockfighters' property without compensating them, and that the ban would have a negative impact on the state's economy.  I suppose the same could be said for growing marijuana or constructing meth labs. I still remember an interview with one old man who was practically in tears when the law was passed. "My whole family was cockfighters and I raised my grandson to be a cockfigher. Now that tradition will be lost forever." Yeah, and maybe your grandson won't grow up to be a serial killer either.

Yet, in a strange sort of way, my own mother was a cockfighter, well, actually a hen fighter as in hand to hen combat. Now this was back on the farm you understand, in the days before electricity and indoor bathrooms. (yes, damn it, I'm old enough to remember those things). When mom wanted chicken for dinner, there was no such thing as driving over to Charlie's Chicken and picking up a load of drumsticks. Instead, I was handed a wire coat hanger with one end bent into the shape of a hook. This device was logically known as a chicken catcher.  After catching the chicken, and this was pretty easy as chickens are notoriously dumb, my mom would take the hen and with a couple whacks from a sharp knife, CUT THE CHICKEN'S HEAD OFF!


It was the familiar phrase running around like a chicken without a head  but this was up close and personal and in living color. A scene to make a life long impression on young minds let me tell you. Then came the pan of scalding hot water for feather plucking. Oh, the smell.  Finally, the dismemberment, followed by throwing the poor fowl into a skillet of hot lard. It was years later when it hit me,  my mother was a chicken sadist. The cooking was only an excuse, a facade for her  hidden blood lust, using helpless animals to satisfy her dark, uncontrollable urges.

Thing is, that fried chicken was soooo damn good and I'm so grateful that none of those hens were wearing sharp knives on their legs.

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