Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And Now, For Something Completely Different: Chick Lit

My friend Ivan is philosophizing on the sale of baby birds, and meditating on the old days in Alabama:
I wonder every spring if 10 percent of the ducklings I see for sale in feed stores survive. chicks go on sale first but they are usually bought by people who want to raise some for the dinner table and know how to protect them. but the ducklings -- just days old -- are usually given to little kids who dont have them for long. ducklings need to be protected from rats, weasels, possums, skunks, racoons, snakes, turtles -- whatever roams at night or swims and slithers in the daytime.

Whenever I see the chicks sales start I'm reminded of a 1950's Saturday afternoon in Anniston, Alabama, when I was manning the newsroom in the hours between when we had put out the sat afternoon edition and the pm crew came in to get out a Sunday paper. I was typing away on something of small consequence when one of the Adams brothers came in looking puzzled. The Adams boys ran off brand gas stations and were the leaders of the Klan in Calhoun County. but they liked me because I had written a big article about the founding of the White citizens Council in Anniston -- which they also headed.

The Adams brother -- don't remember his name but he's the one later indicted for starting a bloody fight at a kids' baseball game over an ump's call and for being one of the leaders in the attack on Nat King Cole giving a concernt in Bham.

"The streets are full of @&*$!," he told me, in a perplexed, puzzled but also angry voice. "All the street are full of @&*$!."

This was Saturday afternoon on a warm spring day in the Deep South. not unusual for crowds of both white and black rural people to be in town shopping, mingling, seeing who they would see. I looked out the window. There were a lot of blacks on the street. but when I saw what many were carrying, I had the answer.

"This is free chicks day," I told Adams.

Free chicks day was the Saturday when local feed and other stores would give away a dozen day old or few days old chicks to anyone buying a sack of chick starter, the feed you start chicks on. T bigger the bag, the more chicks you got.

"Oh," Adams said. "I got nervous when I saw the streets was full of @&*$!.
Goess I shouldn't try to tell him that if you have to buy a sack of feed, the chicks aren't really free.

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Gregory said...
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