I have never been a fan of birds. Ever since I was little, my Hungarian babushka-wearing Grandmother would share horror stories of how dirty and lethal birds were. She claimed her sole purpose of wearing a babushka was merely in case a bird pooped on her head. The babushka would protect her hair, as well as her health, from all the diseases birds carry in their poop.
I have spent most of my life like Chicken-Little, looking up at the sky in fear of an atomic blast of poop raining down on top of me.
While all the other kids were being taken to the park and bought ice cream by their Grandmother, mine was plopping me down in front of the tv to watch The Birds whenever it was on. I was too young to watch it. That didn’t stop the Babushka-wearing bird poop czar from forcing me to view it to prove her point, just how dangerous birds were. The terror from that film till this day lives inside of me.
There also seemed to be an epidemic of serial killers back in those days. We had one in our city. It was my Grandmother. Several neighbors had pet birds; they were turning up dead or missing at an alarming rate. The pigeons in the local parks were being poisoned. I can’t prove it, but I guarantee the Poop Czar had something to do with it.
The other day, I was walking the dog. Of course, I was looking up at the sky, waiting for a storm of bird poop to come pouring down on me. It was inevitable. The Poop-Czar had promised the birds would eventually get me. I was about to cross the street when I saw what looked like a black tornado swirling and zooming towards me out of the corner of my eye. I panicked! A shit-tornado was my guess, and it was aiming for my head. I picked up my dog with lightning speed, and like George Costanza with the frogger game, I darted across the intersection against the light. I zig-zagged and decided that I would instead get hit by a car, then wind up in a funnel cloud of fecal.
Horns honked, and people yelled obscenities at me. I didn’t care! I was outrunning the fecal funnel. I was about to reach the other side of the intersection when the black horn approached. I couldn’t outrun it. It swooped down and, THWACK!
An enormous wing with a gigantic span smacked me like a ton of bricks across my forehead. I felt like a bobblehead the way my head was bobbing back and forth. I spun around and attempted to get my bearings. My ears were ringing, my head buzzing.
Dazed and confused I stumbled through the intersection. A man got out of his car bellowing: “If I didn’t see it with my own eyes! That was something!” he said enthusiastically with an enormous smile like he was a game show host that had just gifted me a new car. I stared at him attempting to understand what had just occurred. Unaware, he continued with his diatribe on the crow and their history. He chalked up their enormous size to climate change and the pandemic which has”allowed them to thrive.” His assertion of the “Crow-tastrophe” as he labeled it, was:” Two gangs of crows fighting for their turf,” and apparently I was in the crossfire. (Great I have Jim Fowler here in person giving me a Wild Kingdom tutorial!).
I feel my forehead and notice a relatively large neanderthal-like bump forming across my brow. The faux Jim Fowler continues.: “Let me put this in Layman’s terms. Did you ever see West Side Story?” I nod, the speed bump across my forehead now has its own zip code. A small crowd of witnesses has circled around us. I overhear teenagers laughing and lamenting that:” they wished they had recorded it for Tik Tok because it was epic!” (I am glad my trauma was Tik Tok worthy.)
Jim Fowler continues: “Think about The Sharks and The Jets, fighting over their turf. That’s what was occurring.” (If the crows had broken out in song singing:)
“When you’re a Jet, You’re a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin’ day.” Then I would have been interested.
I just want to go home. I am dizzy and embarrassed. My swollen forehead has now become a built-in visor. (At least Tippi Hedren didn’t have an airstrip across her forehead). A woman leans in and says to me: “You better get your head checked out.” She is wearing scrubs, I assume she is a doctor. I ask her if: “It’s possible I could have a concussion?” She nods her head and says: “It’s plausible, but chances are you’re fine.” I query if: “she is a doctor or nurse?” and she informs me that she is a veterinarian. So her patients were the assailants. I lose faith in trusting her diagnosis.
Faux Jim Fowler wants to know if:” I am calling the cops?” I may be dazed but I am not brain-damaged. “For what?” I ask him. “You know to report this crime.” He scoffs like I am ridiculous for even questioning him. I say: “So when they ask for a description of my assailants, what do I say? They had wings, were black, and had beaks?” I feel like Tippi Hedren confronting Hitchcock.
I head home, leaving the stew of nonsense behind me. My Neanderthal brow ridge accompanies me. Entering the house, Confused Husband gapes at me, his eyes fixated on my new appendage, lackadaisically he asks:” And how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?”