Tuesday, March 10, 2009

OMG, that's MEAT! Quick, hide the kids!

I think my least favorite type of story to write back when I was a reporter was a neighborhood dispute. A petty grievance between neighbors festers into World War III - not something you want to get in the middle of.

But reading one of these stories? Highly entertaining. Witness the piece in last week's Dallas Morning News, in which Frank and Charlene Hlatky take on their neighbor, Santos Garcia, for butchering wild game in his back yard.

Read more...There are so many precious little tidbits in this story, but my favorite is something Frank Hlatky says on the video that accompanies the story: "They had a deer strung up over a swingset and they were gutting it from its anus down to its neck. ... What is the first thing any civilized person would do? You dial 9-1-1."

Yeah. Yeah, that's what you do. Sure.

Other highlights? Charlene Hlatky told the reporter that blood from the butchered animals had seeped into her yard and ruined her grass. Yes, that mammal blood, it's highly, highly toxic, you know.

And Frank Hlatky told reporters they spent $3,500 in window dressings in their home to try to shield themselves from the horror that they could witness from the second floor. Yeah, there's a privacy fence between their lots - the Hlatkys have to go upstairs to watch the show.

The most heartening thing about the story is the incredible outpouring of comments backing Garcia - hardly anyone sticks up for the Hlatkys.

Then again, it is Texas.

© Holly A. Heyser 2009


SimplyOutdoors said...

I'm going to be honest. At first I was thinking why doesn't this guy show a little respect and not gut a deer right in the backyard. But after reading the article, I tend to side with him. There is a privacy fence between him and neighbors, so why are they going to a second story to videotape the processing. It's like watching a show on TV you don't like. It doesn't make any sense when you can just turn the channel; pull down the shade for pete's sake, and move on.

I think these neighbors have a little too much time on their hands. And why don't they give it a rest considering this gentleman is in his own yard, behind a privacy fence, and not breaking any laws.

And why is this news?

gary said...

Wow, that is a little rich. They have got to be vegans or how could they possibly be so far removed from the origin of where their meat comes from that this has become such an adversarial item.
Its funny and yet it leaves you shaking your head.

Phillip said...

Saw this the other day on Jesse's, and as you can imagine, our NIMBY friends didn't get a lot of empathy... especially from other Texans.

They won't get empathy from me, either... but then, I'm sadly maladjusted to life in that urban/suburban environment anyway (which sucks for me, because that's exactly where I live). I butcher game in my driveway, and while I try not to be overtly offensive to any sensitive neighbors, I challenge anyone to tell me I can't do it.

I'll never forget the looks I got plucking and dressing ducks on the back patio of my studio apartment when I first came to this state. It's the only time anyone openly called me a "murderer" for hunting. It made me smile. At last, I was in CA! I'd offended some anti-hunters!

Native said...

Same thing happened to our guide Ed where he lives in Monterey.
He was skinning a deer in his back yard and the neighbors freaked and called the cops.
He called me in a panic and I reminded him of the FEDERAL law which states that: You may keep a hoofed animal within city limits (your back yard) 3 days prior to slaughter and then you are required (by that law) to slaughter it.

There are no laws stating WHERE you must slaughter it so the presumption would be, At The Place You Were Keeping It Prior To Slaughter.

There are "No Laws" pertaining to the skinning of wild game so again, the presumption of the law would be:
That You May Skin It In Your Own Back Yard!

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

To be offended you must first be offend-able. I for one support the choice they've made. If they want to make fools in front of themselves on TV in the papers and ALL OVER THE INTERNET, good for them! I support their choice. It's their right, just as Its my right to laugh at them and tell all my friends so they can laugh too.

If more antis are exposed as control freaks who are looking for new ways to take offense the anti constituent will wither. No one likes a whining killjoy.

Blessed said...

Oh My.

We butcher ours in the front yard... all of the kids come to watch and ask if they can touch the deer, have the hoofs, etc... if those people were our neighbors I'm sure we'd get a bunch of grief!

NorCal Cazadora said...

When I was a kid, my parents started raising hogs when we still lived in a nice suburb of Los Angeles. Popping off a pig with a
.38 revolver got lots of attention. The second time we did it, a line of kids was peeking over the neighbor's fence - Kilroy-was-here style - to catch the action.

If you read all the comments on the news story, you'll catch that this couple has had conflicts with LOTS of its neighbors. They'd probably hate this guy if he was doing papier mache in his back yard.

But I really love that line. You'd do what any civilized person would do - call 9-1-1. Imagine this guy at the meat counter!

Hubert Hubert said...

'Popping off a pig with a
.38 revolver' in your garden in England would, I'd guess, get you about about ten to fifteen years in jail.

Which is to say that reading your blog makes me rather keenly wish I lived in the States!

NorCal Cazadora said...

I'm pretty sure my family was breaking all sorts of laws when we did that. But probably none worth 10-15 years in the pen.

Garrett said...

The best comment:
You are calling me "uneducated"? Yet teaching your kids to kill helpless animals you bait is a "family event". What is your family..Pagans. What are you teaching them..to be serial killers. Get real, if you were truly an educated person you would have realized there are countless ways to enjoy the land and nature and to give back without murdering God's creatures. Don't worry about my lineage..it is obvious you married cousins from way back."

PAGANS!!! Because only the non-Christian would dare hurt an animal. Strange, I recall lots of animal sacrafice to God and God encouraging people to kill and eat animals. In fact he does so on page two of the Bible. Huh? Pick and choose I guess.