Jordi Cosentino will never forget catching his first chicken. After all, you don't often see poultry making its way through busy afternoon traffic on Santa Monica's Main Street.
"I said to my friend, 'Why is that chicken crossing the road?' " recalled Cosentino, who grabbed the bird after it fled under a parked car.
When no one stepped forward to claim the fowl, Cosentino took it home and built a makeshift coop in his back yard.
"I was going to call some sort of (humane) society to come and get the chicken," said the 48-year-old artist, "but then I was afraid that no one would claim it and it would just be destroyed."
Urban chicken sightings are not as rare as one might think. Many chicks originally bought as pets are abandoned as they grow older and bigger, said Rose Channer, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals/Southern California Humane Society. Part of the problem is that adult chickens are not as handy around the house as, say, guard dogs.
"You can't train a chicken to do anything," Channer said. But Cosentino isn't looking for any stupid pet tricks from his bird, which he believes belongs to a variety known as Rhode Island Red. "It's a tame chicken," he said. "It likes to be petted and given attention.
"We've named it Cacciatore."
AND THE LOSER IS: You may have read that Charlton Heston chose "In the Arena" from nearly 100,000 suggestions for the title of his upcoming autobiography.
The title comes from an essay by Theodore Roosevelt: "It is not the critic who counts. . . . The credit belongs to the man who is in the arena, his face marred by dust and sweat and blood. . . . "
Sort of like Heston himself after the filming of the chariot races in "Ben Hur," which won the Beverly Hills resident an Oscar in 1959.
Heston, an outspoken conservative on many issues, said he chose the title "because it can stand for my life as both film and playmaker, also as a citizen."
The suggestions poured in after the actor, political activist and letter writer told a TV audience he'd pay $1,000 for a good title, said Rachael Marcus of Simon & Schuster publishing house.
Would you believe "Loved Him, Hated Hur"?
UPLIFTING SENTIMENT: A New York public relations firm has won this week's overblown press release of the week contest with its announcement of a nationwide search for a model and spokesperson for that highly hyped undergarment, the Wonderbra.
The April 19 cattle call at Smashbox Studios in Culver City will be nothing less than "the most exciting casting since the search for Scarlett O'Hara in 'Gone With the Wind,' " according to the release. No qualifications are listed beyond age--18 to 35--and gender--female.