How to Mail a Rooster
by Mark Bloch
Did I ever tell you about the dead rooster carcass I sent
someone in the mail?
Yeah I mailed this rooster carcass after it had been skinned by Xona (Bernard
Banville) of Greenfield Mass. The Hatfield Rooster was mailed to Dr. Al "The
Blaster" Ackerman of San Antonio TX.
See, Xona, found a rooster dead in the road in Hatfield, Massachusetts, a
beautiful rural town not too far from Amherst. He took it home. My favorite
part of the story is that it just so happened the day I came to visit.Xona.
He happened to run into a guy who knew about skinning birds at a local coffee
The guy explained some details Xona needed. So the good part is that when
we got to his place after their chat, Xona told me to wait a minute, he had
to go do something. What hehad to do was go skin this bird! When I found
out I thought it was a bit peculiar that he said, 'Just a sec I'll be right
back.' As if he was gonna brush his teeth or something. But NO!!!!!!! He had
to go skin a rooster......
In fact that's how the whole thing started. Earlier that week he found the
rooster that had gotten hit by a car (road kill) and thought it was beautiful
and so he took it home. Found it in Hatfield, Mass. (Hence it's nickname the
Hatfield Rooster). So he had it sittin' around a few days.
I came to town for a visit and we went to have breakfast and coffee (of course.)
On the way out of this diner he runs into a guy he knows, a farmer. He says,
HEY I BEEN MEANING TO TALK TO YOU- and blah blah blah. I had no idea but what
they were discussing was how to skin the rooster. Apparently this guy knew
how ya do it.
So when Ben got home, he proceeded. The point is this guywent off to skin
his rooster and I asked what are you gonna do? And he finally told me. So
I said well, can I watch? So I did and it was quite funny.
If I remember correctly it was something like break its neck and then pull
out the bone so the head is still attached to the skin and feathers and then
just make a cut and begin to peel it back. Did you ever skin a cat in biology
class? Well I did and so had Ben. Same thing. Ya just peel the sucker back
like takin off a pair of socks.
I didn't do the deed of plucking it and skinning it. I just watched.
It was quite clean.
He and his girlfriend did it and I wrote down everything they say. Something
about pemican dominated the conversation. Anyone know what pemican is?
So he's still got the feathers and all. It is quite beautiful. But the body
got mailed to Blaster.
See we had this beautiful rooster outside- feathers and head, etc. and this
atrocious rooster carcass. I remember it's skin was taught and it was
dry but still glistening in the sun like a bald man's head would glisten
but this one was like a tightly wrapped soft sculpture. We didn't know
what to do with the frumpy carcass after it had been removed from its beautiful
feathers and head so we decided to send the surreal object to the Blaster,
one of the most notorious of all mail artists. He lives down in San Antonio
sent quite a large parcel. Why? you ask? I dunno. It's obvious that a mail
artist would just do it and not question why. I mean why throw it away when
you can mail it?
So we wrapped it up with all kinds of stuff and put it in a sealed plastic
bag. Xona had an airtight sealer contraption so we sealed it in there accompanied
by other objects found around his studio, including a few rooster feathers.
Each object, including the rather large carcass, was locked in its own airtight
compartment but all were interconnected. It was quite an elaborate production.
Alas, I think it all must've later exploded en route from lack of oxygen
as it fermented during the long cross-country journey from Massachusetts to
Texas in this airtight package.
Anyway the end of the story was that the thing arrived
Yes, The Blaster did receive it and claimed in a reply postcard that it stunk
real bad. He didn't know what it was. It was he that suggested it may
have exploded. He said he went in the house to get a knife to open it up and
left it on the porch for a minute when a gang of the neighborhood dogs appeared
out of nowhere and carried it away,. He had to ask us what was in it.
So Blaster said the story ended when dogs took off with it but he's been
known to embellish a story now and again. At least we know he received it. But I promise you the part on my end about the skinning packaging and sending
is totally true.
Any other questions? You might say we were winging it.