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In my head, I keep hearing the Dueling Banjos theme song from the movie, Deliverance. Only, this time, it's being clucked by chickens.

With two competing Zoning By-law amendments up for a vote at the May 22 Annual Town Meeting – both about chickens – I know there's a great headline waiting to be written. I just haven't thought of the appropriate puns yet.

So, until I do, here are some really bad chicken jokes, courtesy of the World Wide Web:

• A chicken farmer died under mysterious circumstances. The police suspect fowl play.

• I don't know how to raise chickens. I guess I'll just wing it.

• Which day of the week do chickens hate? Fry-day.

• What do you get when you cross a chicken with a cement mixer? A brick layer.

• Why did the chicken join a band? He already had drumsticks.

• A chicken crossing a road is poultry in motion.

• Why did the chicken stay in the middle of the road? To lay it on the line.

• I can't find the eggs I bought yesterday. They must have been mislaid.

I doubt there will be as much discussion about the proposed $99-million operating budget as there will be about whether to ban chickens from the RA residential district or allow four chickens per lot anywhere in town.

The interesting thing is that both proposals – to be voted on back to back – theoretically could be passed. That could lead to a legal argument over which came first, the chicken or the... Sorry about that, I should leave "eggistential" questions to philosophers. Or farmers.

Also being considered at the Annual Town Meeting is a proposed Zoning By-law amendment about regulating where retail marijuana could be sold in town once a state law kicks in next year. The spectrum of opinions voiced at a recent Planning Board hearing on the article ranged from "no restrictions" to "as many restrictions as possible."

Selectmen want to hold a townwide referendum on the topic later this year, saying people may have voted "yes" on last November's ballot question because they want recreational marijuana sold in the state but they may not have wanted it sold in Milford.

Statewide, that ballot question passed by a 53.6 percent to 46.4 percent margin. In Milford, it passed by a roughly 52 percent to 48 percent margin. A local referendum could determine if the selectmen's premise is true or not. The article on the Annual Town Meeting warrant, however, looks at just limiting where it could be sold.

This topic, too, lends itself to puns – such as blunt discussions, joint committees and tempers flaring up – but I'll just let Town Meeting Members hash it out.


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