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.