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Diatribe: Hijacking Ben Smith’s Big Purple Chicken.


PurpleChickenI’m not much of a prankster and I find little humor in most practical jokes.  When someone tells me a fib and then laughs at me when I believe them, I’m generally not amused and our relationship suffers.  Maybe it’s an issue of trust.  Hopefully, most who know me would say that I’m a good sport but I don’t like to be the center of attention for good reasons let alone as the butt of a joke.  In theory, practical jokes are supposed to be amusing, reversible or non-permanent and simply make the victim feel foolish.  I don’t think this is funny, I think it’s mean … something a bully would do to get attention.

I must confess, however, that I was involved in some whacky goings-on in college.  One particular scavenger hunt took the boys and girls in my circle across town to pull pranks on professors.  It was a harmless and silly excursion.  The professors got their stuff back, unharmed, the next day.

The same cannot be said for Ben Smith’s big purple chicken.

Last week, three men were arrested for stealing a nine-foot-tall, six hundred pound, purple aluminum chicken from Smith’s roadside stand in San Mateo, Florida.  Apparently, as he was getting ready for work one morning, he heard a commotion outside his home.  While he investigated the noise he looked down the street and saw a pick-up truck pulling his big purple chicken down the road.  He saw a man jump on the back of the chicken and ride it as the truck pulled it with a chain down the road.  The truck and the chicken that trailed it traveled about a mile before reaching the end of the road, where the pranksters unfastened the chain that they had used to drag the giant bird and sped away.

“We were able to locate three suspects due to information provided by eye witnesses and video surveillance on the property.” – Detective Shannon Depew

The men, eighteen, nineteen and twenty-one years old, were quickly located and arrested.  All three were charged with grand theft and one faces an additional charge of probation violation resulting from an incident last May.

“The chicken is valued at $2,300 and sustained a broken leg, broken claw and there was extensive damage to one side.” – Detective Shannon Depew

Surely, even those who enjoy being on the receiving end of a good practical joke agree that pranks stop being funny once the police get involved.  And now poor Ben Smith has to drag his injured chicken back to his roadside stand and deal with the aftermath of its journey.  It’s not funny.

The picture in my mind’s eye of a drunken Florida teen riding a big purple chicken down the road does, however, make me chuckle.  But I’m certain that I would not find it at all amusing if it was my big purple $2,300.00, six-hundred pound chicken.

Are you a good sport when it comes to practical jokes?


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Copyright © 2013

From → Diatribes

  1. I am a joker, though, with words. i am not a fan of a practical joke, and don’t ever pull a practical joke on anyone.
    This chicken ‘joke’ is actually vandalism.


    • I’m with you. I love a good joke or riddle and I truly enjoy satire … anything that’s “funny”. I can’t help but find that most practical jokes are just plain mean.

      These guys were charged with grand theft and not vandalism. I imagine that’s because of the value of the big purple chicken.


  2. I agree with you that pranks are just mean. I’m not a fan of them. Who tries to steal a 900-lbs purple chicken and think no one will notice? Seriously lame. Anywho…Love the Purple Chicken in the picture!


    • Can you imagine the chatter around the cell block? …

      “Whatcha in for?”
      “Stealing a big purple chicken.”
      “Dude, I rode it down the road. It was cool.”
      “Aw, Maaaaan.”


  3. I hope the judge makes those young men pay enough restitution to completely refurbish the big purple chicken, even if they have to work it off! Not funny to me either. Funny is putting a plastic pink flamingo on someone’s lawn, not wrecking their stuff!


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