I have fear and loathing and more than just a mild disgust for birds. More than disgust, I actually hate all kinds of birds: cardinals, pigeons, vultures, thunderbirds, anything.  It’s not the movie that did it to me because I actually really like anything by Hitchcock, and when Darlene dressed up as Tippi Hedren on Roseanne‘s Halloween episode it was genius. Like I said, it isn’t the movie that made me hate birds – it’s the birds that have actually attacked me. Not just circling the car at the McDonald’s by the water that my mother used to take us to when we were little, but I have actually been attacked more than once by vigilante birds looking for trouble. Here is part one of my vendetta against birds… 

When I studied abroad in London, we didn’t live in dorms on campus. We lived in apartment building across the way from Marble Arch and the Speaker’s Corner section of Hyde Park. Now, I will go into the stories about that building with the poor tenants that we terrorized, Neville the always drunk doorman, and the convenience store at the foot of the building where Crazy Mary and I forced the cashier to hang a photo of us on the register at another time or this entry will be ten pages long.

The building was in a great location, and from the outside looked perfect, but the place was filthy and infested with roaches the size of matchbox cars. I would get out of the shower and see my towel speeding down the hallway on the back of what looked like a small toy yorkie. Anyone that knows me, is scratching their heads right now and saying with my Extreme OCD – how the hell did I live with roaches and I hear you. Wanna know how – ALMOST DAILY ALCOHOL BLACKOUTS. It was either that or go back home… 

There were five of us living there and the rooming situation was like this: Me and Jeff shared a room because we got along really well and he used to sleep at his girlfriend Laura’s room across town a lot so it was almost like having my own room half the time, Gregg and Brian shared a room because Brian’s girlfriend got the single room in  her apartment on the ninth floor and Chris ended up with the single in our apartment because none of us really liked him or wanted to share a room with him. Stop it right now, I know what you’re thinking and that is not a mean thing to say because in this world, we don’t have to like everybody and something was really wrong with him!

The only good part about the apartment was that we had a housekeeper, but the negatives far outweighed that: the stove and the oven were very ghetto and didn’t work and the washing machine only sporadically worked and there was no air conditioning; it was like the London version of Clayton Street. My other big gripe was that there were no screens on the windows. We were on the fourth floor and we were always hanging out those windows to heckle people on the street or to throw things at our friends below and having screens on those windows would have kept us restrained inside the windows. Or kept other things out…

As a preface to this next bit, I need to tell you that I am a very heavy sleeper. I have slept through policemen & firemen, alarms & sirens, and one time, an actual fire. I put my blinders on and I’m out! (Brookstone Tempur Blinders are amazing by the way – it is literally as if you took your head and shoved it right up a sheep’s ass – They are that comfortable!) I also don’t move when I’m asleep, so I’m a little bit like a dead body laying there with my mouth open as if rigor mortis has just set in. People have made fun of me for years, but I just cannot sleep without the blinders. In addition to the blinders, I desperately need air conditioning or an open window with a cool breeze because I am a very hot person. (Yes, I know that is what all those girls in college always used to say about me, but I am talking about temperature right now)

One night after a particularly drunk evening, I was wasted and needed to get some rest. I took out my contact lenses, took off my clothes, opened the window because the room was so hot, put on my blinders and passed out. My roommate Jeff was away in Paris with his girlfriend, so I didn’t have to contend with his usual snoring.

I awoke from my dead sleep at about 8:30 AM to my shoulder being repeatedly poked very hard. My immediate thought was that it was one of my roommate’s ready to get his ass kicked for disturbing me, but I lifted my blinders to find a pigeon on my shoulder pecking me with its beak. A fucking filthy pigeon was attacking me! I thought that I was hallucinating again and was squinting because I didn’t have my contacts in. That pigeon was all up in my grill shaking its beak and staring me in the eye as if to say “What’s up, Dude.” I started screaming like a little girl and tried to get it off me with my hand, but it freaked out and went nuts! That pigeon clenched its claws and dug into my shoulder and really scratched me up (it drew blood!) and then it really freaked out! I threw that mother fucker off me and it landed onto Jeff’s bed. As it got it’s bearings, it tried to fly away and started crashing into walls and was making the most terrible screeching imaginable.

I was on the floor by this time, since I had fallen out of the bed in the commotion and was trying to get out of the door and see how badly that pigeon tore up my shoulder. At the same time that I was trying to get out the room, my roommate Gregg burst in and smashed me in the head with the door. He turned on the light, saw me on the ground, the pigeon crashing from wall into wall into wall shitting everywhere and he ran out the door and shut it behind him. He almost closed my head in the door because he tried to slam it shut to lock the pigeon in.

I got free and ended up in a ball trying to compose myself on the hallway floor while our other two roommates came to see what was going on. I couldn’t even tell them what happened because I started to get myself worked up and freaking out that it might have shit in my mouth (because I sleep with my mouth open) and started gagging. They, of course, thought me getting attacked in my bed was the most hysterical thing ever but I was like “get that fucking thing out of here.” And of course, i was bleeding from where it got me in the shoulder.

Gregg went to open the door very slowly when the noise had settled down because he said it probably flew out the window, which must be how it must have gotten into the room. He looked in the room and saw the pigeon perched atop Jeff’s dresser. Apparently, the banging we heard was the pigeon knocking everything off of Jeff’s dresser. Gregg shut the door and turned back to me and said “the window is closed – how could it have gotten in here?” I thought about it and remembered that I had gotten up at about 5:30 AM and closed the window because it was raining…Oh my God, how long was it on me? It had been in the room for almost three hours with me…     

Between the four of us, no one would go into the room to get the pigeon out. After round one with my flying friend, I was certainly not going back in there or anywhere near that thing and I would have gladly slept on the couch and left it in there. Finally, my friend Crazy Mary came over and said she would get it out. She went into the room with a loaf of bread and I thought she was going to feed it but she was throwing the slices of bread like a frisbee at the pigeons to get it to move. That pigeon just sat there staring at her with a quizzical look as if to say “what are you doing, crazy girl?” She connected with one good shot and that slice of bread whacked the pigeon right in the head. That pigeon let out such a screech and kamikaze pilot flew right at her and almost hit her in the face. It whizzed right past her and into the bathroom and she didn’t even flinch. I, on the other hand, was once again screaming like a little girl and almost shit my pants as I dove down the hallway to get out of the pigeon’s way as it zoomed past.

The pigeon flew out the bathroom window a little bit later on, but not before it left a ton of shit all over the bathroom in addition to the lovely gifts it had left earlier in my bedroom. Fortunately for me, the pigeon shit mostly on Jeff’s stuff and his side of the room. The unfortunate news was that when Jeff came home the next day, he didn’t find that as funny as we did.  He kept blaming me as if I invited that pigeon to come in and date rape me. I had a really big scratch on my shoulder for a long time where the pigeon attacked me and for the rest of my time in London I NEVER slept with the windows open again. To this day, I still get uneasy whenever I sleep with the windows open…

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