An obnoxious bird has made a nest over our door. Don’t get me wrong. I love animals. I do. Ask anyone. The last time a bird made a nest over our door the kids and I watched in rapt attention as the nest was built, the eggs laid and the baby birds developed. As soon as the baby birds left the nest I even went out and stupidly took down the nest for closer inspection. I say stupidly because freshly used nests are full of tiny bugs and all I really accomplished with my closer inspection (after several showers and a manic cleaning tirade) was giving my children a phobia of birds’ nests.
This bird, however, is paranoid. First of all, it built its nest in such a way as to discourage Peeping Toms so that I can’t be nosy and appreciate the wonder of nature. What good is having a wonder of nature in such close proximity if I can’t use it for family entertainment? And second, the bird insists on dive bombing my head every time I try to enter or exit my home like I’m some kind of predator, which admittedly I am, but if it paid attention it would notice that I prefer carefully packaged large birds for my dining pleasure. This is not the Ozarks. I don’t eat animals from my front yard. Clearly it’s confused about its location and my benevolent nature.
I can forgive confusion, but open hostility is intolerable. And as I’m often preoccupied and possess a limited short-term memory (my pregnancies claimed that along with my six-pack abs), each avian attack is a complete surprise to me. It feels like I have a Jack in the Box installed above my front door and I don’t like Jack in the Boxes. Surely I wasn’t the only child who felt that Jack was an evil little toy who waited in a box for the sole purpose of traumatizing unsuspecting children?
No? Just me? Okay, moving on.
Anyway, on my way to pick up my son from preschool today I was understandably still reeling from the shock of being viciously attacked by a three-inch rabid animal, when my phone, which has chosen for itself (since I haven’t properly learned how to use it) as its text notification sound, a jet plane swoosh, decided to notify me of an incoming text. The text was from my dancer friend who had just discovered her son’s tap dancing genius and was understandably excited, but that’s beside the point. The sound of a jet zooming through my car on the heels of my attack stimulated my Post Imagined Stress Disorder (or PISD), which, though not recognized as a legitimate affliction by any medical organization,plagues me nonetheless. In this heightened state of paranoia I naturally assumed that the bird had covertly gained access to my vehicle, cunningly waited until I was thoroughly engrossed in driving and then attacked. Because birds are known to be covert and cunning masters of tactical genius.
Now I’ve watched my husband reenact enough harrowing felony arrests to know that when under attack, one should feint to the side and quickly draw their weapon to return fire. Instinctively that was what I did. The only problem was that I wasn’t a police officer, not actually under attack and didn’t have a weapon. What I did have was a dirty Mazda Protege whose steering wheel I yanked to the left in an unnecessary evasive maneuver, narrowly missing the back end of a truck whose driver had made the mistake of driving on the same Burbank road as a delusional mother in a hatchback. Luckily I didn’t cause an accident and the driver of the truck didn’t stop and demand an explanation which no doubt would have necessitated a psych evaluation.
You should know that I might be terrible at many things (writing thank you notes, painting furniture, organizing my kitchen cupboards) but I’m an extremely conscientious and capable driver. It’s a point of pride. Normally after making such a bonehead driving maneuver I am so contrite that I practice extreme traffic etiquette and obey every traffic law ever made or imagined for at least a full day. However, today I was so distracted by the absurdity of the situation that I made two other bonehead maneuvers in rapid succession, at which point I nearly pulled over, handed my keys to the nearest person and asked them to pick up my children from school because my children deserved the relative safety a complete stranger could offer them. Luckily my often silent, tiny voice of reason convinced me that the elderly Armenian woman with the walker probably didn’t drive and would break a hip climbing into my car anyway. So instead I continued on my way to the preschool without further incident.
But now that nesting bird and I are really at odds. It’s overactive sense of self-preservation is colliding with my overactive imagination and wreaking havoc with the safety of the public at large. Not since a band of delinquent raccoons vandalized our Halloween decorations and made my daughter cry have I been so incensed at an animal. I can’t be responsible for my actions. I have a legitimate made up disorder. Someone should send a representative from PETA to relocate this bird to a safer location. Like my neighbor’s house.
Then again, PETA might take issue with the collection of carefully packaged large birds in my freezer and they’re scarier than a homicidal sparrow. You know what, on second thought I’ll just use my back door for the next few weeks.