FOOD

Thursday, October 2, 12:43 PM PST

Texas State Fair Serving Up Fried Death-Row Inmates

by Brent the Johnson,
NA!P NewsWire

DALLAS -- The State Fair of Texas is well known for its deep-fried treats, including (but not limited to) fried pickles, fried ice cream and fried tamales. Last year, fried Twinkies were the big hit. This year, fried death-row inmates are all the rage.

"Aw shoot, man, it ain't just the prisoners," said Chuck Johnson, who runs one of the hundreds of deep fryers at the fair. "People like the fried butter-on-a-stick pretty good, too."

But when pressed, Johnson admitted that deep-fried inmate -- also called "prison crispers" -- was his No. 1 seller.

"Mmm-mmmm," said five-year-old Tammie Lee Johnson of San Antonio, relishing her first bite of human flesh, a crispy, oily ear.

"Tastes like pork rinds!"

SOLVES A LITTLE PROBLEM
Texas is by far the leading executor of death-row inmates in the country, killing 33 people last year, compared to just seven by second-place Oklahoma. Since 1982, the state has offed 310 people, which has resulted in a work overload for state officials.

"Hell, son, we couldn't bury them fast enough," said Gary Johnson, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

"And damn, but that's a lotta meat," he added, explaining why TDCJ offered the corpses to the state fair this year.

"Hell yeah, we was interested," said Rex Johnson, who heads the state fair.

"We damn well knew we wasn' t gonna top them fried Twinkies if we didn't get something new and exciting this year," he added.

"This year, anything that can be dipped in a fry vat or electrocuted on a chair is up for grabs," said Linda Johnson, who coordinates the food booths at the fair.

Johnson was "super excited" at the prospect of offering the public a chance to consume prison crispers.

"It was a total win-win for us, cause it combines deep-fry with killing prisoners -- two of Texas' favorite things!" she declared.

EAT EVERYTHING?
Servings vary, depending on how hungry you find yourself. A snack can be made of a heel or hand, while lunch may be a lower or upper arm.

The "Ranch Rider," the Texas-sized dinner portion, often features plenty of ribs, tender cuts of leg and two succulent buttocks.

A handful of Texans -- mainly macho college boys and ranch hands -- will order up eyes, tongues or "the oysters," but others find that a bit disturbing.

"Most people don't want no head or nothing," said Chuck Johnson as he served out sizzling portions of prison crispers to fat-but-hungry fair attendees.

"So many of 'em know somebody who's been executed, they're afraid they'll recognize some poor bastard who's defense attorney fell asleep on the job," he continued.

"It could ruin your appetite."

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