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I stopped in a little, locally owned pet store. As I was checking out the gerbils and hamsters, this white parrot began mocking me. Hold on, let me back up…

For those who don’t know, birds hate me. They run into me while flying, chirp in the middle of the night outside my window, and generally just try to ruin my life. My aunt’s bird used to cuss me out and when she’d laugh and say it did that to everyone, it would wait until she left the room to crawl on the side of its cage and rattle the bars as it hungrily reached for my eyeballs with its disgusting talons. However, no one ever sees this ish because the little bastards are sneaky. You have no idea the pain of having a mortal enemy who no one else sees as threatening. Let me just say this: If a bird ran into you beak first or dive bombed you when you stepped out of your apartment, you’d hate the squirrels with wings as well.

Yep. Squirrels are also on that hate list. But that’s another story and likely one I should share with a therapist.

Anyhow, I was running errands when I saw this little store and as Christmas is coming up (don’t tell me it’s only July. You’re gonna blink and the next thing you know, you’ll be elbow deep in crazy crowds trying to get to that last roll of holiday paper. Meanwhile, I’ll be in front of a warm fire sipping eggnog and laughing at your misfortune), I stopped in to see the offerings for my nephdog.

I was immediately greeted by birds on each side, sizing me up. I realized that it was one of those bird stores (bad news for me, the one common enemy of every type of bird known to man. Except hummingbirds and owls. We’re cool.) but hustled to get past the hoopla. Toward the back of the store there were hamsters, mice, gerbils, and the like so I stopped to take a look at their cute, fuzzy selves.

That’s when it happened. I heard the tinny, forced voice that haunts my dreams croak out, “Hello”. I laughed nervously and said hello back to the little bastard and you know what he did? Started mocking my laughter. I know, I know. This sounds like I’m overreacting. The person I was out with thought so as well until the next bit. The guy running the place had drifted over to make sure we weren’t stuffing hamsters down our pants and then he lazily strolled back to his post, holding up the counter lest it hit the ground. I turned back to the cute little hamster who was busy attempting to beguile me with the cute way it could high five me through the glass (a trick that made me make the horrible mistake of buying a pair of mice a lifetime and a decade ago) when the white devil of a bird started getting cranky. He first tried to get to me through the bars and when that didn’t work, he began trying to pick the lock. That’s right. He started shaking and picking this lock like a psycho. I pointed it out to my companion who stood back in amazement.

I felt vindicated. I felt freed. No one had ever witnessed the blarney that birds put me through. At least the squirrels had the decency to kill my cat in front of witnesses. Squirrels don’t give a shit. They’ll murder your beloved family pet in front of your eyes, drop his lifeless body at your feet, and piss on your Wheaties before they flip you off as they go back to polishing their nuts. I respect that. They’re like the mafia. They’re gonna do what they want to do and no one is going to stop them.

Birds though… They’re bastards. I’d put some flowery words around it to pretty it up but it comes down to that. They’re little rat bastards of the sky who will sneakily haunt your days and screw up your nights. Owls and hummingbirds are the only good ones of the lot, the exceptions to the rule. Pigeons, parrots, those little tiny balls of fluff that like to tell me dawn is coming and I better prepare for it a full hour before the first rays hit the horizon? Those are all pieces of excrement. They’ll stalk your life, wait for you to relax enough to accept them as part of the scenery, then take a crap on your head when you’re on your way to an important meeting with no access to fresh clothing or even water.

So finally having a witness was a pivotal moment for me. For once someone saw the extremes of which these feathered sociopaths were capable! The piece of living foundation heard the commotion (bird rattling cage whilst I pointed a shaking, accusatory finger in its general direction stage whispering, ‘See?!? SEE?!?’) and came back in the room and it stopped. The moment he left, the overpriced feather pillow started again. We went through three or four rounds of this before the lock started to give way and I quickly fled to the reptile room (at which point the open cases made me almost have a heart attack and that was the end of that).

What’s the point of this story? Vindication.