Spring hit Chicagoland for five minutes. We opened our filthy windows for those five minutes. And nature got inside.
The outside birds screamed like assholes. Our budgies heard them. They screamed back. All that screaming reminded me of every conversation we ever had at family gatherings–everyone getting louder and louder until Uncle Bob raises the volume on the TV to DEAFENING.
For sure, a connection was made between the wild birds and our budgies. And through the power of lies, here is their actual conversation:
Wild Bird: Hey it’s great outside! It’s goddamned SPRING up in here! We’re glad we’re not dead! We’re birds and shit! Trees!
Budgie: HEY GUYS! HEY GUYS! HELP! WE’RE IN THIS HOUSE! RIGHT HERE!
WB: Let’s hop on this grass! We don’t discuss politics! Oh look, a hedge!
B: THEY GOT US IN A FUCKING CAGE! THEY GAVE US RIDICULOUS NAMES! HELP!
WB: After we get some worms and bugs, maybe lets fly! Look at the leaves! The sun is great and warm! What’s a celebrity?
B: HOLY SHIT GUYS! WE WANT TO FLY TOO! THEY FUCKING NAMED ME SPRINKLES! SERIOUSLY PLEASE HELP!
WB: Sorry Sprinkles, none of us speak Parakeetese. Wish we could help.
S: What the fuck! I understand you. And you just called me by my name!
WB: Sprecken zee doychee?
WB: Sorry, I’m going through a tunnel . . . you’re . . . break . . . up . . .
S: YOU’RE RIGHT OUTSIDE THE GODDAMNED WINDOW! I’M LOOKING AT YOU! YOU’RE LOOKING RIGHT AT ME!
WB: Look, I’ve already been arrested twice for theft, I don’t need this third strike bullshit putting me in some goddamned cage for the rest of my life.
S: Asshole, Illinois doesn’t have the three strikes law. Also, I’m in a cage and I didn’t do A DAMN THING!
WB: . . .
S: There are about a million holes in that screen. These people are stone cold hillbillies. Just squeeze in through one and open the cage. It’ll take 20 seconds. And then I’ll get you all the worms you could eat for the rest of your life!
WB: Sorry, bro, gotta fly. Good luck, Houdini!
After that, I closed the window and glared at Sprinkles with all the intensity of the heating bulb in an Easy Bake oven.
Of course, whenever birds are flapping and screeching, I can’t help but remember the one time a bird shit right in my mouth.
I was 10? 11? The beast was wing-ed. It fluttered to and fro betwixt a nest and somewhere that wasn’t the nest. My curiosity was indomitable. I had to see if there were eggs in that nest. So while the bird was fro, I climbed the small tree and peeked into the nest.
Nestled in the nest were three speckled eggs. And another fucking bird.
That other bird went crazy. It dive-bombed me. I thought it was going to get caught in my luxurious locks. I almost fell out of the tree.
I scrambled down as fast as I could. The teeny tiny bird with no teeth, or opposable thumbs, or any real way to do serious physical harm, continued its assault. On the last pass, it shitted all over me. The shit ran in a straight line up my right arm, ending in my open, shocked mouth.
I began spitting all over and scraping my tongue with my filthy fingernails. I would have used a rasp.
I looked at my arm. The line of shit on my arm was moving. I looked closer at the black/white splash. There were worms in it. Little, undigested, still-living worms, and they were waving at me from the line of bird shit on my arm. Gently swaying and trying to lift themselves from the muck.
The bird went back to its nest.
Years later I went on to eat pistachios.