This Thing I Got Going With Birds

hole-in-knee-2.JPGFor those of you not in the know, there’s this thing I’ve got going with birds. I guess it started a little over ten years ago, when I’m riding flatland at the usual spot I used to ride flatland at, which also happened to be the territory of a very angry crow. For weeks and weeks, he cawed and cawed and tried flying close to me to scare me away, to no avail. Finally, when I failed to leave his territory, he stepped up his game, flew close to me while I was riding and dropped a dead bird from his mouth onto me.

That was 1996. Since then, things have only gotten weirder.

I got hit in the head by another bird. (This one was living AND flying.)

I tried to help a bird out of an airport terminal that it had mistakenly flown into, only to be yelled at by the security on duty that was asked to kill the bird.

I witnessed a pigeon cannibalize another pigeon.

I was an onlooker to one of the very few bald eagles to ever get grounded in Manhattan. It was walking down the sidewalk, wondering what to do with itself.

And I watched a different crow tear a mallard duck to pieces in the parking lot of my local UPS office.

Of course, that all pales in comparison to the events of April 16, 2005. I was riding my bike yet again, unknowingly passing close by the nest of a Canadian goose couple. The male swooped in from behind, landed on my shoulders and started pecking at my head and back. I reached around with one arm, started elbowing him, then hit a rock, jack knifed over the handlebars and tore my knee to shreds (above photo was the result.) When I sat up, the goose came at me again, and I was forced to punch him in the head, after which time he left. And I limped home two miles. Since then, I kinda developed a phobia of Canadian geese. Yeah, I can appreciate their flight patterns, but that’s about all the appreciation they’ll get out of me. (And while I’m on the topic of them, I’m additionally pissed as of late cause Canadian geese keep shitting all over the place where I ride flatland.)

Anyways, things have been quiet for a few years now. Then my bird feud started up yet again a few weeks ago, when I was leaving the supermarket and got shit on. It just hit my leg and I wiped it off with a tissue, but in no way would it prepare me for the events of today.

Again, coming home from riding, this time crossing over a wooden pathway that runs above a canal near Liberty State Park in Jersey City. It’s a path that’s about 5-feet wide and fenced on both sides, about 6-feet high. I come to the end of the pathway, and what’s standing in front of me? A fucking rooster with his wings outspread in attack position, standing between me and the street, in the middle of a fairly congested city just across the river from Manhattan! I didn’t want another fight, so I ghost rode my bike in the direction of the rooster, and it flew over the fence, allowing me to continue on home. For the life of me, it’s honestly the first time I’ve ever encountered an angry rooster adjacent to a busy waterway in one of the most congested metropolitan areas in the world.

So like I was saying, there’s this thing I got going with birds. And the symbolism hasn’t made itself apparent just yet.

Suffixes, Paula Cole, Tom Cruise and Duane Reade

It’s wet. I’m wet. The past two days, well, I guess the best way I could put it is that I could understand an evolutionary need for hibernation if humans ever intended to go that route. But I apologize for introducing another blog entry via bad weather. I should know better. And the one person reading this, you deserve better. The simple truth is, I don’t have one huge thing to say lately. I’ve got a lot of thoughts. Mainly one-liners that probably only make me laugh. But once again, nothing of the 1,000 word variety that merges the world of assassinations and penguins. More of that will come after deadline. For now, I’ve collected some ramblings. You can choose to read on or head off somewhere else if you want now.

My First Rambling: It concerns the Internet, and the way in which I think it’s hurt some of the more precious moments in BMX and more generally, humanity. However, I came to a realization (or maybe paradox, I’m not sure) the other day: complaining about the Internet via the Internet is pretty fucking dumb, and basically cancels out the argument anyways. This blog, it’s part of the problem, not a solution. So I’ve decided that I will continue to think about all of the perks of pre-Internet lifestyles in my head and perhaps one day, put them down on real, concrete paper. But probably not.

My Second Rambling: (Realized while watching Locked Up Abroad.) Isn’t it strange that the words “ahead” and “behead” mean such radically things? And while on the subject of the word “behead,” shouldn’t we be saying “dehead” instead of “behead” when a person’s head is forcibly removed? (Actually, it’s not. “Behead” is from the Old English word “Beheafdian,” which essentially means “Be off.”) Damn you dictionary widget for ruining my bad jokes…

My Third Rambling: And this might be a stretch. But it’s using another suffix. I read the Gothamist everyday. It’s an all-things New York City blog, linking news, weather, photos and culture together. But it got me thinking about the name the other night. Since the suffix “-ist” denotes a person who subscribes to a prejudice, could that mean that someone not in the know might assume the Gothamist to be a Web site for people that hate Bruce Wayne’s, and by extension, Batman’s city? Hey, if you act aloof and frequent the many comedy clubs of the city, it could work as a joke. Well okay, probably not. Who am I kidding? And what’s with all the suffix jokes anyways?

My Fourth Rambling: This one’s pointing at you Tom Cruise (because Tom Cruise reads this obviously…) And your new movie. The whole world already knows that Tom Cruise committed public relations suicide just a few short years ago (the whole Oprah dancing on the couch thing, the whole “Psychiatry is a nazi science” statement, etc, etc.) Where is their left for Tom Cruise to go? Well, if you’ve proven yourself to be an enemy to a lot of good, hard-working people that just might happen to have chemical imbalances, there’s only a few roles you can pick to actually seem humanistic in the public eye. One is a super hero, one is Jesus, and one is the would-be assassin of the world’s most notorious mass murderer. Valkyrie goes with number three. It might be a decent movie, but it’s such an obvious tool to assuage the general public’s feelings towards Tom Cruise that I don’t wanna know.

My Fifth Rambling: Where have all the cowboys gone? …Oh wait, Paula Cole already tackled that topic.

My Sixth Rambling: And I’ll end it after this. There’s a Duane Reade Pharmacy at the Journal Square Path Station. Two security guards work there, and they’re pretty relentless about always following me around while I’m inside the two-level shop (which is why I always leave my hood up and act suspicious.) A few night ago, I entered through the bottom entrance at around 10:30 pm. I got a few things on the bottom level, then walked upstairs to get shaving cream on the top level. (Yes, my two-year supply of X-Games Edge Shaving Cream finally ran out…) So I grab new shaving cream and pay for everything on the top level, then start walking downstairs to leave through the bottom exit, where my bike is locked up. The security stops me and says that the bottom-floor doors were locked at 10 pm and that I need to leave through the top door. Now I honestly don’t care what door I come in or out of, but I did come in through the bottom-floor entrance after 10 pm. So I told him that. And his answer, “That’s impossible,” kinda got to me. I mean, I wasn’t going to sit there and argue a meaningless point. I wasn’t hallucinating when I came in that door. I just shook my head, walked out the second-floor door, took the escalator down to my locked up bike outside of the bottom-floor entrance, and vowed to get in that door after 10 pm once more before I leave this earth. Just to prove that it is possible.