Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Vintage Louise: Fatal Attraction

This has been a happy week.  No birds pooped on me.   I realized what a blessing this is this past weekend when I was walking through some OPEN HOUSES with my youngest son Sam, and his wife Sarah.  While we were outside, between houses, a hoard of seagulls appeared overhead, making a racket.

“Oh I don’t want to get pooped on,” Sarah cried.

“Do birds poop on you?” I asked.  “I mean, have you been pooped on a lot?”

“No, never, but I don’t want to be either.”

“I’m sixty-seven,” I said, “And I’ve been pooped on once.  I was about ten years old, standing on Eighth South in front of the Garrett’s house and PLOP right on my head.  I reached up and touched it.  Really disgusting.”

Sarah made a choking sound.  “Maybe you should wear a hat,” I suggested.

I didn’t tell her about my sister Marilyn's friend who wouldn’t walk early mornings with her, because birds pooped on her EVERYTIME SHE WENT FOR A WALK.  It’s like she had a target painted on the top of her head.  Marilyn persisted and finally her friend got up and went power walking with her, and guess what?  A bird pooped on her head.
How do birds know that she is the one?  Does she exude some kind of anti-bird odor or attitude?  Some kind of negative pheromone?

I didn’t tell Sarah about my poor judgment either. When Charles was about five, I urged him to go play in the backyard.  I stood at the kitchen window and watched while he stood in the middle of the yard deciding what to do when he fell into spasms of pain and wailing.

He ran into the house.  It was a bee sting.  Yes, they hurt.  I had a bee sting once when I was twelve.  It was at the Utah State Fair and I sat on the grass and unknowingly pressed my hand onto a bee.  It hurt a lot.

Charles would not leave the house for a week after that bee sting.  A five-year old kid can’t spend all summer in the house.  It’s not healthy.  “Look,” I said, “You’ve had your one bee sting and that’s it for the rest of your life.”  I promised him that like me, he would never get stung again.

So with frail courage, he returned to the great outdoors. I stood at the window and watched.  Two seconds later, he was stung again.

He was stung a half dozen times that summer. They weren’t bees.  They were wasps.  We had a nest of them in the storage shed.

The lesson here is never trust your mother.

The lesson is wear a hat or stay indoors.

Do you attract birds and bees and all their untidiness?  Or vermin or stray dogs?  What is it about you that makes you so attractive to unwanted attention?

Big dogs bite me. One bit me on the street in Cambridge, Mass. and it was on a leash and her owner yelled at me as if I started it. 

One dog bit me seven times and I went to the hospital to make sure I wasn’t rabid, although the owner assured me that her 175 lb dog had had its shots.  She gave me a loaf of banana nut bread to assuage my pain.  Grrr.

Horses hate me.  I rode a horse that tried to reach back and bite me.  I whined until it stopped. 

 “Don’t show fear!” that’s everyone’s advice.  But dogs and horses bite me; that’s why I’m afraid.

Hope your week is free of poop and bites.  So far, so good for me.


  1. Favorite line: "Sarah made a choking sound."

  2. My younger son is a tick magnet. I can't tell you how many deer ticks we've pulled off of him. He had Lyme Disease when he was 8. He's also my bee sting kid. He's been stung more times than my other 3 children put together. I don't know what it is but he's Got It!!!

  3. I have been stung by a bee once, I was at Disneyland and had worn one of my grandmothers combs in my hair and I thought it was getting loose so I went to fix it and it turns out it was a bee in my hair and stung me on my palm. My husband took me to the first aid and they took out the stinger and gave me some Advil. It took 23 years for that sting but now I am so scared it will happen again even though the past 6 years have been sting free.

  4. That bunny-in-the-pot pic just kills me. Cute widdle bunny wabbit. "Wun, Wabbit, won! You ah about to be boyohed into dead!"

    To the bees: In a scrapbook somewhere there is a photo of me and my friend, Jamie with swollen faces. I was seven. My dad kept bees and we thought it would be fun to chuck dirt clots at the hive. It was probably my idea. The bees didn't like that much. Least of all the queen. Here's a question for dad: What on earth were you thinking leaving a hive with ten bazillion bees sitting in the back yard?

    I don't remember ever been pooped on by a bird.

  5. And don't reach down and fiddle with your toes while you are on the toilet or you dog may hike his leg and pee in your hair. (So I've heard)