Why You Shouldn’t Give a Knife to a Chicken

When good ole’ Q.F. was a bitty boy growing up in the hills of Northern California, I wasn’t allowed to own toy guns. Hippy Mom, she of the butt-length wavy blond hair and constant wearer of culturally appropriated moccasins, thought this would infuse me with peace, love and happiness. Instead, it infused me with devious creativity. Namely, I became really good using my imagination to turn things into guns.

I didn’t often have to look much further than the forest floor. Sticks have a way of breaking off of trees in various calibers of imaginary weaponry. By the time I was 5, I had a complete armory of stick guns, much to Hippy Mom’s dismay, and I would grab one or two or five or twenty, throw them in my backpack and head out to battle unseen enemies.

Maybe it’s a boy thing, though I know of several women who grew up this way too, but young males love everything about fighting, and it doesn’t matter where you’re from. We recently hosted a foreign cultural exchange student from Tristan da Cunha, also known as the most remote yet inhabited place on Earth. There is no such thing as violence in Tristan da Cunha. Everyone lives in peace and harmony despite the fact that they all share a considerable amount of DNA and are, thus, engaged nightly in unhealthy inbreeding.

Yet within 24 hours of arriving for his scheduled yearlong stay in our humble abode in the Canyon, young Tristao was smashing toy cars into toy soldiers last played with long ago by my youngest son, Hans. This was interesting to us because most of the 251 residents of Tristan da Cunha have never even seen a car or a soldier or a gun. But 8-year-old Tristao had no trouble making “pew-pew” noises as the toy soldier tried to stop the toy car from smashing his head in.

Don’t Worry About the Boy in a Coma

During Tristao’s stay with us, he showed increasing levels of violence and an ingrained obsession with fighting. The “pew-pew” of toy soldiers turned into fistfights with neighborhood children. Once made aware of inappropriate uses for the overhand right while in America, he turned into Vince McMahon and started an underground professional wrestling league in our backyard. This ended when the 21-year-old man known as The Creepy Guy of the Canyon, who sleeps in the shed behind his parents’ house, hit one of Tristao’s second-grade homeschool cooperative playmates with a folding chair during a falls-count-anywhere match and knocked him into a coma while my wife, Flaca, and I were out celebrating Cinco de Mayo at our favorite Mexican restaurant. (Don’t worry. He eventually came out of the coma and is fine, more or less. As an aside, the babysitter agreed to a settlement to pay for his ongoing medical care. She even, quite graciously, in my opinion, threw in a grand for Tristao’s mental anguish, which, we later found out, he promptly sent to Jose Maria Sison, commander of the New People’s Army, a Communist rebel group living mainly in the countryside of the Philippines.)

Once we put a stop to Tritao’s wrestling venture, he shocked the residents of the Canyon by purposefully taking our male hamster and putting him in the cage of our nearest neighbor’s female hamster, which everyone, I don’t care if you’re from Tristan da Cunha, knows is a huge no-no, especially in the worldview of the female hamster. RIP, Buster. It wasn’t your fault.

This all boiled over on the day before we ended this little attempt at cultural enlightenment and sent him back from whence he came with God-knows what hidden in his carry-on bag, when we found a blood-stained Crocodile Dundee-style knife under the little straw mat he insisted on sleeping on instead of the king-sized waterbed we had purchased especially for him to give him the comfort of the ocean that stretches for-freaking-ever around his island home. (UPDATE: After months of waiting, lab tests finally have come back on the blood stains and they are, in fact, not of human origin.)

Chicken Aggression

Based on your newfound knowledge of The Tristao Experiment, is it any wonder that a man in India recently died after he took a knife to the groin from a chicken?

Now, I know I recently wrote about poultry, and I do not want to earn the label of having a fowl obsession, but I think a story like this is too hard to pass up without giving it a long, deep examination to milk it for all available lessons.

It seems as if the man was participating in an illegal cockfighting ring (and if you’re wondering why the word “illegal” isn’t redundant in that phrase, I applaud you for your moral fiber) and had strapped a 3-inch-long knife to its leg in the hopes that his cock would be the baddest cock in all the land.

