Monday, February 7, 2011


I know, I am a freaking failure because I said that my New Years resolution was to write a post every week and it's been a little longer than that. January 15th, so that's...shit. Well whatever. I'm writing one now aren't I? Okay, confession time. I am having a really difficult time (obviously) writing a post every week. It's not that it can't be done because hello, that is very reasonable. Here is my problem, I have a job. And I have a hectic life, which who doesn't but in the amount of time I do have it's kind of hard to produce something weekly that's not just mediocre. So here's my modified New Years Resolution: I will try my very hardest to write a new post twice a month. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I'm thinking that is more realistic, and then the posts won't be complete and utter crap. Hopefully.

The theme is still "Throwback Extravaganza", so of course this post is a throwback. Since it is cold and dreary outside, I was once again reminded of past days spent on the beach...seriously, I think I have a problem. Is seasonal depression a real thing? Anyways, I was reflecting back on my many beach adventures which brought back a startling memory that I must have repressed, and I thought to myself, that definitely needs to be written about. Before I get to the actual story though, we need to play a quick little game of "getting to know Ethel and what makes her such a freak".  

Ornithophobia: An abnormal and persistent fear of birds. Sufferers from ornithophobia experience undue anxiety about encountering and even being attacked by birds although they may realize their fears are quite irrational. That is a legitimate description from At least, the website looked very real and doctor-like.

When I was thirteen years old my mother bought chickens. (In case you're wondering, we are still playing the getting to know Ethel game) She purchased them without my consent, which I felt was incredibly rude. When you have never had animals in your household other than the usual domestics like dogs and cats, it's a very fragile balance introducing farm animals into the mix. My mom did not even consider that perhaps that would be an issue for some of us children a.k.a me, so she just brought them home one day. It wasn't too bad at first, as long as I didn't have to touch them or associate with them in any way whatsoever. That was the family rule until a few years later when my mom and siblings decided to go out of town and leave me to take care of the house and all of the other responsibilities. And the chickens. I was pumped to have the house to myself, but I tried to not focus on the birds of which I had just become the caretaker. Yikes. I attempted to be very optimistic, but when I walked into their coop and they laid their greedy, beady little chicken eyes on the bucket of feed I was cradling in my arms, it was game over. They flew at my face and I screamed bloody murder as their nasty wings flapped incessantly and their scary sharp talons were unthinkably close to my face. I couldn't see or move because they were in my face and I was afraid if I opened my eyes they would gouge them out, and if I moved I might crush one of them which wouldn't be so bad, except that it would have been both disturbing and disgusting and I would have been the one cleaning it up. Or worse! Taking it because it was injured to the veterinarian, and then I would have had to hold it. It was terrible and forever ingrained in my memory. I eventually threw the bucket across the coop and ran for my life. After that I devised different plans every day to trick them so I could get the food in their without actually having to go in, and before they would have time to react and attack me. Never again did I take responsibility for them after that or cross the invisible line that was their territory. Or, fence.

Another time when I was a kid, my grandpa took me to the park to feed the ducks. I don't remember if it was a duck or a goose but it grabbed me with its beak and held on for dear life, intent on taking me to the bottom of the pond and drowning me. My grandpa first tried to kick it off, but when that didn't work he hit it with an umbrella repeatedly, screaming expletives at it before it released and turned on him. He then proceeded to punch it in the face and it finally went on its way. I was four at the time. I kind of wish that I embellished that for effect but that is the God honest TRUTH. Those are just a few of the cute anecdotes of my experiences with birds. Needless to say I am very very creeped out by them. One year my dad chose "Birds!" as our family movie to watch on THANKSGIVING. Who does that?! Alfred Hitchcock sent me over the edge with that one and there was no turning back.

So now that you know some of my past, we can move onto the main incident. It was dreadfully cold and dreary on the mainland because it was the dead of winter, and my cousin surprised me with a beach vacation in one of the places in the world that was actually warm at the time. How can I express my pure joy at the thought of basking in the beautiful sun again; it felt like ages since I had even seen it. We arrived in the early afternoon and couldn't be bothered to even go to the hotel to freshen up first because we wanted to see the ocean. So we jumped in the car and stopped at the first beach we could find. Bliss. As I alighted from the the rusty old sedan I stood for a sentimental moment, drinking in all of the beauty before me. We rolled up our jeans and pushed up our sleeves, making our way to the beach. Before the actual sand though, you had to cross through a park, walk down a few wooden steps that led into a tiny little stream of about eight inches of water, and then you could cross over onto the beautiful sandy beach and beyond.

There were six or seven abnormally huge and fat pigeons that looked somewhat...deformed waddling back and forth across the steps blocking the threshold to my much deserved paradise. I stepped onto the first step and after I had adequately shooed the pigeons to the sides I slowly stepped down, careful to avoid any pigeons and was altogether wary of the whole situation. Just as my foot was about to meet with the step a suicidal pigeon abruptly changed its coarse of direction and found its way beneath my new flip flop and the whole of my body weight. "Ohhhh!!!" I collapsed on the sand, trembling and deathly afraid of seeing the fate of the aforementioned bird. It limped away, still very much alive but I'm pretty sure it suffered some serious internal injuries; it was not looking so good. On the landing above the steps there was a group of picnic tables pushed together, families and friends all lounging around eating and enjoying the mild weather. They were all front and center to observe my little animal killing display. There was a noisy and indistinct hubbub coming from the onlookers, and one called, "Did you just step on that pigeon?". Ashamed but defensive I yelled back, "I didn't know! uh, that it was there. I think it's still alive." The pigeons were still in somewhat of an uproar, as uproarious as pigeons can be at least, and the onlookers were a mix of disapproving glances and inappropriate laughter. After a few minutes of further confusion, I brushed the sand off my new clothes and out of my hair and did I always do after a moment like that: lifted my head high and kept on walking.