Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ornithology

Sitting pretty. (Read on.)


The gray catbird male, to impress the female, will assemble a pile of shells or stones. It will locate itself on a high sapling to sing and display its stark pelt. It can whoop a little ass if it needs to impress the competition. Thurber celebrated the catbird while Harper Lee murdered its cousin, the mockingbird. Both birds are mimic thrushes. They can imitate other birds, yes, and the catbird, too, mocks the feline. Picture this -- the cat chases the catbird up a tulip poplar. The catbird tells the cat, in its own language, to climb the sycamore instead. The cat climbs the sycamore. This represents both the triumph of the catbird and the great shame of the modern American house cat. I don't think none of them big cats, lions, ocelots, mantaloupes, cheetohs, etc., would chase none of them catbirds: The catbird tells them in their own language to commit acts of self immolations and self effacements. If you're sitting in the catbird seat, thus, you're sitting pretty. Mr. Red Barber probably said that, "sitting in the catbird seat," when referring to a Brooklyn Dodgers batter "sitting on" a 3-0 count. Mr. Red Barber knew his ornithology.

A few days ago, during the deluge, (See previous post "Drought of 2007, The") I saw a woman bedecked in running togs, jogging in the rain, carrying an umbrella. I mean: She was sweating-getting-wet but didn't want God's bounty to fall upon her shoulders? The wind would blow her umbrella inside out and she would straighten it and jog on. The wind would lift her into the air, and she became a winged critter in that moment, aloft, toes not quite tapping the pavement. A group of pheasants is a gaggle or a flock or a group of pheasants, there, with them wild disoriented turkey-eyes, whereas a group of peasants is a labor union about to be smashed by air power with wild turkey-eyes. Coincidence? If you love someone, truly love someone, then you must share your birds with him or her. You must decide whether to share all your birds at once, or pace yourself, bird by bird, if you have many birds to share, for fear of scaring the other. The sudden oriole beneath the oleander. The blue jay gawking at a mouse found in the stick of oleo. The owl getting a little two for one in the haunted tree by the light of a quarter moon.

You should also share your Bird, your Charlie Parker, because Charlie Parker shared his "Ornithology" with you. Charlie Parker shared his ornithology with lots of folks: Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Desmond, Jackie McLean, to name a few. Jackie McLean shared his alto saxophone with Charlie Parker, who did not return the saxophone, exactly, but hocked it instead, although Bird did share his ornithology with Jackie Mac. Which, then, was the greater gift? Charlie Parker, it should be noted, played those Washington, D.C. concerts with a plastic saxophone. With whom have you shared your ornithology or your plastic saxophones today? Are we all not a bit alar? In that, we have wing-like structures, and armpits, and chemicals. I would strongly advise against molting, however, if you can at all help it, because instead of molting, you may melt, or malt yourself, in that you may become a puddle or a puddle of fermented beverage. No, leave the molting to the experts, and leave melting and malting to the experts, as well. That may leave some of you with few options in life, but dig it, get up in that tree and sing, Jack: Get your pelt on!

9 comments:

Michael said...

Yes. But can the catbird fake attack?

Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

Just about every bird has a fake attack: Lester Young, catbird, etc. I have been the recipient, I might add, of a mockingbird *real* attack. BA

The Goose said...

...panta...ran...randspan...

Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

...candrel...manta...(i'm making it up, now)...ma... BA

The Goose said...

Yeah, but I believe "mantalope" is a real ("real") one...

The Goose said...

Haha and "candrel" is just as good, in my opinion...

The Goose said...

Actually, a "mantalope" is defined by urban mythologists as: "The final results of intimate relations between a man and a microwaved cantalope."

I wish I were making that up.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mantalope

Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

i feel like saying "mantaloupe" with the "ou" -- right?

i have not heard of many successful unions between man and melon (even in the perverse sense of the word) but i have heard of man fornicating with birthday cake.

were the melon a birthday melon or a birthday citrus or a birthday, uh, guava, or something, then, well, maybe we'd have something.

BA

Maya said...

I cannot believe I am participating in this warped conversation, but I have heard it from a friend who heard it from a participant that fornication with watermelons is alive and well in a small town not far from Atlanta.

Commentary aside, this was an inspired post, Dan.
I just discovered the blog of "unnecessary" "quotes," which you should check out. It's really funny.

Marcela