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Poultry are proxies in ring where feathers fly

By GREG HAMILTON
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 24, 2002


"Welcome back to another night of fun and excitement at the Crystal River Cockfighting Emporium, the Peoples Court of Poultry Pugilism. I'm your host, Billy Clyde Knothead, and with me as always is ringside commentator Bubba Doolittle."

"Howdy, B.C. Looks like we're in for another night of fine feathered fisticuffs."

"A big 10-4, good buddy. Ever since the county turned this cockfighting ring into a forum for folks to settle their disputes, using poultry as proxies, the birds have never failed to deliver."

"It sure is a great idea, Billy Clyde. Nobody gets hurt, no more of those long, costly legal fights, and it's fun for the whole family! So come on down and bring the kids."

"And don't forget the best part, Bubba. The losing birds go out back on that barbecue that ol' Pappy Greenteeth is minding behind the shed."

"Mmm. Can't you just smell them roosters roasting, Billy Clyde? It's making my mouth water already."

"Sure enough. Say, how 'bout that first fight tonight, Bubba? What a humdinger! The Suncoast Parkway opponents took on the state Department of Transportation. The feathers sure were flying."

"Even though the DOT folks got confused and kept putting a turkey in the ring to represent their side, it still was one heck of a tussle, B.C."

"While we're waiting for the grounds crew to sweep out them giblets, Bubba, what do you think of this here facility?"

"Billy Clyde, I've been to cockfights all over the state, and I gotta say, this ring is second to none. That's top grade plywood on those walls, and the seats are the best plastic chairs that Big Lots has to offer."

"Yessir, Bubba. And isn't that luxury box over yonder truly a sight to behold? Am I wrong or isn't that the back seat of a '63 Plymouth they got for them high-spenders?"

"Right as always, Billy Clyde. The county sure done good when they took over this place. I'd say it's tax money well spent."

"You can say that again, Bubba."

"I'd say, that's tax money . . ."

"No, no, Bubba. That's just an expression."

"Oh, okay. Got me good that time, B.C."

"Tonight's main event features the developer of them Halls River timeshare condos against his Homosassa neighbors. Look at that, Bub -- there must be 3,000 of 'em lined up to fight this guy."

"Yep. That poor bird's gonna be plumb tuckered out. He'd best have some tricks up his beak if he hopes to get outta here alive."

"Kinda reminds me of last week's bout, that tag-team match with Scott Adams and Charlie Strange against them county government boys, Richard Wesch and Gary Maidhof. It wasn't looking good for the Arrowhead team, then BAM!"

"It surprised everybody, Billy Clyde. I never seen roosters just blow up like that. Somebody musta packed some dynamite under their wings or something."

"Hey, all's fair in cockfighting, Bubba. Especially here in Citrus County, where the only rule is that there ain't no rules."

"Looks like the action is about to start again, so hold on to your Old Milwaukee, the roosters are getting ready to rumble!"

"Before we go, let's remind the folks at home to get your tickets early for next week's celebrity grudge match. We got a whole flock of long-legged critters from up north fixin' to take on some local talent."

"You don't mean?"

"Sure do, Bubba. The Wisconsin Whompers are coming in from their winter roost in Chassahowitzka. They're real-life snowbirds with bad attitudes and they're looking to settle some scores."

"Whoo-ee, Billy Clyde! Them whooping cranes are gonna open up a can of whoop a-- on that bobcat that's been gnawing on their buddies since they arrived a few months back."

"Gonna be a good one, folks. So, load granny in the back of the truck, get Uncle Henry out on bail and come on down to the Crystal River Cockfighting Emporium, the new Chicken King of Citrus County."

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