September 19, 2007

Too much multi-culturalism for me

This post is kind of gross. I'm warning you right now.

We live in a very diverse neighborhood--the most diverse in the city, and one of the most diverse in the country. And we love that: we love that there are millions of languages, and weird things for sale in the grocery store, and so on. It's fun. It makes you realize that "normal" is a very dubious category. It is not normal to me, for instance, to order tripe on my tacos. But it's normal for someone, and maybe someday it will be normal for me. Who knows? When you're exposed to lots of things, you become open to the idea of change. All well and good.

There are limits, though.

Yesterday, we were taking a walk along the beach--it's gorgeous indian summer weather--and Ada was prancing along incredibly joyfully, running back and forth along the water to greet different dogs. Then she stopped still, for some reason we couldn't see, and started sort of jumping in place, and looking back at us with great eagerness, and wagging her tail, and sniffing.

Usually when Ada gets this excited about something at the beach, it is a dead fish. Which is nasty. Erg. So I started running up to Ada and her find to prevent dead-fish rolling. As I got closer, I realized that whatever she found was too big to be a fish. It was white and lumpy...maybe a garbage bag? A garbage bag, filled with something nasty?

Nope. It was a DECAPITATED CHICKEN. Not a friendly little grocery store chicken, all plucked and cleaned, but a big crazy chicken carcass, with feathers and feet and a bloody spinal cord sticking up from its neck where the head should have been. And while we shooed Ada away and stood there exclaiming upon the profound disgustingness of the situation Ada ran a hundred feet up the beach and found a SECOND DECAPITATED CHICKEN. This one was brown and speckled instead of white but it was equally nasty. Ada was so overwhelmed with the situation that she didn't even try to roll in or carry around the carcasses, which is good, because I'm not sure what happens to your dog if she rolls around in someone's leftover voodoo sacrifice, but I'm sure it is smelly.

Anyway, chicken carcasses on the beach: that's a new one for me. If anyone can enlighten me on the significance of these trophys (cockfighting? voodoo, for real?) do let me know.


Roxanne said...

That is NASTY!!! AT least at my church we kill the chickens indoors adn dispose of them....just kidding :) If anyone finds out I must know!

Beck said...

Ick! But could they be discards from a local butcher shop? That IS what chickens look like, before they're plucked and sectioned for market.

katiphillips said...

I commend Ada for her restraint and now wonder if it is sacrificed chicken remenants that Judy has been rolling in the past couple mornings. Hmm.

Earlier this summer, there were offerings of orange blossoms and bananas left on the beach at dawn. And I picked up a perfectly good gourd from the beach last week. A religious offering from one, an table decoration for another.

Michelle said...

It sounds like it could have been an animal sacrifice?? (SanterĂ­a perhaps?), except:

1) Their animal sacrifices are done humanely, and the animals are then eaten by those participating in the sacrifice (animal's blood saved for the orishas-the cleverly disguised dieties they paraded as Catholic Saints to keep their religion in tact while others worked feverishly to convert them from babarians to good Catholics).

2) I would guess in a religious practice as sacred as this one, you wouldn't find the sacrified animal rotting in a plastic bag in a park.

As an aside, yesterday was a beautiful morning, and I didn't notice the dead chickens at about 9:30 am when I was out there (thank God).

I'm not sure what cultural practice would/could endorse the behavior of leaving an animal to rot in a plastic bag in a public place. I am quite sure the person was just an asshole.