Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chicken. Parakeet. DUCK!

Yesterday I was at the gym and got to see a guy walk over to a mirror, blow his nose and then wipe his face with the open tissue.  This goes back to the theme in my life of things that seem to only happen to me, or things that I witness on a regular basis.  I talked about it in early episode called Only You.  I will refer to these blog posts as episodes.  That way it can sound dramatic like "I'm having an episode!" Maybe I'll start by giving them fucked up, out of sequence numbers too.  It will be my homage to Star Wars.

A few weeks ago I was almost hit by flying birds.  This happened at work.  I was inside.  I should probably mention that I work in a pet store as a dog trainer, so this doesn't seem too out of the ordinary.   These birds had gotten loose during a deep clean of their habitat and didn't have their wings clipped, so they were pretty excited about busting out.  Both birds spent the night stalking me.  One bird swooped down and touched the top of my head during my first class.  The other bird almost flew into my forehead during my second class.  Luckily, I was able to duck.  Although not a duck, a parakeet. Normally, I would just laugh and think this was funny, but I have a fear of birds.

When I was in 5th grade I went to a religious school, even though my parent's are considered a "mixed marriage," and totally not religious.  Half the day was spent studying a foreign language that I didn't understand because I hadn't been there since kindergarten and you know, wasn't religious.  So there was some holiday that was going on and as a symbol of good luck or something, the teacher brought in a live chicken.  I would love to tell you more about this mystery holiday but alas, the language barrier prevented me from knowing what was happening.  All I know is that I was dressed up that day, and at recess our teacher was with us outside.  He had said something to my friend and then removed the live chicken from the cage it was in.  I wasn't sure what was about to happen but my friend stood next to me  and seemed to brace herself for something.  The next thing I knew, my teacher grabbed the chicken by the legs and swung it over our heads.  Up until then the only chickens I've really ever witnessed were in the Muppet Show, so I wasn't accustom to their typical behaviors.  But I can guarantee you that chickens do not like being grabbed by their legs and swung over unsuspecting minors.  I know that I screamed and ducked. Although not a duck, a chicken. I know that I screamed, then chicken screamed and my friend just stood there.  I never remember running, not in gym class or playing tag or anything like that.  I remember running that day.  Not like when I ran away from school, but actual "get me the fuck out of here," running.  I remember thinking how fucked up it was that I had just had a live animal swung over my head and was also trying to run in dress shoes. I totally pulled a Forrest Gump and ran and ran until I was somewhere in the woods, away from school, away from stoic friends, away from teachers and their religious, swinging chickens.  Ever since then I have tried my damnedest to steer clear of anything flappy, or beaky with pointy feet.

Over the summer my friend wanted to help me get over my fear of birds.  She had gotten some baby chicks and invited me over to see them.  Seeing tiny chickens with names like "Damnit Janet," definitely made the experience less traumatic for me.  Also the fact that they were just walking around and not being waved over my head helped.  One of them was constipated and I thought that was funny.   And then in typical "only you," fashion, the other sneezed on me.

So yesterday at work my manager had mentioned the incident when the birds got loose in the store.  He asked me why I was afraid of birds.  He assumed I just thought they were gross or something, as I had previously admitted during the job interview that I didn't care for anything "flappy and beaky with pointy feet."  He was not expecting the dissertation I was about to give on my fear of birds.  He looked shocked and tried not to laugh, then admitted that he had a new found respect for me.  And once again I heard the phrase "Only You."

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