Wednesday, April 19, 2006


I’m still working on the entry about the Skoal can. Now that I’ve built it up enough to ensure it is nothing less than a crushing letdown to all who have inquired about it, here’s something that happened this morning.

On Easter my Dad asked if I’d come talk to his two back-to-back Freshman Comp classes later in the week. Because I was drunk, I agreed. Okay, I wasn’t drunk, but I was completely hopped-up on Ranch-flavored Wheat Thins, and there’s got to be some mind-altering, addictive substance in those puppies because truly, I flooded my colon with more Thins than are probably legal.

So fast forward to this morning, the day of the talk, about five a.m. I’d been awake almost all night tossing and turning because you know how I am about public speaking, and I start to hear this sound coming from right outside our bedroom window: CHEEP……...CHEEP………..CHEEP………..CHEEP.

Dawn had arrived, and with it, the birds. Our backyard is the size of a Polly Pocket quilt on a speck of dust under a microscope, but I go to great lengths to turn it into a critter-friendly environment for the various suburban wildlife that might stop by: rabbits, squirrels, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Robins, finches, hippies, Tara Reid.

Because entertainment is limited in my locale and I’m an octogenarian trapped in the body of a 31 year old (and I’ve outgrown old hobbies like binge drinking in public, for the most part), I actually find it amusing to watch their backyard antics. Also, I’m now able to identify bird songs by ear. I especially enjoy the Chickadee’s Nelsonesque “HAAAAA-Haaa!”

But I’d never heard a birdsong remotely like the one I was hearing at five this morning. Long, evenly spaced, regularly timed cheeps. After a few minutes listening to this with my bloodshot eyes staring bitterly at the ceiling, I grew agitated. And by “grew agitated” I mean I was almost crying in a kind of sleep-deprived, delirious, tantrummy haze in between kicking my husband for snoring and/or whining at him for putting his hot leg too close to mine. (Aren’t I charming in the middle of the night? It’s amazing he still talks to me, really.)

But thank God for shooting ranges and overprotective parents of preteens attending Fall Out Boy concerts, because they have facilitated the widespread distribution of foam earplugs. Which I happened to have a pair of right next to the bed because my husband’s snoring is so loud you can actually SEE it, and it is the exact size and shape of the bully that punched you in the ear and threw a softball at your butt in the second grade.

So I stuffed in the earplugs and basked in the relative silence. Somehow, I managed to drift off into a light, unsatisfactory sleep from which I was awakened again an hour later by: CHEEP……...CHEEP………..CHEEP………..CHEEP.

That fucking bird was back. I wanted to run outside and throw rocks at it until it was nothing but a raggedy chunk of bloody feathers. Now, I’m the kind of person who tears up at the sight of fluffy roadkill. I actually cried last year when I accidentally killed a spider on the porch and the ants carried it off to their lair (which was incredibly creepy to watch, but heartbreaking in a Charlotte's Web kind of way). So for me to say that I wanted to stone an innocent bird to death, well, you may as well keep an eye out for the four horsemen of the apocalypse at that point.

It was then that I realized something. That CHEEP……...CHEEP………..CHEEP………..CHEEP?

Was coming from my left nostril every time I exhaled.

It’s amazing I am capable of balancing a checkbook or eating breakfast without injuring myself, really.


  1. Countdown til Spring-Drunk-Fest... Oops, I mean Spring Fling! Can't Wait!

  2. Holy Hot Earl Grey Through the Nose, Batman, it's a good thing there's only one of you, cuz I don't think I could take much more of the whole laughing til I cry til I feel nauseous thang.

  3. I used to think it was my husband's springtime allergies that caused the snoring that would wake me up at night.

    Until he started sleeping on the couch to prove me wrong.


  4. Oh my god Jess, I cannot wait until your book comes out. You freakin' crack me up. Not that I expect your book to be like your blog, don't get me wrong.

    I have totally done stuff like that before, I'm a big one for undiscovered noises - it usually ends up being my dog but from time to time it has been emanating from my own self.

    Have fun with the kiddos!

  5. Reminds me of the nose whistler on ally mcbeal. Hilarious. That has happened to me (however, I never really thought it was a bird)... and ack. It's soooooo annoying.

    However, since I can't really whistle from my mouth that well, it might come in handy.

  6. Awesome tale, Jess. Seriously.

    Last night as my wife and I were quietly discussing how our 3 month old and our two-year old were for the first time sharing a bedroom, we chortled at how loud the snoring (emanating from the toddler) was.

    Then, silence.

    A collective sigh of relief. The toddler would not wake the infant.

    Then, the nosewhistle started.

  7. Anonymous8:10 AM

    LOL on the bird! I'd like to do a TV show called "When Animals Become Obsessed." I've seen some pretty good ones. Starlings which simply had to peck their way into my house. Robins obsesessed with flinging themselves at car side mirrors (and pooping on them of course, are they trying to mate with themselves??). Clearly they've been sent to drive us mad.

  8. That is so funny!
    At least it sounded like a cute little bird...could've been worse. You could have sounded like a crow, ot rooster or something unpleasant! Hope the talk went well after said lack of zzz's.

  9. Ohmygoodnesshelp! I had to shut my office door to get over this post! Woo!


    See? Still giggling.

