Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feed the Birds

I hate birds. Why? I have a few stories...

At the age of five, my mom, my brothers, our friends, their mom, and I were down in Duluth watching a ore docker come in. These are the things we do in Duluth. So cliche, right? Anyway, it was raining. Again, why were we down there? We were all huddled under this big red and white pinstriped umbrella. It was big enough to hold us all. So there we were, sitting, waiting, cold, wet; you name the miserable feeling, it was there. And all of a sudden I felt something cold and wet on my head. It was rain, I was sure. But I was under an umbrella... how in the... My five-year-old self took his right hand and felt on his head. It was slippery and thick. What was this?! He drew away his hand, and lo and behold, white seagull poop had landed in his hair. While sitting under an umbrella. While it was raining.
Because I was a crier when I was a child (there'll be more posts about this, I'm sure), I instantly started crying, sobbing to my mother. My friend's mom rose to the occasion. Taking me by the hand, she led me through a sea of people that had all crowded on that rainy day to see the ship. (Actually, in this part of the story, I remember it being sunny. Why would we have an umbrella, though? Parasol? We weren't that fancy!) Anyway, we waded through the people, into a maritime museum, which had an awesome U.S. Coast Guard tug boat in front of it. We dodged, dipped, dove, and dodged our way to the bathroom, where she found wet wipes. How she found them is beyond me. Her purse was always like Mary Poppins' in that way. She cleaned me up, and I was wary of seagull poop the rest of the day.

Fast forward to eighth grade.
On interim day (the middle school equivalency of elementary field trips), my friends and I decided to opt out of white water rafting, rock climbing, and riding jet skis on the lake (maybe that wasn't one of the options) to tour the local aquarium, a museum ore docker, and go to an educational movie. These are the kind of people that end up blogging, mind you.
The aquarium was first. We piled onto yellow school buses and headed lakeside, where the aquarium was located. For us nerds, it was quite a buzz, getting out of school to learn some more. After taking in every kind of fish possible, petting the too-scary-for-me-to-pet stingrays, and taking in the view of Lake Superior, the 31,700 sq. mile, greatest of the Great Lakes, lake, we headed over to the bird exhibit. Why they had birds in the aquarium, I'll never know.
From the aforementioned experience, I was set on not visiting those birds. I was prompted, though. I had to go in. Plus, we were ensured the birds' wings were clipped. I choked down my fear and finally went in the caged-in bird area. It was nice enough. I stood on the opposite side of where the birds were, keeping a safe distance. I was almost done. We would look at the last set of birds and leave. That was it. I'd be done. Then, I realized a bird had gotten out of the elevated habitat it had once been in and was hopping, not walking, hopping across the floor. A fellow classmate, who was not in my circle of friends, found it amusing. He started hopping around after the bird, trying to catch it. I stayed away. The bird was fairly small, had brownish, tan feathers, a long beak, and long legs for apparent wading. That beak is perfect for skewering an eye, I thought. I was scared to death. The classmate kept hopping after it, trying to catch it. All of a sudden, the bird had had enough. It flew up at me, brushing my hair! I screamed, which was loud. (See, I have this gift...) Everyone else ducked out of the way.
This was the year the bird flu was highly televised. I remember wearing a contagion mask and washing my hands consistently for the next few weeks, leaving my hands red, splotchy, and bacteria-free. (This last part may be a bit exaggerated. I remember washing my hair at least ten times in the shower that night, though.)

In a couple words, I can relate to the movie, The Birds.

With these two stories in mind, you can appreciate the irony of some decorations in my room, which are pictured below.

Does that seem weird that I would do that to myself, subject this torture inadvertantly but nonetheless to myself? In another take at it, I was in a discussion with some people this past week. The question was, "Why would you take daycare kids to an old lady's house?" (Don't ask how it came up.) One girl said, "Because they decorate with birds!" WHAT?! First of all, I don't agree with that. Second of all, that makes me an old lady.

At least some bird decorations in my room are the AWESOMEST THING IN THE WORLD!!! Agreed? It's unanimous.

'Til next time!

1 comment:

  1. Bahahahaha this was so funny. I'm sorry you have a bird phobia though..... XD


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