Thursday, December 10, 2009

Another Suburban Morning. But for the Big, Dead Bird.

My good friend and neighbor called me this morning. Let's call her "Ellen". Ellen was freaking out a little.

Ellen: "There's an enormous dead crow in my yard. With his head shoved in the ground. Like in the ground. And his weird feet are sticking up. And there are like, thousands of crows circling overhead and sitting on tree branches staring at my house. What are they doing? Why is the front of my house like a Hitchcock movie?! Help!"

Me: "I think you need to call the Health Department or something. It could have West Nile."

Ellen: "Oh. Mah. Gawd. So, now I can't take the kids to school because I am pretty sure those other crows are going to attack us and give us West Nile."

Me: "They're not going to attack you. They're crows - not La Costra Nostra. It's not like they think you killed their brother and they're waiting to take revenge." [I peer outside the window.] "Um.. I could be wrong about that."

Ellen: "I'm not calling the dang Health Department. I am taking care of this NOW." [Ellen is little, but she is hard core.]

Me: "Do you need me to come down there and help?"

Ellen: "No. I can do this. But I'm probably going to throw up a little."

So about ten minutes later I hear a noise that sounds like tires squealing. Except that it gets louder and louder and seems to last for a while. Five minutes after that Ellen calls me back. And this is what happenned:

First, Ellen put on like three pairs of gloves and grabbed a big, black hefty bag and a rake. Then, she went outside and sort of poked the crow. And then she threw up in her mouth. This was followed by our other neighbor and dear friend, Mimi coming out of her house. And it was ON.

Ellen: "Help me! There's a dead bird right there and then all these other birds and I just had an issue with vomit."

Mimi: [Looks up and sees the swarm] "What the ...?!"
[Looks down and sees the enormous, upside-down crow corpse] "Oh my ...?!"
[Looks up and spots another neighbor's adult daughter sitting on her front porch smoking Newports in her pajamas and staring into space.] Whispers: "What is her name again?"

Ellen: Whispers back: "I have no idea. I always call her Boo Radley's sister."


[BRS nods. Gets up and walks over. Assesses situation. Takes rake and prods bird into the hefty bag. As the bird's head comes out of the ground there is a noise. A soft, swooshy sound. As if the bird's head might pop completely off and thousands of evil mini-crows might come flying out of the hole in his neck and begin attacking the neighborhood.]

[Mimi then does what is described as a "Stuart" run and screams in high C for at least 30 seconds]

[BRS nods at crazy neighbors, drops hefty bag in trash can at the curb, walks back to her porch - all without taking the ciggarette out of her mouth. Sits back down, resumes staring into middle distance]

Mimi: "OK. Great! Glad to have helped. I'm going inside now."

Ellen: Stunned. "Uhhhhhh....."

But the best part of the story as far as I'm concerned is that Ellen's husband walked right by all of it on his way to work that morning an hour before all this went down. And it was a trash day. So he would have stepped out of the house, noticed perhaps two hundred crows cawing and circling his house, then walked right by the huge dead bird, then three steps later walked by a trash can. And then he just kept walking to the train.

It should be clear to everyone that disposing of dead animals is a DADDY job and not a mommy job. And, Ellen's husband is like some sort of special forces, military ops badass dude who is scheduled to re-deploy in about five minutes. It's not like he's a florist. The freaking crows were practically spelling it out in formation in the sky: 'Come back and deal with this situation or your wife will throw up in her mouth'. But no. In Mommyland, all jobs - particularly the gross ones - fall squarely on one person's shoulder's. And I think we all know who that person is.  Boo Radley's Sister.

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. - 2009


  1. Stuart run! Haa haa haa!

  2. my laughing probably sounds a bit like the crows right now -- great post!!

  3. Holy crap!! That was hilarious. I'm so prone to gagging over dead stuff. Being the "Mommy" of 3 kid and a carnivorous CAT (jerk) I get stuck with clean-up all the time. I totally relate!

  4. Boo Radley's Sister - Freakin LOVE IT!!!!! LMAO - I love your blogs!!!

  5. This is hilarious! I need to read your blog on a daily basis to keep my sense of humor.

  6. Did you know that a large gathering of crows is called a 'murder'? I'm not kidding. Check it out. Makes that story even creepier...

  7. I just found your blog today and almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard! I'll be back to read more. Thanks for the laughs.

  8. It's 1:34 am and I'm trying to laugh quietly so I don't wake my kids and explain what I'm laughing at. You should have a warning label: 'risk of choking or spraying your beverage though your nose. Eat or drink at our own peril.' Of course, you'd say it in a much funnier way, so that the person eating or drinking while reading the warning would choke or spray their drink out through their nose.

  9. trying to hold in insane laughter while at work is one thing.....trying to answer the phone AT WORK while holding in the laughter that you ladies cause impossible!!! Even yesser cause I went through something along these lines while having to stick my bright @ss yellow cleaning glove that goes almost to the elbow in a hole at the street to turn the water valve off with radioactivily sized bugs...while the Hottie McHot Stuff neighbor and his friends watched (bless them for TRYING to do it at the corner of their eye)

  10. This is the most hilarious story EVER! Well-written!

  11. Where is the 'laugh so hard you pee a little bit' button??

  12. So... I just found your blog via the "Single Dad Laughing blog"- and have spent the past 3 hours at work reading your archives instead of working!

    Thanks for making this single mom laugh/cry/pee!! Loving reading your stuff. Glad to know I am not the only crazy mom out there about to explode at any moment.

    This post in particular made me laugh... the whole thing is just comedy gold! Keep up the good work!! :-)

  13. When my son was about 2, we had a puppy. Puppy barfed on the kitchen floor. Son said, "SKETTI!" and reached for the pile of barf. Which contained LIVING, WRITHING white worms.

    I had to shoo the toddler away from the Grossest Snack Ever, keep the puppy from slurping up the pile of nasty, and then had to pick up the LIVE (did I mention they were ALIVE?) worms with a paper towel and Put THem In A Ziplok for the vet.

    Ulp. Moms don't get paid NEARLY enough.
    --kate in michigan

  14. There should be a disclaimer on posts like these. Something along the lines of:

    "Readers Beware. Reading at work is not advised. Attempting to hold in laughter may result in watery eyes and snorting when trying to breathe. Read at your own risk."

  15. Crows are highly intelligent. Check out this article from NY Times about research done with them :)

  16. A few months back, a dead squirrel landed in our driveway, right outside the window where the dog watches for things to bark at. He went nuts. My Husband, M, wasn't due home until 5. So I put on big work gloves and grabbed the snow shovel. And then I stood in the driveway and made several false starts to move it. Finally I gave up and backed the car over it to hide it until M got home to deal with it.

  17. This reminds me of the time I had to dispose of a dead opossum. Crawling with maggots. In my back yard. I am a single mom, so I could not even blame a clueless spouse. It is the only time I ever wanted a husband, so that I could walk back into the house and call, "Honey?? Could you please take care of that dead animal in the back yard????"

  18. Ok, I have to admit that I really wanted to read all your "Ellen" posts and this one was HECKA FUNNY!!!! I love it!
    ...Ellen's BFF...




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