Daily Archives: August 17, 2013

Running from the law: The Great Cockfight Bust, or The Great C*ckfight Bust

El Palenque2

Hi readers.   Thanks for coming by for a read.  Those of you who have any morals and are offended by the alternative name for the male chicken will be soothed to see I’ve name this twice to avoid criticism.

Must have been 1996, 1997, I was living in Socorro, NM, and I got wind there was a major cock [c*ck] fight going to happen Saturday night.  They happened a few times a month in that area, and though official NM law allowed it as a local option at the time, murmurings in the State House rumored it was going to be prohibited soon.  They’d raided a couple of them in counties where the local option had people thinking it was legal.

Anyway, Saturday night I was at loose ends so I headed out to put hero roosters into my body of life experience.  The place was a mile beyond a gate and down a dirt road into the Rio Grande bosque.  The salt cedars opened up to a large cleared area of several acres with a large metal building toward the back.  Room to park 200 vehicles or more.

I got there early to look things over, still some daylight.  Maybe 20-30 cars and pickups in the lot, guys hanging around talking and smoking outside.  Moseyed into the barn, looked over the seating arrangements, looked a lot like an auction barn for livestock.  But with a cage blocked off in the center for the fighters and their handlers.

Nobody was in a hurry to go inside because it was hot in that barn.  I decided it would be hotter when the place filled up, so I staked a standing-up claim against the support for a tall sliding metal door at the back. 

When the place filled it was noisy, it was hot, and things were happening fast.  Bets, chickens, arms waving and yelling, every reason to be enamored of my place at the door.

But toward the shank of the evening a horn honked out in the parking lot and someone yelled, “Raid!  Cops!”  Sirens blaring, suddenly everyone inside stampeding for the doors.  I ran to the corner of the building and saw the parking lot was filled with flashing lightbars, half-dozen, maybe a dozen police cars.  Sheeze.  This is bullshit!  Guys running out toward their cars getting snagged by the cops.

So I ran like hell out into the bosque dodging salt cedars, rattlers, just put as much distance between myself and that barn as I could manage.  When I went knee deep in mud I knew I wasn’t going any further.  The Rio Grande was right in here somewhere close.

I tucked myself in next to a dead tree in a thicket of salt cedar and watched the lights through the trees, listened to the angry yells of men being arrested, watched the lights threading through the cedars chasing people trying to get away too late.  Waited, waited, felt ticks crawling all over me, found myself wondering about the rattlers, waited, more ticks, waited.

Gradually things calmed down, engines started, gradually the sirens stopped.  Things got really quiet.  But no way I was about to be fooled by that crap.  Full dark, I waited, listened.  Ticks by the hundreds crawling around on me.  Waited, caught myself dozing, jerked myself awake and waited some more.

Finally Old Sol began crawling in, me praying him up.  Still quiet except for the sounds of the morning birds and water rustling down the channel.  I carefully, carefully began working my way through the salt cedars toward the parking area.

I squatted and watched peeking out there as light filled the parking area.  There it was.  My old Mitzubishi Montero and a scattering of other vehicles.  Sitting there trying to lure me to jail.  I scratched and watched.

Finally a guy came creeping out of the bosque maybe 50 yards away, creeping toward a pickup the other side of the Montero.   Heeheehee.  Bait.  Now we’ll see where the law’s hiding.  Glad it ain’t me!

He seemed surprised.  Got into his truck, started it, no sign of the fuzz.  Spun around and vanished in a trail of dust back toward the pavement.

Hmmmm.  Hokay.  I stood up straight, Tried to act like I was just a normal guy coming out of those salt cedars.  Wandered over to the Montero and watched a dozen other guys coming out of the trees.  Cranked up the Mitzubishi and tooled home free as a bird.

The paper was full of it, the Socorro Chieftain, the Albuquerque Journal.  Printed the names of all those guys who got busted.

Served them right, too, going out there watching c*ckfights.

If people don’t have ethics and morals enough to stay away from places like that they need to be in jail.

Old Jules

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Hey! Lookee here! Manmade climate change! Ohshitodear!

Prosecutor:  Your honor, members of the jury, we have a guy with an IQ here.  An expert witness.  He knows all kinds of things about climate change.  After I ask him a few questions you jury members will be asked to decide whether climate change is guilty of being man made and what everyone ought to have to do to keep it from happening.  Professor Honest-to-Goodness, have you compiled data and examined it enough to form an opinion that climate change is happening?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Yes.  Climate change appears to be happening.

Prosecutor:  Have you created any hypothesis to explain why this might be happening?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Of course I have.  Hundreds, thousands of hypotheses are possible to explain ever piece of that data leading me to conclude climate change is happening.

Prosecutor:  Have you tested those hypotheses?

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Um, well, I’ve tested one of them.  It would take forever to test all of them, and every time one’s tested the additional data the testing provides brings in more hypotheses to explain the data.

Prosecutor:  And did you reach any conclusions from the hypothesis you tested.

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Well, it’s entirely possible man is contributing to the current climate changes, though it’s not absolutely certain what those climate changes actually are.  Climate change isn’t fully understood at this time.

Prosecutor:  Ah ha.  So your test of the hypothesis did show beyond a reasonable doubt that climate change is happening?  And a preponderance of the part of the evidence you believe you understand supports the hypothesis might be contributing to that climate change? 

Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist:  Um.  There’s a strong possibility that might explain the parts we do understand about it.

Prosecutor:  Thank you Professor Honest-to-goodness no-shit scientist.  Your honor, members of the jury, I rest my case.  What we have here is prima faci evidence man is contributing to devastating climate change.  I suggest we dismiss this expert and call in some social engineers to recommend the appropriate penalties we can’t enforce in order to make the weather better.

Judge:  Members of the jury, you’ve heard the evidence.  Now I instruct you to go to the jury room and decide the case based only on the evidence before you.  Decide whether we have a preponderance of evidence [somewhat bad], or beyond a reasonable doubt [a lot worse].  Afterward you’ll all be asked to give television interviews explaining how you arrived at your verdict.

Old Jules