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Monday, February 8, 2010

A dirty world of cock-fighting, unpasteurized eggs, and chicks dyed pink at Easter.

This weekend my partner, being a good Cuban, was taking care of his 92 year old uncle in one of Miami's more distant suburbs. Even though we were close to the edge of the city (just a few miles east of the Everglades), we were still in what would pass as a typical suburb. Many rows of split ranch homes built in the very late 20th century style, double doors, split levels, kitchens with an "island". Yet lurking behind these bland facades is a world of illegal chickens. A dirty world of cock-fighting, unpasteurized eggs, and chicks dyed pink at Easter.

I once saw a movie where a bunch of chickens built a plane and escaped. I know for a fact that the plane landed at Opa-Locka Airport. Since then this city has been overrun with chickens. Normally, the sight of feral chickens doesn't bother me. Once I was eating at an expensive bistro on Brickell Avenue, Miami's international banking district. I was eating with a chic young executive from D.C. As we nibbled on our chicken wraps a bantam hen strolled through the crowd of bankers dressed in their Brooks Brothers suits and power ties. She came up to us and asked if we were almost finished, because she needed the table. I see chickens at the supermarket, not in the poultry section, but running free in the parking lot. I see them on the street. I see them at the gas station, Costco(they prefer to buy in bulk), and the library.(WTF?) In fact I've seen a cute chicken family move in just six blocks away.... and there goes the neighborhood. But after this weekend, I am OVER the frickin' chicken.

So as I slept uneasily in this suburban quiet, I was yanked from my alcohol enhanced slumber with the shrill cry of the early morning. 3AM to be exact. Cock-a-fuckin'-doodle-do. Mr. Rooster crowed on exactly the same timing as a snooze button on an alarm clock. Starting at 3:00AM, 3:23AM, 3:45 AM, 3:46 AM, 4:30 and on a seemingly random non-random interval. An interval designed to interrupt REM sleep just as it was beginning. Each call spaced far enough apart, so as soon as you drifted off, you'd be awoken once again.

You know, it could be very easy to target specific minority groups about the chickens. I know people use them for many purposes: as pets, for stews, making feather boas, ritualistic sacrifices...or all of the above. I used to think people kept them for food to save money. It was for poor people. My mother is a millionaire and keeps chickens. She gives them all Mexican names.(?) So there's really no rhyme or reason as to who might have an illegal coop in their back yard. In my opinion, its for people who hate their neighbors but can't afford a loud bass stereo system to piss them off with.

So I say: no more, NO MORE to the chickens. My 93 year old Grandma Fran doesn't eat chicken. When I asked her why, she replied; "they eat their own shit." 'nuff said.