Have you ever seen those small black birds that are always in a group of about 200 and when one takes off they all take off, one after the other like synchronized swimmers — in perfect fluid motion. My daughter loves to watch them. She loves birds in general so it’s no wonder that she is fascinated with these little guys.
She took Henry for a walk down the road one day and came across a flock of them. After watching them for a time, and most likely crooning to them, she turned to go home and they followed her. She thought it was cool. Henry — not so much. He thought he was about to get eaten. I think I would have been freaked out too.
The other day, after dropping her off at her house I headed toward home and saw one of those flocks of small black birds. Maybe it was the same flock that followed her home, or maybe it was relatives, but they were on the side of the road, which I thought was weird but what do I know about birds and what goes through their minds?
As my car approached them, they flapped their wings as one and began flying upward and I slowed to watch — first in awe at the beauty of it, and then in horror as my windshield went completely black and the combined thudding was nearly deafening. They had either made an error in judgement or had a death wish and couldn’t find any poisoned koolaid. It was total carnage.
I was flabbergasted! I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw at least 25 birds that would never see Thanksgiving and another 25 that would probably need wheelchairs for the rest of their lives. What was protocol here? Should I get out and check on them? Try CPR? Attempt to clean up the mess before other drivers ground them into next week?
Then I thought about my car. I checked my windshield for damage. No cracks that I could see but lots of feathers and smudges of who knows what. I needed to get home and clean it so I could tally up the cost of this.
It wasn’t my fault — as I hadn’t been speeding, drinking or horsing around in any way but I still felt as if I’d fired an assault rifle on the little guys. It was hard to drive home. Literally and figuratively. Besides wanting to heave my lunch, all those smudges were difficult to see through and were cloudy remnants of what used to be beauty in motion. It sickened me.
I was thankful that my daughter wasn’t in the car with me at the time. She would have gone bat crap crazy and probably written me out of her will. I haven’t told her about it because I wasn’t up to causing further damage.
It was bad enough that she had to get rid of all her ducks and chickens because something was making off with them. But she loved her flock enough to find them new homes rather than wait until they were all killed. She has a big heart, that one.
Then to top off my week I got pulled over for not using my signal as I rounded a corner. Sometimes I don’t bother if there’s no one around to care, but this officer cared. I could not believe those flashing lights were for me, especially since I had just come around the corner and couldn’t have been doing anything wrong yet.
I was heading toward the pizza place because I failed to thaw anything for dinner. My mistake was in stopping by my sister’s real quick to grab something thus putting myself behind. So yeah, I was feeling some pressure to rush and deserved to be spoken to about it, just not right then. The pizza was going to get cold now.
The good news is, that’s all he did was talk to me about it, even though I couldn’t find the registration. I never seem to know where it is, but thought there was a good chance it was in the glovebox. I reached in and pulled out a handful of napkins, then another handful of napkins, and two more handfuls after that. It was like a clown act with the never ending scarf being pulled from the clown’s sleeve. Where did these napkins all come from? I found insurance cards from about as many years as I’ve had the car. Guess it’s time to clean the glovebox.
Luckily he believed that I was indeed the owner of the car and hadn’t had any priors recently and let me go because I told him about the pizza — and even cops know pizza needs to be eaten hot.