Wednesday, December 22, 2010

CLUCK's Insider Tips for a Safe (and Legal) Twelve Days of Christmas in Sarasota

Twelve Drummers Drumming: Not recommended -- Likely city noise violation particularly after 10:00 p.m. Avoid downtown areas, residential areas, and any areas likely to contain people. Any drums seized will be auctioned at the Siesta Beach Drum Circle Sunday Jan.16th.

Eleven Pipers Piping: Even the most serious pinhole leaks in slabs seldom require eleven plumbers. You'll need to comply with the Standard Plumbing Code of 1994 and get permits-- and be sure to hire a licensed contractor. Why not have your drywall checked while you're at it?

Ten Lords a Leaping: Great gift idea. Unfortunately delayed to coincide with Sailor Circus performances March 30th through April 9th 2011. Please support the Greatest Little Show on Earth.

Nine Ladies Dancing: Not Cheetah Club! This gift may violate non-compete clause with Sarasota Ballet -- use caution. Consider substituting Sarasota Ballet's A Right Royal Affair in early February.

Eight Maids a Milking: No municipal restrictions on nursing moms, and see also Florida Statute 383.015 regarding State policy regarding breastfeeding in public. However unless you have eight infants, the utility of this gift is questionable and the availability of wet nurses may be very limited this century. Let's save this valuable resource for the infants that really need it.

Seven Swans a Swimming: Two options -- both illegal. Native Trumpeter and Tundra (Whistling) Swans protected by Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Domesticated Black and Mute Swans prohibited by City Ord. 99-4163 although Sarasota Jungle Gardens may have an exemption. If you want to see a Black Swan, check out Natalie Portman's new movie at Burns Court Cinema.

Six Geese a Laying:  Also prohibited by City Ord. 99-4163.

Five Golden Rings: Fraud alert! Use of the ambiguous term "golden" possibly suggests costume jewelry with an attractive metallic color, finish, or glisters, but which may or may not contain elemental gold. Stay vigilant this holiday season.

Four Calling Birds: Recommended. High-end calling birds are not considered poultry and hence are perfectly legal Sarasota gift suggestions. Consider replacing prohibited species (swans, geese, French hens, turtle doves, and partridge) with calling birds, which takes the total calling bird quota up to 24 birds). Remember to only purchase captive-bred birds and adopt whenever possible.

Three French Hens: Prohibited. Probably refers to Cuckoo Marans, a breed of chicken noted for dark brown, chocolate-colored eggs. As anticipated, prohibited by City Ord. 99-4163.

Two Turtle Doves Also prohibited by City Ord. 99-4163, although you can place as much bird feed as you want in an outdoor feeder to subsidize Mourning Doves, and Eurasian Collared Doves. Odd that you can feed as many doves as you want outside a cage, but not keep one in a cage. 

Please exercise caution feeding Rock Doves (AKA pigeons) lest Sharkey's avian control agents find out.

Partridge in a Pear Tree: Not recommended.  Pears require a minimum number of chilling hours for fruit set and our portion of the state is generally too warm. Probably only suitable as gift north of Gainesville.

Partridges: Prohibited, though maybe not for the reason you might expect. The two species of partridge introduced into North America (Chukar and Grey) are western species not found in southwest Florida. But, since these are wild and not domesticated species, if there were any, they would be regulated by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and not the City of Sarasota. That wild versus domesticated distinction explains why the City does not have jurisdiction over the keeping of venomous animals, none of which are featured in this traditional listing of twelve potential gifts.

Overall, looks like your best gift bets would be the Sailor Circus, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, Burns Court Cinema, the Sarasota Ballet, and a whole bunch of calling birds.

Have a great holiday season from Sarasota CLUCK.

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