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.
I cackled like like the old hen that I am at this post. Enjoyed it.
Thanks Diane. Glad you enjoyed it. Gracias, J
I wonder if there may a life’s lesson in there somewhere? I thought about ticks, c*cks, the law and patience. Speaking of patience… when do you think you will be hitting the adventure road?
Hi Eddie: I expect there’s a life’s lesson under every rock this lifetime, The tires brought me down to bare metal wallet-wise this month, and I dipped into places angels fear to tread to pick up a floor jack, used Jeanne’s credit card to dip into next month to order a Harbor Freight 1/2 inch drive electric impact tool I’d hate to hit the road without. Still, weather’s going to be pretending there’ll be a fall and I ‘speck I’ll try to get onto the pavement not-too-long after Jeanne’s son comes and picks up the old Toyota. Hopefully that won’t be too deep in September. Glad you came by … been wondering some about you. Best to Val and your uncle. Jack
This sounds like one of those Saturday afternoon features at the movies when they can’t find the Three Stooges Real.
Too funny. Stop it now.
Hi Tess. Yep, someone nowadays would have been filming it, I’d guess. The cops most likely. Gracias, J
Highly entertaining! I’ve waited for cops to disperse before, they’re slow to clear out. I felt every tick as I was reading.
Elroyjones: I feel them today just remembering them. I neglected to mention the mosquitoes, I notice. They were rascals, too. Gracias, J
Not as exciting as yours but Cheto S and I went to one 1972/3ish near the Texas NM border. The ethnicity was predomenantly hispanic. Lots and lots of cash flying around as the bets got bigger geometrically with time elapsed. Biggest surprise of the night–you blow in your c*ck’s a.. to boost him up for a few more rounds of spurring(not sparring}. Frankly kinda boring after two or three bouts–kinda wonder if it would have been more exciting had there been a raid. Funny, never had the desire to visit a c*ock fight again nor own my own rooster so I could blow up his a– to keep hope alive for a few more rounds. We gringos just don’t know what fun is I guess. Know predomenantly misspelled but don’t want spellcheck.
Hi Keith. Good story. Thankee, Jack