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    Copyright © 2015 unruly

    A flip of the bird

    You know, I’m not really a big fan of birds (the Byrds, yes, birds, no). Okay, truth be told, I find them horrible and creepy, more than is strictly reasonable — if in fact there’s a degree of finding-birds-horrible-and-creepy that could be characterised as “reasonable”. Mostly, of course, my distaste for birds doesn’t matter, doesn’t have an impact on my life — except when preparing a whole chicken for consumption. Yow. Now that is the stuff nightmares are made of. Mostly, however, I don’t think about birds or worry about birds.

    Once tho’, once a little sparrow got caught between the double windows  in the place I worked. I was all alone when it happened and I’m ashamed to say I couldn’t bring myself to perform the simple act it would have taken to rescue it, couldn’t make myself just reach up between the two panes of glass, grasp the little creature, and gently pull it down and out. It would have been very simple and not at all injurious to the sparrow but I couldn’t do it. Instead, I went down to the building management office and asked if they could send the caretaker to free it. They said they would but he never showed up and the bird stayed trapped. At one point, my pity and guilt and desire to be done with this badness prompted me to approach the window and put my hand up between the two sheets of glass, but the brush of the bird’s foot across my hand made me back away in revulsion, without freeing the bird. Only when my colleague arrived at the office and matter-of-factly did what I should have done did that little bird gain its freedom. It flew away with vigour as soon as it was freed, probably making a beeline for the nearest wire on which to perch and consult with its fellow perchers while plotting its revenge on me.

    God, it’s so weird, that stuff, that phobic stuff. Where does it come from? I’ve never had an unpleasant run-in with a bird. Never. But the thought of touching one makes my skin crawl. I’m not a squeamish person, either: blood and guts don’t bother me, bugs don’t bother me, spiders don’t bother me, snakes don’t bother me, toads don’t bother me, lizards don’t bother me, bats don’t bother me, the Kraken doesn’t bother me, being rickrolled doesn’t bother me, adults with body hair don’t bother me, but birds? Jaysus lord, keep those horrors away from me.

    And yet, and yet … I like looking at them as long as I don’t feel like they can get too close. Or are real. Or alive. Yeah. Fake dead birds at a distance. Now those suckers rock my world. Those guys can intrude on my consciousness any time they like. Here and now, even. On this page, even. For all the world, including the bird-phobic, to see, until global warming turns everyone and everything to molten goo or the birds take over and take away our internets. Because you just know that’s how those beady-eyed tiny-craniumed motherpluckers are gonna roll.

