Chances are goat had a political agenda

Published 11:18 pm Monday, September 22, 2008

Part of our job as journalists is to determine what information needs to be disseminated to our readers (we call it newsworthiness). Aside from what we think people need to know, it’s always interesting to see what people want to know.

Well, dear readers, you’ve answered that question. You want to know about goats. One neat feature of our new Web site is a section that contains the most e-mailed stories at any given time. The top spot belongs to “Goat nabbed after getting loose in Clanton.”

Chances are someone has already e-mailed this story to you, but, if not, you should check it out. The writing by our managing editor, Brent Maze, is brilliant: “[Clanton animal control officer Chris Whittle] first made contact with the animal on Jones Street,” Maze writes, and “Whittle tackled the goat behind Advanced Auto Parts just past the railroad tracks.”

But Maze’s reporting misses one important point: Why was the goat running around downtown Clanton? I’ll take a few stabs:

1. To register to vote. One of our nation’s most significant elections is coming up in six weeks, and this goat wanted to make sure its voice is heard. I’ll refrain from calling the goat a he or she since Maze, that slacker, didn’t bother to check on its gender.

2. To protest gas prices. By running around, it’s almost as if it was showing everyone that it couldn’t even afford to ride on a trailer anymore.

3. To eat lunch at Main Street Cafe. This goat’s wife or husband (thanks again Brent!) must not be cooking enough hot meals, so it needed a meat-and-three lunch.

4. To carry out a terrorist attack. Don’t panic, folks, but I have on good information the goat was desperately looking for some dynamite to eat. To throw off the authorities, the goat ran in front of the city police department.

5. To complain about a certain road to the Chilton County Commission. When it learned the commission wasn’t meeting on that day and it would have to walk back home on its dirt road, the goat became unreasonable. Someone surely would have been injured if not for Whittle’s preventative actions.

– Stephen Dawkins is the sports editor for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at