Don't even think about bating bears or badgers.
In Connecticut they have a new sport, setting cage-bird on cage-bird, saffron finches and canaries for preference.
I learn this from the Cape Cod Day, a newspaper given away free in the Provincetown pharmacy, a paper which is supremely positive about anything going on around here (Children explore marsh at Wellfleet Wildlife Sanctuary) but happy to report hotter news from less favoured parts of Obama's America.
It seems that a certain Waldiney Almeida was among 19 people charged in Connecticut with keeping cage birds for the purpose of fighting each other to the status of an ex-cagebird. How you can tell if a canary is being so trained, I am not sure and the story does not say.
There would seem many potential routes for the defence - as well as Monty Python parrot jokes for the jury. But the purpose was gambling - and gamblers are famously not choosey about the form of life that fights for their money.
Would the Saffron Songster from Acapulco un-perch Old Yeller Feller from the Adirondacks? Who could say - except the man with the $8000 stash and the super-charged birdfeed who is now helping the police with their enquiries? It doesn't sound much of a sport but, heck, it's at least a sign that America is moving forward in the post George W.Bush era.
No room for bear-baiting and cock-pits now.
Pit bulls are just too expensive - and so fashionable an accessory this year on the Cape.
There must be something of a pause here.
Kinder, gentler, fine.
Smaller, leaner, cheaper, post-crashier, absolutely fine.
But a country where the canaries do the fighting?
Surely a comfort to America's enemies everywhere.