Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Saint Louis Lunacy

I got a rerun. I haven't had time to do finish and edit a normal post, so I pulled out some messages I sent out back in 2001 or so. I wrote this letter to a crew of civic minded comrades. I am rerunning this in honor of my old business partner and roommate Patrick Landewe, who is back in the river city this week for his vacation from the Lighthouse. Please note these are relatively unedited:

===Part I====

So I was working at the Utopia Fair Trade Coffee stand at Soulard Market last weekend. And across the SE wing in the NE wing, one of the customers started grabbing a couple of the live chickens out of the cage. Customers are not supposed to do that. And when the untrained shopper tried to help himself to a couple of live pullets, the winged beasts made a break for it. The first capon broke from his death row wired cage and scrambled between the wings, right by our stand, and the other took of for the sweet taste of freedom to the north. The southward bound sweet tasting fowl was cornered in the alleyways of the market and was eventually captured, but not without a fight which cost the rooster a goodly number of feathers. His feathered brother made a successful grab for his personal sovereignty and was last seen scratching for food around the Welsh Baby Carriage factory.

So be warned, there is a live chicken who is drunk with his newfound personal liberties pecking on the streets of the near south side.

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith

=====Part II=====

So I was working the Utopia stand at Soulard Market last Saturday. Early in the morning I saw the chicken. Yes, the same winged beast that made its escape three weeks ago and had been spotted in various locales of south city. Three weeks ago at Soulard Market, in the livestock stall across the alley in the southeast wing an impatient customer opened one of the cages containing two chickens. Both birds made a break for it, with one of them making his run to freedom, while the other was captured, only to be sold into slaughter.

This rooster returned to the site of his jailbreak last Saturday morn and he was strutting around like he was the king of the Market. The chicken appeared to be visiting some of the current jailbirds caged behind his former captor's stall. Perhaps he was trying to liberate his fellow fowl by convincing them to make a flight for freedom, or maybe he was just strutting and flaunting his independence to the
captive pullets. He was just pecking away, looking healthy and well fed. It appears that this capon had been feasting on the multitude of scraps of the Market.

When I first noticed the chicken I tried to call to the attention of the livestock vendor about his escaped fugitive. I was also torn to call out to the strutting cock to run, for he was so close to capture, but I was kind of busy setting up my booth and I wasn't able to get either one's attention anyway. The chicken seemed perfectly comfortable being ever so close to his unknowing captor. After business began to wind down in the afternoon, I went over to the vendor to tell him what I had sighted the escaped cock earlier in the morning. Apparently he did see the renegade rooster and was able to recapture the errant fowl without much struggle. Unfortunately he also sold the reimprisoned chicken to a hungry customer. I was considering purchasing him and setting him free again to live as a free range pet.

At this time it is unknown of the exact fate of this south side chicken. However, I am considering of doing a study by interviewing of all the vendors and patrons of the market to document the life of the pullet while it had been free. So if you had seen this chicken, please email me. I want to try to piece together the life of freedom it had, even if it were for just a short while.

Steven Fitzpatrick Smith

P.S. After my inquiry with the livestock vendor, I bought a trapped and skinned coon (not all of the meat is live when purchased). I am unsure how to prepare it, but if you have any suggestions or recipes, please forward them to me. Right now I am thinking of either a stew or maybe a chili. My housemate and fellow Utopian, Patrick, are going to cook the varmint up this week.



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