Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Not quite the bluebird of happiness..

Yesterday I had yet another marathon dentist appointment. Three hours to remove an old filling and place the core and pins for a crown. By the time it was all over with I was puffy faced and numb on the entire left side of my jaw. My lips were cracked and I had the imprint of various dental implements stamped across my face. Not exactly my most charming moment, I must confess.

I left the dental school and wobbled my way through the parking lot on jelly legs, got into my car, and left the lot. Instead of change, the parking meter gave me a slip stating I was owed $4, with no instructions on how to actually get the money back. I then found my way to the interstate and battled downtown rush hour traffic that moved as sluggishly as I felt. It was nearly 6:00 PM by the time I finally got home. My face was still numb. Ever since my root canal, when the pulp of my tooth hadn't numbed despite a full course of anesthesia, they tend to overdo it with the drugs.

After cleaning myself up a bit and changing out of my work clothes, I went down to my mother's house to take the garbage down to the curb for her. While I was over there, she asked me to see if I could retrieve her dog's saddlebags from somewhere in the yard. Yes, saddlebags. She has a beagle whose main purpose in life is to escape the yard. So she puts a pair of dog-sized saddlebags on him so he can't wriggle out from the fence. Yesterday he apparently managed to slip free from them, though he had not actually escaped. We fixed his last exit hole and since then he hasn't managed to find a new one. But he still wears the saddlebags as a precaution.

So out into the yard I went, figuring the most likely spot was the last place he'd been getting out through. Sure enough, I could see them laying beside the fence. Naturally they were behind some small cedar trees, honeysuckle, and a large wild rose bush. I started to wedge myself through the various trees and bushes, and was just reaching for the saddlebags when I heard a very odd sort of noise.

Brr, brr brr.

It sounded slightly electrical, like short bursts on a small drill or something shorting out. The electric fence had been disconnected for years, and I couldn't imagine what else it might be. Then I heard some crackling in the biggest cedar tree, followed by angry chirping and more of the odd sounds. I slowly turned and found myself eye to beady eye with an extremely pissed off thrush. Apparently the bird had a nest in the cedar tree and was ready to defend it at any cost. But there I was, stuck in the middle of a bunch of bushes, fingertips trembling mere inches from the saddlebags. I ever so slowly grabbed the bags and started the painful (stupid rose bush) process of untangling myself from the vines and trees. The bird was not impressed by my slow retreat and decided to hurry me along by dive bombing me. So I'm trying to extract myself while also holding onto the saddlebags and fending off a brown blur of wings, beak, and claws all hell bent on my destruction. The air filled with chirps and yelling. My yelling was not especially helpful, especially considering that half my face was numb. So it went something like this:


"Thtop it, you thtupid bird! I don't want your eggth! Go away!"

Because birds, of course, can understand english and my pleading and cursing made perfect sense to it.

I finally managed to yank myself free from the undergrowth and beat a hasty retreat as the by now hopping mad bird watched me from its cedar tree. If birds had hands, I can only imagine it would've given me the finger as I left.

I went inside, gave my mom the saddlebags, and warned her not to go up there because a "thtupid thruth tried to kill me"

Mom, ever sympathetic, asked me if I'd encountered any "wascallay wabbits" while I was up there.

I went home that evening and picked bits of plants out of my hair, cleaned up the new scratches on my hands and leg, took the strongest painkillers I had (sadly, that was only tylenol extra strength), and didn't move from the bed for the rest of the night.

I'm not going into my mom's back yard for a while. Damned thrush probably has a price on my head.

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