|Mr. Clucky and Buckley in 2007 |
What started out as a simple blog post on Riptide
bringing the bizarre news that local celebrity rooster Mr. Clucky may be getting the boot from his Miami Beach home because of code violations has turned into a full fledged media firestorm.
A crew from The Today Show has been following Mr. Clucky and his owner Mark Buckley for a feature set to air Friday morning.
The Miami Herald, Fox News, NPR, The AP,and UPI have all chronicled the Rooster's tail, and Buckley reports he's received inquires from everywhere like his hometown paper in New Hampshire to the venerable New York Times.
But it's not the media spotlight that keeps Buckley going, it's the support Mr. Clucky has received from thousands of adoring fans.
"There's so many people with tears in there eyes in the street, it's a sullen city, man. People are coming to me asking how to help," says Buckley.
Mr. Clucky received his court date today, set for the morning of July 30th. Though Buckley may try to move it. A gathering is already in the works.
"Some of the street people see Clucky as family, they're going to have a candle light vigil the day before the court date."
Mr. Clucky's website has been getting millions of hits, so many that they'll have to take it down temporarily to prepare for the influx of views expected to come from Today's nine million viewers.
Clucky isn't unused to the attention though. He was on the cover of New Times in 2007
, grand marshaled the last King Mango Strut parade in Coconut Grove, and attracts a flock of fans on his daily jaunts up and down Lincoln Road usually settled the handlebars of Buckley's bike.
In wake of all the publicity, Buckley hopes to get attention for some of Clucky's favorite causes and inspire people.
This Saturday Clucky and his girlfriend Wallflower (yes, she's a rooster. No, we're not sure if she wants to become Mrs. Clucky anytime soon, but the pair cohabitate happily), will be headlining a Critical Mass. Riders will be meeting at the Metro Rail station at Government center this at 10 a.m., and then riding up to a youth event in Liberty City so kids can meet Mr. Clucky close up.
Buckley hopes to keep the Clucky hoopla going because he's been moved by the response.
"Keep the heat on this thing, play it real big, but keep it nice, but let people learn to use their own voices. That's really what this thing is about. It's more than about the little innocent chicken, It's about freedom," says Buckley.
"Everything he's done for this city has been positive, if not amazing. And it's a bunch of bureaucratic crap."