Saturday, August 19, 2006

in which i battle a bird

origionally posted march 28, 2006

so this is some shit i just couldn't make up. to set the scene, i first need to make mention of the fact that my parents are currently remodeling their kitchen...so there is a constant stream of contractors and other construction related personel trucking in and out of my house at all times (between 9-5 on weekdays only). which is the explanation i am going with on the following:

this morning the dog wakes me up at around 9:30 to tell me that he has to go out. he has been sleeping on my bed this past week because my parents are out of town. so me being the primary caregiver in this small, defenseless animal's life, i dutifully throw on some slippers and take the beast out. it is when i head back into the house that things go awry. the dog slithers off to other parts of the house on god knows what agenda, and i find myself catching movement at about eye level on a scaffolding they have set up in the kitchen. my still groggy eyes focus, then refocus on the scaffolding and i realize but slowly that i am looking a medium sized bird in the eyes.

wha....? on cue, an explosion of flapping and feathers....what i can only guess is the bird realizing that he is looking a medium sized fat guy in the eyes. i realize two more things at the same time: 1. i left the door to the basement open (my environs), and 2. bird is heading straight towards it.

gracefully, and in exquisite slow motion he arcs through the doorway, banks right and dives straight down the stairs....hopelessly further away from nearly every door in the house. i stand there stunned for about five minutes, my thoughts just now starting to cut through the sleep-fog. okay, no problem....go downstairs and check out the situation. i creep towards the door and arrive at the landing at the top of the stairs at the same time bird has decided to come back up. we both instantly freak and bolt 180 degrees from each other....he back downstairs, me back into the kitchen.

i have no previous training or life experience to draw on at this point. so i call my dad. see if there's a butterfly net or something in the house that i can use in my upcoming battle with bird. 26 years old, and completely in over my head.....not a very good morning for the self esteem, in retrospect.

"dad, there's a bird in the house."
"a wh..."
"a bird. in the house. it's downstairs now. i need a net or something, how do you catch a bird?"
"i don't think we have any nets, get him to the other side [unfinished] of the basement. then you should be able to get him to go out the bulkhead."
"what, just lure him?"
"yeah, turn off the lights where he is, turn on the lights where you want him to go, he'll follow the light. he just wants to be outside."
"are you sure? it's a bird, not a moth. do birds like light? why do you know that about birds?"
"just try it, call me back."

i try it. i turn off all the lights in the finished part of the basement, open the door to the other side, and turn on the lights over there...within moments he flies through the door. yes! that was wicked easy! i run after him and close the door behind me. i do the same thing with the bulkhead door to the outside, open it up so the daylight comes in, and i shut off the lights in the basement. but i can't spot the bastard anywhere. so i start to poke through the stored lawn furniture, boxes, and contractor equipment very carefully. i kick at things to flush him out. suddenly from behind a table saw, he comes bursting out in a flurry of frantic flaps, buzzes my head by centimeters, and heads straight towards the small window next to the open door. at the last possible second (thank god it was a dirty window) he sees it and pulls up, backs off, and finally blasts out the open bulkhead like the millenium falcon and mos eisley.

"hey dad,"
"yeah?"
"yeah it worked, no problem. i totally manipulated that bird."
"good, he's outside?"
"he's outside. neat trick with the light. i never would have thought of that."
"you just have to think like a bird. i guess you're not such a birbrain after all."

right. i deserved that. i may not be a birdbrain, but my approach would have been drastically different.....something involving a tennis racket, a plastic bag and a few hopes and dreams, no doubt. this way was definately better for all of us.

so how was your morning?

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