The Hubbinator and I took a trip to celebrate our anniversary. We trekked across the country and spent a few days in Portland, Oregon. Portland is totally awesome and definitely not an Asshat. It’s a super chill, hippie-laid-back, easy city that feels pretty small. Really walkable and easy to get around. If you’re a foodie like we are or if you like microbrews and craft beer like we do, then I highly recommend visiting PDX. (Yah, after visiting for three days I feel “native” enough to use her nickname; we’re tight now.) We also spent a few days in Cannon Beach. The beach is so beautiful … and the town is really quaint. Little shops and artsy places to check out. Multiple kite stores. Plenty of restaurants.
The beach in Oregon is quite different from the beach most everywhere else I’ve ever been. It’s cold–and freaking windy as all get-out … Chicago? What? Chitown’s got nothing on the Oregon coast. There’s a reason there are three kite stores in town. It’s perfect kite-flying weather there. Especially if kites like a cold, brisk wind. Think of yourself wrapped in a blanket while sitting on the beach. In long pants and a warm jacket. Also, think that you’re a doofus if you didn’t take either of the latter items because you never thought to check the weather forecast for that area. And be thankful that the hotel offers beach blankets for the naïve and unprepared travelers. Not that we would know anything about that.
Although the Oregon coast is quite different than, say, every beach ever shown on MTV, one thing is definitely the same. The fucking seagulls.
Birds are assholes. Seagulls are the assholiest of all birds. The Emporers of all Feathered Asshats. For real. I’ve been pretty straightforward about my feeling regarding birds. You can read here about the douchebag birds at Disneyworld or here for the 411 on the fact that I’m a dog–and that I hate birds.
Let me tell you a little story about how much seagulls are douchenozzles. This is the Seagulls installment in You Might Be an Asshat.
I was sitting on the beach
getting sand jammed into every crack and crevice relaxing and reading a great book. The sound of the waves crashing into the shore was providing a peaceful soundtrack to my delightful novel. It was serene and bliss as long as the wind wasn’t blowing sand into my eyes or mouth. On a blanket near mine, I saw a cute little family had taken their place. The father and son went off to fly a kite. The mother and daughter stayed on the blanket while the little girl was eating a bag of popcorn. The mother was intermittently talking with the little girl while watching her husband and son who were a bit further away now playing near the shoreline.
I went back to reading my book.
About 2 or 3 minutes later I heard the god-awful screeching of one of those damn seagulls. It sounded close. I looked up from my book and saw that there were two of them about ten feet from the family’s blanket, nearest to the little popcorn-eating girl. (Do you see where I’m going with this?)
I was thinking No! No! No!!! Mom-of-that-sweet-little-unassuming-girl, make some kind of movement toward the fracking thing so that it flies away. Instead of any bird-deterrent, I heard something unexpected. The mother (who will be playing the part of Asshat #2 for the rest of this tale) said to her daughter “throw a few pieces of your popcorn out there for them.”
WHAT THE WHAT??!!!! Doesn’t she know that the last thing you should do is encourage those asshat bastards?? I thought everyone knew that. I was under the impression that it was common sense and widely known that you do NOT feed seagulls. You surely don’t encourage your little, trusting four year old daughter to do it! Has this woman not seen these flying douchecanoes in action??! They’re mean and rude. And they’re assholes!
So, I watched the little girl throw popcorn to feed them.
You know how sometimes you know you’re watching something really bad unfold but don’t feel like there’s anything you can do to stop it? Like it’s moving in slow motion and you can’t make your legs or mouth work to do anything about it? Yah. That was me. I knew it was a bad idea. I wanted to say “Hey! Don’t feed the seagulls. They’re mean and rude and they’re assholes.” Seriously–seagulls are assholes. (I feel that merits repeating.)
As Murphy’s Law would have it, that little girl didn’t throw the popcorn very far. With all the wind that was blowing, the pieces practically landed in her lap. And, as soon as one of them hit the blanket, it was on like Seagull Asshat Donkey Kong. Both of those birds starting screeching louder and ran onto the blanket to snatch them up. Of course, as those stupid birds were sounding the there’s food here!!!! alarm, they came in multiples. Before I knew it there were a dozen of them all around. Looking and screeching. Pacing and closing in.
Asshat #2 (a.k.a. the clueless seagull encouraging mother) was still sitting on the blanket in the same spot. She hadn’t moved except to wave her hand in front of her own face as if shooing a pesky fly while she was meekly saying “Hey. Hey. Hey.” (I couldn’t even use exclamation points for that because there was no excitement or urgency in the way she was saying “hey.” None. I would have been going apeshit crazy on those Asshats hollering loudly enough to call the attention of every beachgoer in sight … but that’s just because I’m a loud-mouth, probably. But not Asshat #2. She certainly didn’t get the attention of anyone–certainly not of those popcorn seeking seagulls.) In the meantime, those Feathered Bastards literally bombarded the poor little girl who was scared stiff with eyes the size of saucers. There were two of them on her lap and three or four more right up on her. They grabbed the popcorn and the bag from the girl’s hands and they were pecking at her arms to get more. At that point the little girl had found her voice and was screaming. The mother–still seated on the other side of little girl–waved her arms with a little more passion and in the direction of the birds and her daughter.
Apparently as I was watching what felt like a slow motion beach version of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, I did figure out how to do something. Before I realized what was happening, I was on my feet and rushing the blanket, the little girl and the birds. Her father and I arrived at the same time and all those Dickhead Birds went squawking and flying away.
The little girl’s arm had about a dozen red marks on it, a few of them looked like they were bleeding. The dad took charge tending to her and thanked me for helping. I looked at the mom and she was looking at me like I was some crazy lunatic who just nearly attacked her daughter. I wanted to say “No, you Asshat. I wasn’t pecking the shit out of your terrified daughter’s arms and hands. Those were seagulls. And they’re assholes. Like you.”
Seriously. Seagulls are Asshats. And if you encourage your innocent 4 yr old daughter to bait them with food and then do next-to-nothing to help / protect her from them as they’re literally ripping her skin open, then you are also an Asshat.