Mrs. G. does not hate birds. She adores seeing them flit about the lawn or soar above the trees. She admires them warbling and chattering atop her birdfeeders. Mrs. G. likes birds in their place, their bird place, way up there, so they can't fuck with her.
That's right, Mrs. G. has a long history of bird harrassment, all out bird commotion really, and it commenced in...
1971: Mrs. G. has written extensively about the time she visited Busch Gardens when she was four-years-old and during a seemingly innocent photo op, a giant cockatoo flicked its freakish black tongue, snatched her finger between its beak and proceeded to crush it like a Brazil nut.
1973-1977: Mrs. G's mother, a clever and thrifty decorator, decided to wallpaper the bathroom with the pages of Richard Bach's novella Jonathon Livingston Seagull, the tale of a nonconformist seagull who seeks a "higher plane of existence." For four years Mrs. G. sat on the pot reading passages like:
Why, Jon, why?” His mother asked. “Why is it so hard to be like the rest of the flock, Jon? Why can’t you leave low flying to the pelicans, the albatross? Why don’t you eat? Jon, you are bone and feathers!
I don’t mind being bone and feathers, Mum. I just want to know what I can do in the air and what I can’t, that’s all. I just want to know.
1978: Mrs. G's mother took her (age 11) to a Hitchcock double feature of The Birds and Psycho. The bad news is Mrs. G. was so traumatized by the savage, eye pecking, murderous birds she is fairly certain she entered some sort of fugue state because she has no memory of the second feature. Nada. Zip. The good news is when her mother took her six months later to a double feature of The Godfather I and II, the horse head scene was a walk in the park.
1983: Some friends in high school threw Mrs. G. a super surprise party for her sixteenth birthday. The surprise part was ruined because her friend Darren told her about it as he was driving her to the surprise party. The excitement was too much for him. The super part was ruined because Mrs. G. had to fake being surprised and because Tara and Lisa (two girls who didn't even pretend to like Mrs. G. so the party must have been the only thing going on in Tigard, Oregon that Saturday night) went in together and bought Mrs. G. a pair of finches, which they presented to her in a box with pencil holes stabbed in the sides of it. One bird died before Mrs. G. could purchase a cage the following day, the other shortly after.
1988: Mrs. G. was living in a duplex in Northwest Portland. Her neighbor was an attractive fellow named Eric who acted in local commercials. Mrs. G. frequently lingered on their shared stoop hoping to get his attention. He was politely indifferent, but Mrs. G. never gave up hope on a potential liason until he came upon her one afternoon cleaning up the maxi-pads the neighborhood crows had looted from their shared garbage can and shredded all over the sidewalk in front of their place.
1993: Mrs. G. exited her car and was walking to the entrance of a Blockbuster video store. Six feet from the door a Blue Jay came out of nowhere and dive bombed her head. Its beak made contact with her skull. She screamed, covered her vulnerable eyeballs and ran inside the store. When she told the cashier what happened, he assured her it was no big deal. "It's been happening all week. Mama Bird's just protecting her nest," he shrugged. "When you leave just run really fast to your car." When Mrs. G. left, she did run really fast to her car (zig zaggedy to throw the bird farther off her trail) and then began renting her movies at Hollywood Video.
2001: One dark and stormy night around 1:00am, Mrs. G's kids were on a sleepover when she woke up to a strange sound coming out of her daughter's room. Mrs. G. went in and discovered her daughter's cockatiel Herman lying on the floor of his cage, squawking. She screamed for Mr. G. to wake up because there was a BIRD EMERGENCY. She took Herman out of the cage and cradled him in her hands. One side of his body seemed to be paralyzed, his left eye was droopy. Mr. G. stumbled into the bedroom and offered some Grade A medical advice: Just put him back in his cage and let's see how he is in the morning. Maybe he's just tired. Mrs. G. held him, stroked him, prayed over him, sang to him, walked him up and down the hall begging him to hang on until her daughter came home in the morning. Herman died ninety minutes later. Mrs. G. is still pissed at him.
2004: A rooster attacked Mrs. G. at a petting zoo. The petting zoo person admonished her for trying to kick it.
2011: Mrs. G. paid full price for bird wall decals the week Portlandia's Put a Bird on It episode aired. When she returned the decals a week later the store would only refund the current sale price.
Every Other Monday For Ten Months: Mrs. G. arrives ten minutes before her therapy appointment and sits in counselor's waiting room enjoying the soothing fountain, cataloguing her personal glitches and listening to the piped in sounds of bird song warbling from the speakers. Mrs. G's therapist (a wonderful woman with a healthy sense of humor) is familiar with this blog and already happened upon the post about SARK, stuffed animals and shopping for therapists so Mrs. G. is going to go easy on the ird-bay ashing-bay. But Mrs. G. will tell you that as she sits and listens to the artificial chirps and twills of her winged brethren, she breathes deeply to diminish her flapping agitation and silently solicits: Abilify me, St. Francis, Abilify me.