Note: I’m a columnist for the Reader Weekly, an alt-weekly newspaper in Duluth, MN. Every Monday I post a new column.
I don’t mean to frighten you, dear reader, but I just woke up to a bird pecking at my window. “Bonk. Bonk. Bonk, bonk.” The bird is four inches tall, with brown feathers and a light yellow beak. It is obviously trying to find a way inside so it can eat me.
Once upon a morning dreary, while I pondered, drunk and bleary, over the dozen beers I had consumed the night before. While I snored, loudly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, from a flesh-eating bird gently rapping, rapping at my window decor.
Don’t panic! The glass on the old window is thick. It will take at least four minutes for the beast to chip through it with its razor-sharp beak. Once it does, it will devour my flesh and use my skull as the basis for a nest. It’s times like these that I wish the government allowed us to keep nuclear weaponry in our homes. Damn you, Obama! Forget the economy and come look at this damned bird! It has tenacity!
Presently my bowels grew weaker; I stifled an instinct to throw my sneaker, “Bird,” said I, “or Chick, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and you’re bugging the shit out of me with your rapping, Please stop your tapping, tapping on my window decor.”
“But Paul,” you might say, “It’s just a bird. It doesn’t want to eat you. It’s just confused because it doesn’t realize the window is made of glass.” Well reader, if fools were precious you’d be downright adorable, but they’re not, so you’re an idiot. We’ve all heard stories of birds flying into window panes, but this one isn’t suicidal like its brethren. This bird is hungry for brains. It will not give up until it devours human meat, and the rivers of blood that flow through me.
Deep into my bathroom fleeing, long I stood there unzipping, peeing, dreaming escapes no mortal ever dared to dream before. But the bird was unrestrained, and eyeing my jugular vein, and the only word there spoken was the tapping on my window decor. Merely this and nothing more.
Also, I’m a bachelor, so my windows haven’t been washed in years. They’re filthy. It would take a bottle and a half of Windex to see the true color of the sky.
Back into my bed turning, I told the bird – to ease its spurning – that I’d happily clean the windows a little more. But this only brought a tapping much louder than before.
Perhaps the bird won’t eat me if I feed it something else. Maybe I’m mistaking blood lust for normal hunger. What kind of sandwiches do birds eat? Ham? I’m out of that. Turkey? That’s a fellow species of bird. They probably won’t eat their own. Tuna fish? Do birds like fish, or just cats? Everything I know about animals comes from Looney Tunes cartoons. Regardless, I’m out of that too. Hey bird, stop pecking my window! I’ll make you some PB&J!
“Surely,” said I, “surely the bird will take a sandwich gratis; Let me see then, where the peanut butter thereat is, and fill up this birdly whore – Let the grape jelly I just bought be christened for this birdly whore – Then I shall hear the wind and nothing more!”
I don’t deserve this grief! Why is this happening? Do I have enemies with the capability to send a carnivorous bird to my window to devour me? Ones who knew my Saturday would be ruined if I woke up before 11am? In 17 hours when this damn bird finally breaks through my window, I guess they’ll get what they wanted.
“Doubtless,” said I, “what it does is its only stock and store.” Caught from some unhappy wanker, filled with angry, bitter rancor, the bird only knows to be hardcore. This and nothing more. “Wretch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee – a bloodthirsty bird he has sent me. Respite – respite and nepenthe from thy memories of clean window decor!”
What kind of a retched world is this? How long must I live in these bowels of Poe, with ravens tapping at my chamber door, squawking about girls with easy to rhyme names? What’s next? A beating heart pulsating through my floorboards? My friends tossing bottles of amontillado into catacombs and sealing me inside? Pits and pendulums amidst the Spanish Inquisition? I can’t take this damned incessant window tapping anymore!
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil! – winged eater of turds and weevils! By that Heaven that bends above us – by that God we both find to be a bit of a snore – Spare my soul with sorrow laden, I have no beer, no porn, no maidens! I swear to you that life is already a chore! My 401k’s VIMSX stock has hit the floor – Quit the bust above my door!”
Quoth the bird, “Nevermore.”