    Coop Spook by Aubrey Longley-Cook
    Coop Spook by Aubrey Longley-Cook, via spool spectrum
    Doll from Hoy quiero Ser Ximena Orozco's Portfolio via Behance
    Doll from the Hoy Quiero Ser project by Ximena Orozco's portfolio on Behance
    Dorothea Tanning, Costume Design for Bayou, 1951, via curatedobject
    Costume design for Bayou by Dorothea Tanning, 1951
    Via The Curated Object
    Brian Jungen, Prototype for New Understanding #16, 2004, via blog.makezine
    Prototype for New Understanding #16 by Brian Jungen, 2004
    Via Make
    From the if only series by April Gertler
    Photograph from the if only series by April Gertler
    Magnet bird paper clip holder, designed by by Ionel Panaït, via www.pylones-usa
    Magnet bird paper clip holder, designed by by Ionel Panaït
    Via Pylones
    Hat by Philip Treacy
    Hat by Philip Treacy
    Pygmy`s Owls nestlings via mattisj's photostream
    Varpuspöllön poikaset (Pygmy Owls nestlings), Tornio, Finland, May 22, 2007, by Matti Suopajärvi
    Via mattisj's photostream on flickr
    Fall 2009 by Alexander McQueen
    From the Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection by Alexander McQueen
    Via Style.com
    From the Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection by Alexander McQueen
    From the Fall 2009 Ready-to-Wear Collection by Alexander McQueen
    Via Style.com
    SOUNDSUIT, 2009, detail, by Nick Cave
    Soundsuit, detail, by Nick Cave, 2009
    Swallow tattoo
    Swallow tattoo, via Tatuaje clasico
    Bird pins by Himeko Fukuhara and Kazuko Matsumoto, from The Art of Gaman: Arts and Crafts from the Japanese American Internment Camps, 1942–1946 exhibition at the American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery
    Via Eye Level
    Girl Bird by Elsa Mora via magpieandwhiskeyjack.blogspot
    Girl Bird by Elsita (Elsa Mora)
    Via magpie & whiskeyjack
    sparrow lighting by zhili liu, via www.zhililiu
    sparrow lighting by Zhili Liu, via Dezeen
    Birds of Britain
    The Birds of Britain, 1942, by James Fisher, from the Britain in Pictures series, published by William Collins of London
    From the collection of Katy McDevitt
    Fluid by Claire Morgan
    Fluid by Claire Morgan, 2009
    Owlet Nightjar, 2009, Anna Wili Highfield
    Owlet Nightjar by Anna Wili Highfield, 2009
    westernTanager, 1956, by Charley Harper via audbonmagazine
    Western Tanager by Charley Harper, 1956, via Audubon Magazine
    All the Birds Were Waiting via mischiefchampion
    All the Birds Were Waiting, via Mischief Champion
    gertler 2
    Photograph from the if only series by April Gertler
    Illustration from Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
    Illustration from Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, 1941
    Red Bird, 2006, by Misako Inaoka
    Red Bird by Misako Inaoka, 2006
    bjork swan dress
    Björk wearing the swan dress designed by Marjan Pejoski
    Superb Fairy wren, 2010, Anna Wili HIghfield
    Superb Fairy Wren by Anna Wili Highfield, 2010
    Roadrunner by Paul Landacre, 1939, via cartermuseum.org
    Roadrunner by Paul Landacre, 1939
    SOUNDSUIT, 2009, by Nick Cave
    Soundsuit by Nick Cave, 2009, via Fiberarts Magazine
    part duex by Nicholas Di Genova, via industrialfeces.blogspot
    Part Duex by Nicholas Di Genova
    Via industrial feces
    Robin by Emily Sutton
    Robin by Emily Sutton
    Via St. Jude's Gallery
    Oil and Vinegar Birds by Margiet Foolen, via designboom
    Oil and Vinegar Birds by Margiet Foolen
    Via designboom
    The Vesalius Sculpture, Terneuzen  2007 by Thomas Puckey
    The Vesalius Sculpture, Terneuzen by Thom Puckey, 2007
    rock elf owl, 2007, Misako Inaoka
    Rock Elf Owl by Misako Inaoka, 2007
    Julia deVille’s Bird Shoulder Piece globe and mail
    Bird Shoulder Piece by Julia deVille
    Via The Globe and Mail
    pájaro by LIMOW via limow.blogspot
    pájaro by LIMOW
    Tits by Sebastian Lester
    Green-pin Bird, 2006, by Misako Inaoka
    Green-pin Bird by Misako Inaoka, 2006
    gertler 6
    Photograph from the if only series by April Gertler
    Barn Owl, 2009, Anna Wili Highfield
    Barn Owl by Anna Wili Highfield, 2009
    Custom rubber duck made for the Duck Fever Show by Joel Lozano's Portfolio on behance
    Customised rubber duck made for the Duck Fever Show, from Joel Lozano's portfolio on Behance
    Pigeon (2) by Emily Sutton
    Pigeon by Emily Sutton
    Via St. Jude's Gallery
    bird hooks by naoko kanehira
    Bird hooks by Naoko Kanehira
    Via Dezeen
    Nuno Valerio via musacollective
    Customised rubber duck for the Duck Fever Show by Nuno Valeria
    Via Musa Collective
    birds barbie
    The Birds, themed Barbie® doll, licensed by Mattel, Inc
    Via Dread Central.com
    Icare by Henri Matisse, 1947
    Icare by Henri Matisse, 1947
    I Just Tweeted!!!! via mischiefchampion
    I Just Tweeted!!!!, via Mischief Champion
    winged hen sparrow by emily sutton
    Winged Hen Sparrow by Emily Sutton
    Via St. Jude's Gallery
    'the fashion show' photo by p. stigter  from a series of dolls by viktor & rolf, via designboom
    The Fashion Show, from a series of dolls by Viktor & Rolf
    Via designboom
    Photo: P. Stigter

    you are one odd chicken.

    birds are my favorite. for all time, amen.

    rache added these words on May 13 10 at 9:38 am

    AND, I have a swan dress, too! Hahah!

    feather added these words on May 31 10 at 4:17 pm

    The McCloskey should take the edge of any phobic repulsion – look what he did for bears and loose teeth. Never thought i’d see him in the same space as Nic Di Genova, ‘cept in my living room.

    Donna added these words on Nov 10 10 at 10:48 am

    I never knew.

    Normally, this sort of not-knowing doesn’t phase me…I mean we will always not-know more about our peeps than we will know, y’know?

    And yet, the birds…good lord, do I ever have a problem with the birds. And it is like a dirty little secret, because I’m surrounded by people here and abroad that love the “beady-eyed tiny-craniumed motherpluckers” and like to keep them as pets (dear lord, WHY?!) while my skin crawls and I have nightmares where I’m dressed like Kim Novak.

    Anyway, nice to know one is not alone in one’s neuroses.
    (Oh, the only way I can prepare a whole chicken involves latex gloves. srsly)

    Shyana added these words on Oct 02 11 at 8:08 pm

    Oh no. Most decidedly, you are not alone.

    I also bust out the surgical gloves when prepping a chicken for roasting. I can JUST manage to touch dead fowl as long as there’s no cavity activity, but if I have to stuff a bird, oh yeah, gloves, maybe even two layers of ‘em. I ain’t messin’ with the foul end of any fowl without plenty of latex separating the me and the ew.

    Katy added these words on Oct 02 11 at 11:42 pm