The problem is that cocks that participate in cockfighting are not the friendly feathered egg-layers Old MacDonald had on his heavily populated farm, and most don’t like to have knives strapped to them. So this cock, as it attempted to flee the one who had fed it since it was just a little chick with anti-social personality disorder, decided to sink the blade into the man’s groin (yes, I know … but it would have been too easy to go there). The man, likely surprised by this betrayal, died from blood loss.

Just think about that for a second.

You’re a man. With a penis. And a chicken just stabbed you close to that penis with a knife you attached to its leg in an attempt to make it a bad-ass cock that would defeat all other cocks. Why? For fame and glory? Perhaps. But more to the point, so you could win money.

Money for what? Maybe to support your little boy who needs a limb transplant or tuition for early admission into Harvard Medical School, which, to be fair, can run about $260,000 for four years, thus necessitating a good fighting cock. Maybe to buy your wife a little something-something on her special day after she sold her first piece of modern art. Or maybe simply to purchase some killer cocaine to help you forget that you are, in fact, a major player in a cockfighting ring.

Whatever the case, you’re now lying there on the floor of a cockfighting ring as your life force drains from between your legs and pools around you. And you are quite alone with your thoughts, which I’m sure include deep reflections on some poor life decisions.

Exactly why are you alone? Because your 15 cohorts are more desirous of their continued absence from an Indian prison than they are loyal to their brother in cockfighting. Evidently, they understand that police in the village of Lothunur are as creative with making a connection between a chicken stabbing you in the groin and manslaughter charges for them as I was when I was a boy turning sticks into high-powered assault rifles.

So you prepare to die. And as you take your last breath, you turn your head. And you see a chicken. But not just any chicken. You see the chicken that stabbed you. And you wonder, “What will come of this chicken?” But you’ll never know. Because you die.

Well, thankfully you are not really the man who died because a chicken stabbed him in the groin. You are a reader of The Crazy Life, with Q.F. Conseco. So I’ll tell you what happened to the chicken. Police (carefully, I’m going to assume) scooped up the chicken, relieved him of his weapon, and took him to the local police station. Presumably, officers “politely questioned” him about his involvement in the ring that bears his species’ name while colleagues contacted the town prosecutor to see if, in fact, charges could be brought against a bird.

Imagine the disappointment of the collection of law enforcement officials when the answer was a big N-O.

So what did the police do? Did an officer take the bird home to break it of its poor cutlery-use habits? No. Did they make it an office chicken and laugh when it would come up to a suspect arrested for drunk driving and poop on his shoes? No.

Per the article: “The rooster was briefly held at the local police station before it was sent to a poultry farm.”

RIP Roofus

Which smacks disturbingly of what Hippy Mom told me happened to my first dog, Roofus the Bloodhound, who, shortly after his 11th birthday and my fourth, “went to live on a farm with my uncle in Canada.” It wasn’t until I was 13 that I realized I didn’t have an uncle who lived on a farm in Canada and, more illuminating of Roofus’s true fate, did not have an uncle who lived anywhere in Canada.

So this is where we go to the dictionary, because the key word in “poultry farm” is “poultry.” Definition 1 of the word is “domestic fowl, such as chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese,” which could leave one with the impression that this cock is living a comfortable retirement among other fowl that presumably have heard of its reputation and give it a wide berth.

The other definition? “The flesh of chickens and other fowl.”

And that, my friends, is a decidedly different end to our story.

Q.F. Conseco is the relative of website owner and Storyteller in Chief John Agliata. He is, in fact, John’s great-grandparent’s son’s son’s son. He lives outside Escandido, California, near the Hellhole Canyon Preserve with his wife, Flaca, and their three children, Franz, Hans and Helga. All three are homeschooled and extremely unsocial. Q.F. is a singer, songwriter and poet when he is not working as a trimmer for a large medical marijuana growing operation in Humboldt County, California. He doesn’t eat chicken.

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