Each Thursday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in
forgotten and bewildering crap culled from area basements, thrift
stores, estate sales and flea markets. He does this for one reason:
Knowledge is power.
Date: May 1966
Discovered at: Prairie Village Antique
The cover promises: "The Monthly
Magazine Devoted to Game Fowl." Also: if you own this, you are
probably a terrible person.
"Somewhere along the line we
supposedly human creatures, mostly British and American do-gooders,
have let the gamecock down."(page 35)
"One of the biggest jokes
around the cockpit is to hear cockers say that their cocks were too
sharp." (page 32)
The mid '60s were exciting times at The Gamecock, the house organ for the feathered glory set. Circulation had hit a high, the 28th anniversary issue weighed in at a biggest-ever 88 pages, and most states still cherished our God-given right to train chickens to murder each other for the purposes of gambling. In a letter to his readers, the editor of The Gamecock celebrates all this.
That editor is never named, but here's
a photo of him firing your grandpa.
Then, like Linus explaining Christmas, that editor lays out The Gamecock's true meaning.
"We are FOR those things that are for
the betterment of our Sport, for the good of game chickens and those
interested in them. We are 'AGIN' those things that are a
detriment. We are FOR those things that will ATTRACT the right kind
of people to breed game chickens and to enter into and enjoy our
Sport with us. We are 'AGIN' those things that will have the
Wait, "The right kind of people"?
Cockfighting was restricted?
American Cock Sparring: Despite all this jubilation, Bill
Roddy's article "All Is Not Lost" stares down the biggest danger facing "the Sport": the fact that 98.5 percent of the Americans are AGIN it. He blames this on "the supposedly lily clean Humane
societies" who "appeal to local do-gooders and light weight
shallow thinking politicians," but he doesn't think they'll get away with it much longer.
Instead, he has a plan.
First, he suggests TV commercials and an effort to book cockfights
as entertainment at conventions for unions, political
groups, and charity organizations.
The heart of Roddy's plan: a touring show called "American Cock Sparring."
"Use a grey versus a red cock so
audience can easily distinguish between warriors at all times."
"Secure the full time services
of three people, two ladies and a man, about 25 to 30 years of age,
all clean cut individuals with college education and good
enthusiastic personalities to handle the act."
"The two ladies handle the fowl.
Dress them in colorful oriental abbreviated costumes covered with
flowing Chinese silk robes to be removed at pitside."
"Dress the man in an abbreviated
Roman gladiator costume."
"Johnny Carson and his
associates would, I believe, jump at the chance to show it first on
"In the meantime every chicken
man should, with his family and relatives, seek out and elect men to
our public offices who are sympathetic with our sport."
He concludes with a true typewriter
spasm: "Ah Nuts! This Guy Crazy, Could Be!"
Shocking detail: The bulk of The Gamecock is
tournament write ups and ads from breeders selling those "knights
of the pit": bumblefoots, Toolpusher Cocks, Racey Mugs of both the
fast-shuffling and the two-pitting kind.
Other editorials denounce
Lyndon Johnson, call for "cockers" to come together, and explain
why some roosters suffer paralysis after fights.
In "Wiggle the
Prop Toe," "Old Fudd" claims to have seen a UFO:
"A helluva big thing it was and I
stood there eyeballing it for a half-hour trying to determine what it
was. I squinted first one eye then the other, got out my 7X35
binoculars and got a closer look . . . someone aboard, a little green
man likely, must have seen me as the huge craft, ball, saucer or
whatever it was moved off, slowly at first and then WHOOSH!"
Old Fudd then imagines that LBJ has
already stopped the imminent invasion:
"I figure they will 'make their
play in the next decade' if they aren't scared off when they read
the new ground rules now being posted by the The Great Society!"
All this cock talk! The five choicest quotes:
5. "If you expect to fight coopwalked
cocks against fresh farm walked cocks, you are kidding only one
person - yourself."
4. "His cocks seemed invincible and
by the end of the third day's battles those favoring other entrants
were heard to remark "the only way to kill them is with an axe."
3. "In over 20 years of active
cocking, ol fat Daddy has never won a derby alone."
2. "A cock has the very same problems
that a grown man has. The cock has weight problems, he gets nervous
and cranky from being pen walked so long and gets sluggish and stale
and - like we middle aged men - he requires more cover at night
to keep those cold flashes down."
And finally, from this local report: