BIRD IS THE WORD

Last weekend I arrived late, at one of the worlds greatest craft shows, just after they closed and started tearing down the booths. This dog stuck his tongue out at me as if to say, “you missed it, loser.”

And as they all packed up their wares, I walked around and shot some of their stuff just before it got put away. Not the usual way to view a craft fair, but has anything been  usual lately? I could tell you stories.

This one guy caught me snapping his mermaid. He asked me why I was shooting away at such an odd time, being after the show. He asked me what I was shooting the pictures for. I never know what to say. I just say it’s for me. I walk, I shoot, it’s just for me. I thought this mermaid was precious.

A couple days later, I had a meeting downtown. It was a business meeting, like a business lunch. For some reason, the hosts of the lunch wanted to meet at this egg place, which turned out to be pretty good, despite its lack of glamor. Little did I know that the eggs were foreshadowing the birds that would come later in the week.

Afterwards, I walked around and shot some more. Remarkably there was this black gecko perched on the exact corner between two walls; one was light gray, the other dark. I thought that was so odd the way the whole scene seemed so color coordinated.

So I shot him or her.

Did you know that the male gecko has V-Shaped preanal pores and two hemipenal bulges? The female has neither of those. Those pores and bulges are easy to miss, so I’m guessing that a lot of the male geckos masquerade as females and vice versa.

And then, today, I’m sitting in my car, making phone calls, waiting for my haircut appointment, when this woman comes up to the outside of my driver’s side door, where I was sitting, and she opens my door and almost enters the car and sits down right on top of me. She caught herself right in time, explaining that my car looked like her gold Mercedes. That’s when I really knew today would be weird. Geckos not being able to tell themselves apart and older ladies not being able to tell hers from mine.

So, I went into the salon, and got my haircut. Then had a little time before a quick matinee and grabbed a sandwich and made my way over to the movie theater to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, because I’m a big fan of Gary Oldman. I’m going to have to see that movie a few times, as the English are so presumptuous with their story telling, and I didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. Anyway, there was this pet store next to the movie theater so I went in and snapped some birds while hunting for deer antlers for my dog Page to chew on.

All these people, bird people, were milling around this store, playing with the birds. Like us normal people who would go into a pet store, pound or humane society, to pet the puppies, these folks were loving up these birds.

I snapped a few of them and tried not to get bit or scare them with my machine gun camera. I have to admit, I had no desire to pet them, play with them, or think they were that adorable. But, they sure are colorful.

They reminded me of people that I had met over the years. I thought this one above had such a familiar weak chinned profile and strangely human beaked nose. He or she, half way resembled a doctor I once visited. Did you know that most parrots cannot be identified as male or female without a DNA test! Some male parrots have different colored feathers when they are about 3 weeks old. Some cockatoos can be identified as male or female by their eye color when they are a year old. I wonder what they must feel like to not know whether they are male or female, much less be able to tell if another is male or female. I wonder if we didn’t know by visual identification, would we be naturally drawn to the opposite sex, if that were our orientation? What would the world be like if we all were just neuter looking people without any easy way to determine gender?

Like these two birds were making out like crazy, in front of me. I even was tempted to say, “hey buddy, get a room!” But I couldn’t say for sure if they were boy birds or girl birds or both or neither or what. But they sure loved each other, uh, huh.

And what the heck is a guinea pig anyway? And what’s up with their colors and hair and their poop. They’re rodents right? Like rats, mice and squirrels? And did you know what the male guinea pig is called? Nope. Not that one either. The male of the species is called a “boar” and the female is called a “thrill”… nah…just kiddin… the female is called a “sow.” Two equally disparaging words I guess, otherwise I was gonna take offense at the males being boaring. And identifying which is the male and which is the female is a whole procedure that boar’ders on the pornographic, so I’ll pass on that lesson.

After having more birds flipped at me than anyone should on a Friday, I went home and started my weekend with Page.

G'head. Say it.

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