The Great Armadillo Bar-B-Cue
Now, I'm at a loss to understand why, but the wife of a good friend of ours is quite intent on owning a live armadillo. The last time they visited us here in Mount Perry, Florida, they expressed a wish for a real live armadillo. Even though I made it quite clear, the armadillo exudes a rather unpleasant odor when annoyed, the lady insisted she had to have a live one.
To this end, we posted a large sign in the front window of our Mount Perry Office Supply Store which read, "Cash paid for a live armadillo." This sign has remained in our window all summer long without a single taker.
Recently, however, Mount Perry's very own big game hunter Mr. I. Katchum, expressed an interest in our offer. He walked into the store one day, and offered to catch as many armadillos as we wanted to pay for.
I, for one, was immediately suspicious. I had scoured the road sides all summer long without finding so much as a trace of a live armadillo. There were plenty of dead armadillos along the side of the road, but not a single live one.
I explained to Mr. Katchum we only needed one. Unfortunately, our resident big game hunter dealt only in wholesale quantities. He was quick to correct me and went on to ask, "How many thousand do you want?"
Immediately the thought raced through my head, this man wants to sell thousands and I need only one, "Hmmm." I thought, "Just what does one do with 999 live armadillos?" I informed Mr. Katchum I'd get back to him and proceeded to try to develop an instant market for live armadillos.
Unfortunately, there are those things in life which, on the surface, appear to be absolutely useless. Live armadillos seem to fit nicely in this area. Is was a slow day so my thoughts were uninterrupted as I mulled the problem over and over in my mind.
Gradually an idea formed in my head. We would have an, "Armadillo Bar-B-Que". Now this is one thing I'd never even heard of anyone doing. As there was going to have to be at least 999 people in attendance to eat up 999 armadillos. I now had to find a suitable place to have the Bar-B-Que and a decent recipe to cook armadillo.
The first place I thought of was the Hagen's Cove Nature Park where I had held my ill fated birthday party the year before. Maybe, just maybe, I could use this facility if the authorities had forgotten the disastrous happenings at this previous affaire. I was in luck, it seems the previous crew were badly so shaken by what was left after the party, they had to be transferred to another, more peaceful area.
As I had the place and the delicacy to be consumed, all I needed was 999 people willing to shell out $10.00 a head for an Armadillo Bar-B-Que. I put out the word on the Internet there was to be a big Armadillo Bar-B-Que at Hagen's Cove, Florida, at a cost of $10.00 per person.
Replies came in, in droves from all over the world. Even people from China responded, sending in their $10.00 per person. In no time at all I had over two thousand people ready, willing and able to chow down on an a Armadillo Bar-B-Que.
I immediately called Mr. Katchum and told him he had a firm order for at least 2,501 live armadillos. The extra one armadillo was for the wife of my friend. It was evident from the tone of his voice he never expected to hear from me again. None the less, he agreed to furnish the live armadillos on the date of the Bar-B-Que.
I was in business. The armadillos were going to cost no more than $1.50 each, charcoal and fire wood could be found or made on site and Hagen's Cove already had little individual cook stands standing around the shelters. I could actually see a profit of $8.50 per person.
On the day of the big event, Hagen's Cove was filled to overflowing with 2,500 hungry people from every corner of the globe ready to chomp down on Armadillo Bar-B-Que. All I needed now was a delivery of armadillos.
About noon, Mr. Katchum's truck rolled into the parking lot. An odd smell arrived with him. I instructed the people to line up behind the truck to get the armadillo they were to cook. As the people lined up behind the truck the odd smell became stronger.
When Mr. Katchum stepped from the drivers seat of the truck wearing an old WWI gas mask and I had the first inkling of the trouble I was in for. With a cursory over the shoulder, "Are you ready?" Mr. Katchum stepped to the rear of the truck and flung open the doors of his truck.
Instantly, 2,501 vile smelling armored creatures leapt from the truck and vanished into the ranks of my guests. They in turn held their noses to prevent inhaling the stench and began turning blue or green depending on if they held their breath or inhaled. Panic ensued as there were blue and green looking people, with wild armadillos among them, going in every direction.
As I turned to escape the confusion and stink, there was Mr. Katchum, hand outstretched to be crossed with the coin of the realm. I paid him on the spot and made ready to vacate the premises, only to be confronted by 2,500 hungry, and by now, vile smelling people demanding the Armadillo Bar-B-Que they had paid for.
Telling them they were supposed to catch an armadillo and cook it did little to placate the mob. Several of my guests had actually caught armadillos. The nasty little things had curled up in a ball with their armored scales to the outside. There was no place to stick the fork to be used to hold the critter while you Bar-B-Que it.
Once again the fickle fingers of fate had plucked success from my very finger tips.