Chicken runs, massages and Moore

Garbage-pail kids: “Sally feels awful eating that poop-covered, germ-filled chicken sandwich.” That’s the message taken home last week by students from Isabelle Jackson Elementary School after a visit from the friendly neighborhood People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The animal-rights group demonstrated outside the school after its principal opted not to take PETA up on its kind offer to treat kids to a “Hidden Lives of Chickens” presentation (which, come to think of it, couldn’t have been that much worse than LSD casualties ripping their eyes out in all those anti-drug educational films Bites was shown as a youngster).

And so it was, last Friday, that Isabelle Jackson kids were greeted by a PETA giant-chicken mascot bearing the hopeful sign “Chickens are friends not food,” while the organization’s vegan campaign coordinator, Ravi Chand, handed the kids trading cards featuring nice chickens and not-so-nice kids. Designed in the gross-out tradition of Garbage Pail Kids and Wacky Packages, PETA’s Chicken Chumps card series features grotesque caricatures of chicken-chomping brats: the ferociously flesh-eating Cruel Kyle, the Linda Blair-like Sickly Sally, and the endlessly endomorphic Tubby Tammy who “has to use a bungee cord for a belt” (as if Barbie and Britney weren’t already enough to make kids neurotic about their bodies).

According to a PETA flier, chickens are every bit as smart as cats and dogs. “Chickens show sophisticated social behavior,” explained UC Davis professor Joy Mench. “That’s what a pecking order is all about.”

The medium is the massage: The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors has appointed a special commission, including representatives of licensing bureaus and the sheriff’s department, to draw up an ordinance preventing illegal practices at area massage parlors in unincorporated areas of the county.

The draft ordinance was presented to a group of about 40 interested parties last week at the Marconi Avenue sheriff’s substation. It’s safe to say most of those present at the meeting were not the practitioners targeted by the ordinance. The illegal practice in question happens to be prostitution, which the sheriff’s department has learned sometimes takes place in massage parlors.

Not that Bites would know anything about that.

As worded, the ordinance would require massage therapists to complete at least 250 hours of training at an accredited school. This would cost up to $20,000 in tuition.

Therapists, practitioners and teachers at the meeting pointed out that it would be easier for prostitutes to afford these fees than for those who are dispensing legitimate therapy.

In the end, the commission agreed to let the massage practitioners develop their own wording for the ordinance, which they will present to the county within a month or so.

Bites hopes they can achieve a happy ending.

Ready for your close-up, Mr. Doolittle? A Saturday-morning media screening for Michael Moore’s new film, Fahrenheit 9/11, took place at the Crest Theatre, just one block up and two blocks over from the 770 L Street headquarters of Russo Marsh & Rogers. Bites readers will remember the company as the GOP-friendly public-relations firm behind Move America Forward, the “astroturf”-sending group that’s opposing the film’s release. Yet, despite the proximity, there were no “Forward”-leaning protesters in front of the K Street theater to defend President George W. Bush’s honor. Perhaps if the group had known in advance that Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, is featured in the film, it would have showed up. In a scene toward the end of Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore is seen accosting congressmen outside the U.S. Capitol, offering them armed-services brochures and asking them to consider enlisting their own kids to fight in Iraq. One of them is Doolittle. And based on Doolittle’s response to Moore, the congressman must be a big fan of the 1975 comedy classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail: “Run away! Run away!”