Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Remake of "The Birds"

And there is still more to tell of our strange and wonderful little apartment complex. Regarding [ominous music here] The Birds. My God. The birds.

I hope you saw the Hitchcock film, for purposes of comparison, because this is much, much ..... much.... worse.

So frightening really.

You can’t imagine.

But wait! Before I get to that! Even more horror is in store, because [even more ominous music] the Japanese kid across the way also has a RECORDER ! a recorder!

Holy Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!!!!

This could mean homicide.

It appears that Sunday afternoon is the moment we’ve really been waiting for all week. Not Sonatina in G, again. Or Fur Elise, or some other hoary old musical chestnut. No. It’s “Toot, toot. Twee, tootle. Frootle toot toot.” The limpid tones of a soprano recorder float through the air from across the way. Well, using the word “tone” in this context is a bit misleading. I think “bleating” is more on the mark.

I look down, and see the blasted Japanese kid blatting away, sitting by the open window. Maybe he thinks that if he plays music by an open window, these terrible sounds can escape into the atmosphere more easily? Kind of like throwing the windows open after you’ve cooked liver and onions? God, who knows! I told Miss T to go get her trumpet and fight back, but she refused, because Friends was on. (Yes, I know, it’s everywhere in reruns, no escaping it. Just like there’s no escaping this amazing music from our little Suzuki prodigy.) At least you can’t hook a soprano recorder up to a flippin’ amplifier. One small blessing. Although, leave it to the Asians, they could find a way. Hopefully they won’t think of it. Keep your fingers crossed, my friends!

I know, I know. I’m awfully cranky. I suppose I could close the windows.

But now, back to the birds.

They are monstrous. Huge. (All the wildlife here is pretty damn big, come to think of it.) First up are the terrifying “har-de-dar” birds. These things come up to about knee height, (about the size of a particularly healthy ocean seagull), and they are an oily, iridescent, medium gray color. Their wings, in the sunlight, gleam a dark pearly lavender, or deep pinkish gray. Their eyes are a sinister and beady black. And their beaks! Well, they’re long, very narrow, and curved, like a huge darning needle. Someone told me they could use their beaks to peck out a dog’s eyes. (Vladimir has his paws covering up his eyes right now, for protection! He hates this part of the story.)

They stand around, on lawns, and in the underbrush (all the tropical plantings in the apartment complex’s borders), using their pointy beaks to pluck insects or grubs or what-have-you out of the dirt. And they are very quiet. UNTIL you innocently walk by them too closely (you didn’t even see them there, or you would have given them a wide berth) and they take off with a huge clattering and crashing and flapping of wings.... whush whush, WHUSSSHHH... screaming their earsplitting cries of... you guessed it..... “har, HAR, DEE DARRRRRRR!”. It’s enough to make you wet your pants. (Good thing I did bring all those 85 pairs of undies after all ...(ha, just joking!))

And there are all these other birds and they all make so much noise! (OK, be honest, do you think I need earplugs?) And the weirdest thing is, half of them don’t even sound like birds. One sounds like a car alarm. The next sounds like a frog. Another sounds like a baby crying. Then there’s the one like a cuckoo clock. Just when it’s about to strike “34”, it finally shuts up. Still another sounds like a monkey screeching. (Or maybe that is a monkey screeching? Hey, it’s the one riding that camel over there, Russell!) Sheesh, who knows? Then there’s the rooster who crows at 3:30 am every day. Pre-dawn wake-up call. I thought they were supposed to crow as the sun rises. Perhaps this one misread the instruction book. What a cock-up. Literally and figuratively. (And the Americans can stop giggling now. “Cock-up” means “mistake” in British English. So there, to you and all your dirty little minds!! Harummmppph!)

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