Not to sound like Jack Nicholson, but I’m warning you, “They’re baaaack!”

Like retired snow birds who winter south & critique their neighbors’ lawns. Like seasonal cabin renters who harass locals with their fireworks & whine over spotty cell coverage. These assholes are worse.

Red-winged black birds.

These shitty migratory shits are about as fair weather as they come. It seems they leave for warmer climes well before the heartier, friendlier robins even think of heading south. Come spring, they arrive just as tardy.

When they show up I can’t help, but feel a Newman-loathing Jerry Seinfeld bubble up inside. “Hello, asshole.”

I used to laugh at their audacity. They’d screech & perform fly-bys while I’d be out running. I’d shout, “Look asshole. I been here all winter. This MY road!”

But last week while biking in Wisconsin, out of nowhere I felt & heard a disgusting brush of wings & scratch of talons on the top of my helmet! I screamed something to the effect of “Piss off, asshole!” & continued my ride. Unfortunately for me, that ride required a repeat of that section & wouldn’t you know it, that asshole was waiting for me. This time I saw the shadow of outstretched wings & reaching talons before she could strike! I waved my arms & screamed at the top of my lungs, “FUCK OFF, BIRD!” & rode away.

I thought that was the end of it, but Friday morning, as I was feeling schleppy & kind of lonely from all the solo training, I headed out for a pre-work ride. About five miles out, near the area of Argo, I was jolted by the sudden screech, scratch, brush of wings & talons upon my helmeted head. I tried waving my arm above my head & that’s when it happened. I was down.

bird getting the birdFortunately I wasn’t going too fast AND there was no traffic. My bike was fine, my shorts were just scuffed & except for some minor road rash, I was unharmed. But I still felt like crying.

I laid my bike in the ditch & sat on the shoulder of the road throwing rocks at that bird. She’d fly back & forth between her perch on a sign post & the ground near me. I talked to her, “I know you’re protecting your nest, but you can fuck all the way off.”

Finally I dusted myself off & saddled back up, feeling a touch paranoid. Apparently this type of harassment happens to loads of riders, runners, walkers & other outdoor enthusiasts. Why it’s taken so long to happen to me I’ll never know, but let this be a service announcement: they’re back. The assholes of summer are back.

***As a side note, in the last 9 days Bruce, Sean, Dan, myself & now Sam have all crashed, some of us harder & nastier than others, all of us fortunately ok. Let’s hope this is it for 2017 crashes for the Healthy Habits crew!!!

 

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