I’ve been to a couple of cock fights, not in Canada of course.
The first thing that struck me was the amount of attention the owners gave their cocks. They would continuously stroke their cocks prior to entering the ring. some would even speak to their cocks, whispering who knows what. It truly was as if they were grooming a prized fighter. And yes, I suppose they were prize fighters. Some men would walk around with their cocks and people gave way as if they truly were somebody, like we were in Las Vegas, not in a tropical village somewhere.
The second thing I found peculiar was the betting, particularly the way people took bets. People yelled around pointing at cocks, gesturing at people around the ring, nodding, making signals, confirming with a dead-set serious look on their eyes. I did not see any notepads. People just yelled out bets, made some hand signals, and it was set.
Then, the match started. And as quickly as it began, it ends. Many people think it’s cruel. And yes, it is cruel. You can go to Youtube now and see how quickly the matches can be. What began as a ferocious looking cock with a blade strapped on its like quickly becomes this limp, pathetic, little thing, lying on the dirt and leaking blood. What’s eerie was that as loud as cocks can be, after all, you can hear them all over the barrio in the morning, they do not make a sound as the slowly die after a violent affair. No gasping for breath, no animal cries. The referee would pick up the loser cock, see if there’s any fight left, then leave the poor animal on the ground as he declares a winner. Whoever owns the losing cock would pick them up, tsk tsking from what I imagine is regret for losing a match than mourning for a beloved pet.
I guess losing cocks end up getting eaten. After all, I didn’t see any cock graves. It’s like what George Wallace said about chickens, “A chicken never dies of natural causes.” Now I’ve never eaten cock, but they must be pretty tough because those birds are bred to fight. It doesn’t matter whether it’s dark meat or if I sink my teeth into some breasts, I’m sure it’ll be a tough meal.
At the end of the match, crumpled money is either handed or thrown across the room to whomever is owed. I guess that’s what amazed me the most. Maybe it was because I watched it in a village where most people know everyone, but the honesty and the memory were unbelievable. I mean, who remembers who owes what? I couldn’t even tell who was making bets to whom. Does eye-contact hold up in court?
Both times, I ended up drinking after the matches. Whoever won the most from the cock fights ended up paying for most if not all of the food and drinks. It’s generous but it makes me wonder. Do people really make money out of these cock fights, or do they end up blowing it all on celebrating?
Oh well, that’s me talking about cocks.