Back when I was a fancy professional, kind of, with an office of my own, I had that place decorated with birds. Lots of birds everywhere. I didn’t really intend it to be so, it just happened. I hadn’t even really noticed it until someone walked in one day and commented on my love of birds. That comment gave me pause and I looked around. It did appear as if I were a bird lover from way back. Birds on the walls, bird figurines, birds my sister made, birds I made, birds students made for me. After my visitor left, I said out loud, “Actually I really kind of hate birds.” Real birds.
I realized my love of birds is only theoretical. I love the IDEA of birds. Real birds disgust me. And they scare me. And I am unbelievably allergic to them. I can walk into a house and immediately know if the owner has a bird. I turn into that grade school kid with the ever-present green snot under the nose that gets a little dried up at the edges because wiping it off is entirely futile.
Please allow me a moment to acknowledge that I am fully aware I will insult some bird-lover or animal lover. Or an adult that was that snot-nosed kid. Bear in mind I would never kill a bird or an animal of any kind. I will never wear a fur. I am sure, however, that I use cosmetics that have been tested on animals and I am a serious carnivore. But I only eat mainstream meat. Hormone-injected chicken and turkey, corn-fed cattle and pigs. Nothing free-ranging or organic. Just the basics. (Truth be told, I don’t even really know what all that shit means.) I am apologizing in advance for any offense caused by my post.
Back to the birds. Their beaks are pointy and gross, their eyes beady, their feet have sharp little claws and they fly around unpredictably, especially when they are trapped in your garage or when they are dive-bombing you on your front porch. I also don’t understand why their poop needs to be white. I understand the purple parts because of the berry-eating and all, but I seriously don’t get the white part. Speaking of bird poop, one time a bird pooped on my nine-year-old daughter through the open car window as we were driving down the street. How does that even happen?! (Quite hilarious, though. For me, not her obviously.)
To their credit, birds can be amazingly colorful, their singing is beautiful (mostly) and they are free to fly wherever they choose (mostly). I appreciate those things about birds. I stay away from those indoor bird exhibits at the zoo, though, where you can see all kinds of multi-colored birds and hear their melodious songs. That is like stepping into a house of horrors.
And what about chickens? Those things are absolutely disgusting. They don’t even have the redeeming qualities of being able to sing beautifully and fly gracefully through the air. I enjoy chickens so much more when they are dead. I love to grill up their carcasses that someone else has rendered unrecognizable and eat their juicy meat. I whip up omelets made with their unborn young. I love dead chickens. I don’t even like thinking about live ones. They need to eat gravel with their food so their stomachs can mash it up. What the hell?! Why can’t their stomachs just work right? This makes me seriously question the efficacy of the evolutionary process. Why did the chickens with teeth and properly working stomachs die out and the ones that need to eat gravel live on?
I wrote most of this piece (that makes it sound artsy) on birds two years ago. When I was revisiting it a couple of days ago, I had made the firm decision to never subject you to it. I mean that. I had an entirely different “piece” I was working up in my head for today. I was planning to take my walk, shower and drive out to get the picture necessary to illustrate my piece.
The trauma I endured on my walk sent an undeniably STRONG message that I needed to write about birds today. Wait until you see the damn thing that was just a few feet ahead of me on the sidewalk. It totally caught me off guard. I was wearing my earbuds, listening to my music and huffing along, looking at my surroundings. Not looking ahead. I glanced forward and stopped up quite short. I actually jumped around and screeched so much that the THING flapped up to the fence post.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT????!!!! I realized I said this very loudly with my earbuds on. Not sure who heard me.
Obviously some kind of cruel joke by the bird gods. Holy shit! Those do NOT show up on sidewalks in the suburbs. A nearby cat took note and a stare down ensued. Cat wins. Lumpy flops up to the street light where he was still sitting when I walked back by.
I made it back home without further incident. I even went so far as to run the last bit. I hobbled and panted up to my front door and was immediately accosted by these two bastards. They left me a pile of white purple-ish gifts on the front porch.
L Winkie is now officially at war.
No mercy even for the women and children.
The following are the whimsical, predictable, cute, impressive, and tasty birds I enjoy in my home.