Anything but Chickens

Fitzgerald is in the national spotlight today. A soldier on leave was visiting his family in my tiny hometown, when he bought the winning lotto ticket. Nearly $90 million dollars in the lump-sum payout.
Tonight, Nightly News did a story from Fitzgerald. It was strange to see my little town on national television. It was funny to hear Tom Brokaw and the reporter pronounc it fitz-GER-ald. It sounded too finessed. The locals say FITZ-ger-ald (insert strong southern accent, especially on that first syllable). There was the reporter, doing a stand-up in front of the Flash Foods convenience store across the street from the local paper. I used to get sodas there during my breaks. I wonder what the big-time reporter thought of good old Fitzy? I wonder what Fitzy thought of him?
At least this is a better story than the last time I remember Fitzgerald grabbing national attention. That was at the height of the chicken controversy. To be more accurate, they aren’t chickens, but wild Burmese Jungle fowl. They roam the streets, dig in everyone’s gardens, and crow loudly to wake you at 4 a.m. A rooster lived in a tree outside my house in high school. I would often have to stop my car in the street because a flock of W.B.J.F. were crossing. Slowly.
There was a huge debate over what to do with them. Some people loved them. Others wanted them dead. The story was quirky enough to be heard in far away places. The chickens won, and are still there. Now, our town even has a festival in their honor. Crazy town!

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