Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Fear the Sparrow

I hope to get the chance to go over and visit some avian friends tomorrow, and see how they're doing. I used to bird-sit for them, and their owner just mentioned to me that if they should ever need to be captured for any reason, that wrapping them in a towel was a good way to proceed. That reminded me of an old story about a job I used to have, that I hadn't thought about in a while...

Back in my earlier university days, I used to have a total jerk of a boss--a real city boy from Manhattan, although I'm not drawing a causal connection between the two attributes, because I know a lot of city boys I get along with just fine, some of them from Manhattan. But I think that detail may be relevant to the nature-phobia in the story. (I also know other people who are phobic about birds, but because they're kind, decent people, they don't engender this kind of Schadenfreude about it, either, and I wouldn't dream of laughing at them about it.)

One day, a sparrow flew through the open window into our office, and I have never seen anyone freak out and panic like he did over that tiny brown bird! I chased it out into the hall, and took a typewriter cover (and now you see how old the story is!) with me to catch it.

Ultimately, I was successful, and captured and released the sparrow, but I remember the funniest little detail: as I went out into the hall after it, my jerk boss slammed the door behind me--and then I heard the deadbolt fall into place! That's how scared he was of that little bird!

I laughed my ass off (and still do, every time I think about it), because this guy didn't mind a bit being abusive and truly evil to the people he supervised, yet an errant sparrow made him have to cringe behind a double-locked door.


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