Sunday, July 15, 2007

1.7 - Birdwalk: Key West

MONKEY ISLAND, July 1998 - The restaurant industry has been accused of late of aiding in the fattening of Americans by increasing the size of meal portions. I actually heard this on NPR. Here on Monkey Island, our economy is partly based upon helping the restaurant industry do just that. Increasing the size of portions, that is, through genetic mutation and manipulation of animals. Not the gaining weight part. If you're worried about gaining weight, just don't eat so damned much. Ask for a doggie bag. I also heard that on NPR.

Many years ago
Monkey Island began funding biotech labs for the purpose of expanding the realm of science and technology to just beyond the outskirts of town, enough that we don't have to worry about neighbors or zoning... Well, the purpose was mentioned in there somewhere. Anyway...

The labs are located on outlying islands, and the only contact natives and visitors have with the products are with the occasional escapee, as pictured here. This, for example, is actually a chicken.

An oversized, featherless chicken such as this would supply the average Olive Garden or Applebee's menu for at least two days: grilled, baked, deep-fried, Caesar salad, chicken salad, whereas an average-sized chicken would make up only about two orders of the misnomered Chicken Fingers appetizer. With a fowl this big, hotels and institutions, schools and hospitals, can make enormous amounts of chicken salad. Imagine your Super Bowl party with chicken wings the size of a human arm.

Those powerful wings, in fact, are what enable it to fly here from the neighboring islands. This has been a problem for the managers at the labs, as birds captured on the main island are not necessarily returned straightaway. Given their size, these birds would feed an average family of thirty-six for, well, a meal. A family of four, conversely, would have the remains rotting in the yard in a week. Of course, many folk here just enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and there is an informal catch-and-release program, as well.

Special thanks this week go to my dear, wonderful wife, Sherry, who is a REAL good sport. (And who does a mean chicken imitation.).

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