The Birds Is Coming!
May 26, 1997
"Let's all go to the post office, and then swing by the beach for a few minutes!" Peter said with enthusiasm.
"Okay, Pa!" we answered. It was below freezing outside even though the sun was shining. We grabbed our winter coats and piled into the car.
"Let's stop at Burger King and bring a picnic too!" Peter added.
"YAY!" yelled the children.
Soon we were parking the car and walking towards the beach gripping our little Burger King bags. The wind was eardrum-puncture-severe, but we thought that sitting on a bench, munching our lunch while looking at the crashing waves would be a lovely thing. We sat down on two benches and began to unwrap our burgers and fries.
"Yaaaaahhh," we cried in unison, as we were mobbed by starving seagulls. We were catapulted into a virtual scene from the Alfred Hitchcock movie, "The Birds" -- and not so much as an old-fashioned, enclosed, phonebooth around to duck into.
I looked around for Tippi Hendren and Rod Taylor. Where's an ornithology consultant of the horror variety when you need one?
We were peering straight up into a low flying cloud of about two hundred seagull bottoms. While their duffs hovered overhead, they screamed for our food. I usually feel a lot of sympathy for God's hungry creatures, especially in the wintertime, but it was downright unpleasant being underneath all the hovering bird bottoms. Soon my worries were made manifest. Splook! A coat. A shoe. My daughter's hair.
"Let's get out of here!"
We started to move down the boardwalk at a fast clip, shoving our food into our coat pockets. My little Tadin was running, clutching his burger with two hands, shouting, "Boidy want my boiger! Boidy want my boiger!" The entire flock followed us down the sidewalk, suspended over our heads, back-flapping against the wind, squawking and screaming. In spite of the chase, our older children took pity on them and started throwing them crumbled handfuls of french fries. Tadin dropped his burger and the seagulls swallowed it before it hit the ground. He cried piteously, saying, "Boidy took my boiger."
We ran back to our car with our coats pulled up over our heads, trying to avoid the reverse "Dalmatian spot" effect. (Many years ago, a child that I once knew asked, "Why is bird's poo white?" And you know, I still can't answer that question.)
"Gee, that was memorable!" Peter said as we slammed the car door. Fortunately, the boorish birdbrains had given up the chase and were now probably after some other unsuspecting picnicers.
"I'm still hungry!" said Tymon.
"I lost my appetite," I said. "Let's assess our casualties. How many of us are birdy-dirty? Who needs to wash Birdy-Brilcream out of their hair?"
When one doesn't live by the ocean, seagulls have a rather romantic image, like Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It must be something about their beautiful white, wingspread against the ocean, and their unique cry. The fact is though, they aint much different from pigeons. Oh, to shatter the illusion of the picturesque. Seagulls are in their fondest element circling dumps and gobbling garbage.
I reckon the next time we take a picnic to the beach, we'll park the car and look at the ocean out the window. Either that or we'll wear raincoats.
Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.
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