Friday, June 24, 2005

Chicken Catching

Armando Parra, the Key West Chicken Catcher, has retired. Last week, he sold his remaining inventory of Chicken Catcher t-shirts to Katha Sheehan, Key West's Chicken Lady, at a very attractive discount from wholesale. Katha took them to the T-Shirt Factory here in town and had a big red "X" printed over the Chicken Catcher logo and the phrases "Out of Business" and "The Chickens Won This Round" (a quote from assistant City Manager John Jones) underneath.

As it turned out, the Chicken Catcher wasn't really out of business. He had indeed given up his role as "Official" catcher for the City, but he maintained a private practice in chicken (and other critter) catching. When he saw the modifications to the shirt, he made some noises about legal action unless Katha issued a retraction and an apology.

She prepared a press release doing just that, and called Parra to let him know that she was releasing it to the local press. Here is Katha's own report of what followed:

People keep making me offers I can't refuse.

Just now, Armando the Chicken Catcher called. He had been making vague rumblings about getting his lawyer on me because I had declared him "out of business" in a print-over on the "Key West Chicken Catcher" t-shirts which he had sold me, which I admit was premature, since he also continues to trap chickens, raccoons, iguanas etc.

Yesterday I took him a copy of a public apology that I was going to publish. He liked it and said he "accepted fully" my apology, but still could not have me selling t-shirts declaring he was out of business. I had to pull the shirts off the shelves, and think of altering them to eliminate the "out of business" mention or change it somehow.

But today he called and offered to sell me the whole business, 17 traps and all, for a pittance. He also vowed that if I bought him out, he would "Never again catch a single chicken in Monroe County."

Talk about an offer you can't refuse! I'm heading over there right now, with my checkbook in hand.


So now there is only one chicken-catching organization in Key West that I know about, the Rooster Rescue Team of the Key West Chicken Store.

The quest for the missing chickens, the ones sent to "the farm" in Miramar, continues. Rumors of alligator farms and dog food factories abound.

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