Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The bird(s)

Is it just me, or does this remind you of someone getting ready to give you the bird?

Come to think of it, it also reminds me a little of an actual bird - like a flamingo or something.

Is that why they call it "the bird"?

And be honest, have you ever given it to someone?

I think I brandished the bird once when I was in elementary school. Like...I almost did it. I wanted the person on the receiving end (don't remember who it was) to think I was really going to do it. But, of course, I didn't.

If you're wondering why I have birds on my mind, it's because I was pecked on the head by a raging red-winged blackbird whilst minding my own business at the zoo today.

It momentarily disoriented me. I heard some undisclosed flapping. I was dizzy and thought I had bonked my head on a tree branch, but how could that be, because we were by the fish stream and there are no trees right there?

I stood there stunned, rubbing my noggin with no idea what had just happened.

Did I mention I was dizzy?

One minute I'm hollering at Silas for littering, the next thing I know I bonk my head on something hard and I have an instant goose-egg and a headache.

Or did I bonk my head on something hard???

Wait a minute - what's all that flapping in the bush?

That blackbird looks drunk! And psychotic! And why does my head hurt?

(Cue random old-man stranger standing behind me.)

"I do believe you got pecked on the head by that red-winged blackbird."

Moments later, when I'm beginning to fully return to my wits, a young boy falls prey to the same, psychotic, abusive, violent blackbird.

If I ever return to the zoo, it won't be to giggle at the monkeys. That's all I'm saying.

And I'll have you know that this post started off with the title "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" but I got completely side-tracked by my photo. It happens. Especially when you're me. Clearly, I needed to process the events of the day. Your check's in the mail.

And maybe tomorrow you can hit me with your best shot.

I know I'd like to hit someone with my best shot. (His name starts with Black and ends with Bird.)

For now, I shall rest. If you never hear from me again, you'll know why.



  1. what an awful, hilarious zoo visit you enjoyed!

    my sister once got pecked by a blue jay, i think she was about 7 years old. it was traumatic for me, just seeing it happen. our mom came home from errands that night with a "fun scary movie" in hand. yay! family movie night! mama heard the tale of fright from us girls. she sent my sister to bed early, to miss the flick. it was hitchcock's "the birds".

    hope your noggin is healin' fine. xoxo

  2. You are so stinkin' hilarious. Sorry to hear about the bird encounter. Seriously, you need to go back and show him who's boss. And keep staring at the photo and I just don't see "the bird" or an actual bird. However, I could never see those framed images in the 90's at the mall either. Remember those things?

  3. That is so weird about the black bird. But what on earth is your picture of?

  4. hard hat for you from now on when you make a trip to the zoo.

  5. That is nothing short of freaky. I am never going to the zoo again!

  6. Gah! Eeek!


    I have a major MAJOR bird phobia. I have stories to back this up. Just the sound of "flapping" send me into a tizzy.

    What happened to you is one of my biggest fears. I would've been a screamin'.

    So back to that photo. I'm with ya. I see it. And no, I have never given anyone the bird. I've certainly been tempted to, though!

  7. Girl, sorry to laugh at your expense, but that was so stinking funny! Maybe your niche is comedy?! Love your stories! LOVE YOU!

  8. Clever. I love the connection to the photo and this made me laugh. Out loud actually, but I've never been one to use LOL even when it fits. The only person I ever give the bird to is my husband, and only in jest. He makes fun of me when I do because I am unable to make the gesture as tough as it is intended, with the accompanying two fingers only half folded down on either side of the bird. I can only do a cramped fist with the middle figure awkwardly poked out. I bet you gave the bystanders around you a good laugh, as I did when I bonked my head on the dangling pendant fixture as I sat (sedentary, not in motion) getting a manicure last week. I'm sure I gave a similar dazed head shake...Love this story. Enjoy the rest of your week.

  9. I don't like birds and they don't like me. It's always been that way, and I'm not complaining.

    The thing about red-winged black birds is that they are VERY territorial about their nests. Like crazy swoop out of nowhere attack birds. (as you have clearly now witnessed first hand :o)

    The kids have friends down the street that had one of them make a nest in their mailbox. That crazy bird darn near killed me at least 5 times last summer, which always made for pulling in their driveway to pick up the kids a good time.

    Sorry you got pecked by the wacko bird at the zoo.

  10. That's funny! Or maybe not. The bird must have been protecting a nest. That's the only time they ever peck anyone. When I was 10, there was a bird that used to always attack our cat -- I don't know if it was playing with her or protecting something, but it happened all the time. I saw on the news where it is happening a lot with folks walking down a main street in some big city ... forget where. Hope you got your wits about you. Best wishes, Tammy

  11. That made me laugh! But then, I wasn't the one being attacked! I wonder what your blackbirds are (here in the UK, a blackbird is small and not vicious at all - the size and shape of a thrush and they sing beautifully). Maybe your blackbird is our crow, or raven. Oooooh, yuck - I don't like them at all - they hover around when the lambs are being born, ready to attack. Grrrrr!
    Anyway - I'm rambling - you see, it happens to us all - not just you ;)
    BTW - if the 'Elf and Safety folk hear about this, all zoo visitors will be wearing hard hats and signing disclaimers !

  12. That's awful! Birds do some strange things when protecting their nest. Seems like they don't want visitors coming within miles of that nest! Or maybe it had some bad birdseed. Or Maybe candid camera will be contacting you to get your permission to use the video clip? I hope you feel better soon. :)

  13. I can not think of what to say due to the chuckling goings-on over here.

    The bird probably heard you fussing at sweet Siley and decided to give you the what for.

    Bird: 1

    Shannan: 0

    Siley: Well, Siley got to relish in the bird attack.

