April 27, 2002

With the grief and horror of waking behind me now, it turns out it is an excellent day. It has scored an average 8.5 from the judges (might have been higher but there are rumours about the French judge.)

The birds are all a twitter. Not exactly sure what that means. How does a bird, or anything, twitter? Checking dictionary …

Well, apparently if you chirp with a series of high tremulous sounds, laugh, speak quickly in a high tremulous voice, or chatter, it may be that you are twittering. Which is more or less what I thought it meant, but you can never be too sure.

Should you ever find me twittering, please, slap me silly till I stop.

To continue … the birds today are twittering. Somewhere on the branches by my balcony, there is a passle o’ robins. There are also some sparrows and maybe the odd shrimpy wren. This may seem less than remarkable to you, but if you had to live with mornings of magpies and crows, you too would be elated at seeing wrens, sparrows and robins.

Those magpies are freakin’ big buggers. And crows? We’ve got crows the size of small pigs here. Steroid designed crows. I half expect to see one swoop down one day, snatch up the cat and scarf her down like fried hot wing.

Don’t ever be misled by these ornithological hooligans. If a bird looks like Death come calling, it is.

Yesterday, while riding the bus to work, I saw small gulls swimming in the river. These were baby gulls. (Baby? What the hell do you call bird infants? Chicks? Doesn’t sound right somehow.)

I would call our gulls seagulls but it doesn’t seem right. They look like seagulls. They sound like seagulls. They shed seagull feathers. But … how can something be a seagull when its something like 1000 miles to open water? If these are indeed seagulls, they do a poor job of seagulling. They clearly have no sense of direction.

Perhaps they’re simply traumatized? One gull became misdirected, the others followed it, they found themselves in a barren, desolate landscape with strip malls and quickly thrown up (but fashionable) housing, and it all went to hell from there.

Somewhere around the Great Lakes, or perhaps the Pacific or Atlantic coasts, other seagulls mull around, chit chat, and say every so often, “Whatever happened to that group of gulls that kind of went north and left? Ever hear from them anymore?”

It’s a tragedy of ornithology and worth at least one episode on A&E (with a DVD to follow). I mean, if they can do the Shackleton documentary, surely there’s room for “The Lost Seagulls of Canada.”

Just a thought.

Oh … when I say I saw these gulls swimming in the river, I am speaking romantically. Lyrically. The river is not so much a river as a broad stream of flowing mud and corruption. Birds (or anything) do not so much swim or paddle in it as flail helplessly, rather like spasmodic mud wrestlers. It’s a hell of a thing to see. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

Finally, to wrap up this ramble, I am listening to the Robert Michael disk Allegro, his latest CD. It’s very good, if you like the guitar thing. If you don’t like guitar music, this probably isn’t the disk for you. But if you do like it, this is wonderful. It begins with a peppy little thing called CafĂ© Allegro. Makes you want to wiggle your bum. Being beyond the prying eyes of the rabble, I do (and with some enthusiasm).

Shake it, Goatboy! Shake it!

(Note to self: work on butt exercises. Feels like your packing a bowl of Jell-O back there.)


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