  10. What a great post. From crushing letdown to Tara Reid to Nelson to bird stoning, I loved it all.

  11. Oh my god, I laughed so hard I almost peed! Here I was thinking of my blue jay nemesis...and it was your nose. HAHAHA. Way too funny.

    Gonna have to get me some of those ranch wheat thins, though...they sound AWESOME.

  12. I heard a bird call yesterday that sounded exactly like R2D2 from Star Wars, freaked me out. It was not eminating from my nose however. Like your Hubby I snore. I suffer from Sleep Apnea and sice I got my CPAP machine i don't snore anymore when i'm wearing the mask. I think the machine does more for my wife that for me at this point. :)

  13. lol. At least you don't have to stone a bird.

  14., how did the bird get in your nose?

    We live in North Vancouver. I get bears in my backyard. Big, giant, slightly smelly, bears. You want to see me move? I can get a serious hustle on if there is a bear in the back.

  15. Oh, the hot leg! My husband has one of those, and also a giant arm that he seeks to stuff under my neck at any given opportunity as we sleep. I won't even discuss the talons that are his toenails.

    Thanks you for a post that made me snuffle with laughter as I "worked."

  16. I thought my raging nose whistle was a mosquito once. I kept batting at the air trying to "get" it.

  17. "Rabbits, squirrels, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Robins, finches, hippies, Tara Reid." Ahahaha. That is the funniest sentence EVER!

    And, how the hell did you get a baby chick up your nose?

  18. Oh, I hate it when I get a nose whistle!! That's so funny that you didn't know it was you.

    So, did I learn about the can of skoal yet? Geez, I will have to go back and read again....Duh.

    Your husband snores so loud you can see it. THAT WAS FUNNY!

  19. Jess, that was a SCREAM.

    Occasionally, my husband will look over at me because I'm breathing so loudly that it sounds as if something is wrong. And I'm totally oblivious to it.

    And I must be in a pissed-off mood lately, because I really have resented all those happy birds chirping at the crack of dawn.

  20. Is there a way to somehow pin this on Tara Reid?

    forgive my hazy memory, but are you the same woman who waved at someone who "looked familiar" across a store only then to realize you were waving to yourself in a mirror from far away?

    if that was not you, my apolgies.
    if that was, then I say you shouldn't be too surprised about the nose whistle.

  21. I'm crying. And not because I care anything about wildlife, but because you are so ridiculously funny.

    I have actually gotten out of bed and tried to THROW things at the birds to get them to shut the fuck up. I never had to try to throw anything at mySELF though.

  22. lmao! I've had that happen! My nose has made noises that I was not aware it was capable of making and next thing I know I have the TV on mute and I'm listening intently to the downstairs, thinking someone broke in or something...heh

  23. That was too funny.

    We did have an actual woodpecker outside our apartment once -- I laugh remembering the strange things I'd do to try and scare the damn thing away.

  24. oh you poor thing!!

    and to think...some poor bird could have been an innocent victim of your rage.

    im pretty impressed with your knowledge of bird sounds. now theres a hidden talent!

  25. Oh jeez, always laughing every time I stop by here. Too dang funny.

    My hubby has sleep apnea, so I remember the days before the C-Pap (a.k.a. Darth Vader) machine. Pretty hard to sleep through that!

  26. so imagine you would have stoned a bird, only to keep hearing the whistling? oh the horror!
    very very funny.
    Can't wait for the skoal story.

  27. OH MY GOD I did NOT see that one coming. LOL, I think I peed myself.

    I can't even comment on what is truly the most perfectly funny thing EVAH!

  28. Can I tell you I just laughed out loud, and my girls were like, "What, Mommy?" Like I can tell them that I was just laughing at a story about killing some bird because it was loud, and I was sleep deprived; only to realize it was ME. Now my husband is asking.

    I have had way too many nights like you're describing. Like, every night. :p

  29. Snort Jesus H Christ that was funny! You had me all wrapped up with images of fluffy woodland creatures and large snores then WHAM you get me with the nose thing. Never saw it coming.

  30. You crack me up, girl.

    It's a good thing, in your sleep-deprived stupor, you didn't start smashing the hell out of your nose to quiet it down.

  31. Hilarious! If it makes you feel any better, I've done similar things before. Okay, not to that extent, maybe, but still. And since I simply can't sleep with my mouth open, sometimes I'm stuck with the noise.

    So how did the talk go?

  32. Anonymous9:39 PM

    where's your thursday thirteen? technorati has you listed as a thursday thirteen blog. i don't see it.

  33. I would pay $5 to see my small vegetarian friend stone a bird to death. lol Might want to think about some Claritin?

  34. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that bird was annoying you because of something you did!

    Try to be more respectful of our little birdy friends. OK? :)

  35. can balance a checkbook?

    Could you do mine?

  36. that is pretty bad if your cute little birdie nose is still louder than J's snoring! Thank goodness for those earplugs!

  37. The same thing happened to my parents when they were newly wed. Daddy woke up and said, "Listen! What's that noise?" Then he made them tear all the bedding off in the middle of the night, had my mother nearly in tears because she thought he was going crazy, and it turned out to be his nose.