    I'm just glad that bird's first name is "Black" and not "Big" or the Coalition of Pre-schools Who Support Public Broadcasting (CPWSPB) would be plotting against you.


  14. i do believe that's the funniest thing i've heard today! i think birds are all a little oddly creepy anyway. you should give that bird the bird. that would do show him!!

  15. I did "shoot the bird" once and wouldn't you know a mom of one of my friends saw me and told on me. Yep. Never again.

    I saw Birds when I was young and they've scared the tar out o fme ever since.

  16. I don't think I have ever given the bird. I remember my cousins talking about the correct way to give on. Like there was a cool way and a dork way to do it. Something about how you hold the fingers on either side. Whatever. I am glad you are ok!

  17. Hmmm. How bizarre. Birds freak me out a little. Especially pigeons. I really don't care for them at all. I blogged about that, once.

    I will e-mail you in 24 hours to make sure you're ok.

    In the meantime, know this: better to encounter a bird at the zoo than in your house. In your house is very, very bad, or so say the superstitious people.

  18. I can sorta see what your talking about in that picture. Of course, if I hit myself in the head it'd probably become clearer! ;)

    In our family we don't give the BIRD. We jokingly give the FULL BOUQUET - all five fingers.

    Funny post! Hope your still around to read this!!!

  19. I HATE birds. They completely freak me out. And bats are even worse. If I go to Lowe's or someplace and a bird has snuck in and it's flying back and forth trying to get out, my trip is ruined.

    Thanks for your comment on my post. It made me giggle. :)

  20. Someday we will stay up late and I will giggle while you entertain me with your humor. Oh, wait, you said you're not funny in real life. Well, we could pass each other notes over coffee? That sounds fun. LOL

  21. where is the bird whisperer,i.e. Jamye, when you need her? It reminds me of the old movie, The Birds", by Alfred Hitchcock.

  22. When I was in college, I got hit with a bird's best shot while I was at Stonehenge. Right on the arm. It wasn't from a beak though... wrong end! My friends were very understanding and laughed, pointed, and photographed my smeared humiliation.
    Although, I have to say, although we have chickens, I have a bit of a bird fear, so I think I prefer getting hit from a distance like I experiences rather than a bird getting up close and personal like he did with you!

  23. Shall I even admit that I actually gave someone the "bird" this morning! Yes, I am 32 and it felt good :-) Now, I shall ask God to forgive me.

  24. i give it to my husband all the time...shame on me. oh and shame on that bird for pecking you. i bet that took you by surprise.

  25. Shannan - this happened to my mom while we were jogging (that's right we were in motion while she was attacked) out on Navy Pier. Later we told a maintenance person about the attack and she informed us that the bird is named Fred and he does that a lot. We were flabbergasted! Really, this is such a regular occurrence that you've just named the bird?!?!

  26. I am soo incredibly sorry about this but it did make me LOL.

    How terrible! And shocking. Nothing better than being terrorized while at the zoo.

    Two things. Maybe these will add cheer. maybe not.

    No guarantees.

    1. When I moved back to MN from AZ (after a horrible break up and life was not good, I was very sad and unhappy)a bird crapped right on my head as I was sitting on my sister's back patio. I had been back in town maybe 2 days. I started to cry and I couldn't stop. I washed my hair at least 4 times.

    2. Your post reminded me of random attacks where you just don't know what hit you. In my 20's I had a studio apartment in Minneapolis. I bought a futon. I went to pick it up and was suddenly on the ground, my head hurt, I was dizzy..a bike and a large man were on top of me. I had been RUN OVER by a guy on a bike!

    Allow me to say that there is a no bike on sidewalks law in Uptown Mpls. I heard my best friend yelling at him "You tried to KILL my friend!"

    Best part: The guy was a strange man we'd seen the day before at a coffee shop. He kept bugging me for change while he had a $5 bill in his hand. I told him he didn't need my change.

    My best friend said that it "seemed as if when he saw you, he sped up on his bike."

    I am LOL.

    Painful/funny memories revisited!

    I sincerely hope you're feeling okay and that your head is in good shape. :-)


  27. I'm totally rethinking our scheduled zoo trip for tomorrow. Impeccable timing... You may have just saved my life. Scenes from the old film, "The Birds," come to mind.

  28. Birds must me totes crazy this year because I have been pooped on twice this year, and that has never happened before in my entire life!

  29. oh my gosh I laughed for days. this is the best, I do believe.

  30. once a small boy was attacked by my mom's rooster. The same rooster also attacked me. My parents video taped it. Because they are helpful like that.

  31. Funny...we went to the arboretum a few weekends ago and they were warning people about the red-winged blackbirds attacking.

    It's happened to my mom and my husband--both on the same stretch of bike path. Luckily they were wearing helmets!

  32. I am so sorry that you were pecked by the bird. But that was the best laugh I've had all day. Thank you. I needed that. =)

  33. Ha! So funny. I love the finger.

    I give it to make Aaron laugh.

    Makes me feel like such a hilarious rebel.

    Long live the finger.


  34. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii dddddddddddddddddddo lllllllllllllllllllove you so.bloggerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaates me...................

  35. I reserve my birds for my closest friends and my husband. :)

    so sorry you got attacked by that bird....but, so glad you had a blast at the zoo!!

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  37. You are one of the best bloggers ever. God sent the blackbird to peck your head so you could write a fantastic blog post.
    I've never flipped anyone the bird. When I was a kid, I was really sheltered & didn't know it was bad & same goes for my best friend. We were at the mall with her mom & my friend decided, just to be different & go against the flow, she would point with her middle finger now. Her mom freaked out & told her never to do it again. We thought her mom was crazy paranoid.