Oh, Birdbrain

Yes. You. I’m talkin’ to you. No – my dear readers – this is in no way a slanderous salutation. Rather, it’ me having a (one-sided) chat with a seagull.

She turns her head so she can look at me through one beady eye. What could you be thinking? She is standing off to the right of my beach chair, about ten feet away. Just standing – for quite a while.

I am, of course, free to project my notions of the inner workings of her tiny brain. Inevitably, I will give her more credit than she likely deserves.

I think she knows a storm is coming: we’re due for a soaker this afternoon. She has instincts if not much intelligence, so she can probably feel the change in barometric pressure or in the ambient energy.

She’s a seagull. I must give her a name: Heather Gale Seagull. She is not alone. I take note that birds of her ilk (and also something smaller – dunno what that is) seem to be arraying themselves. Waiting. They are waiting.

Do they capitalize on the churning waters that accompany the storm and find fish close to the surface or in a kind of distress that makes them easier prey? I’m just spitballing here. I don’t actually know.

Today, my PIC and I are well situated. Front row, to the right of the concentration of surf-gazers around the lifeguard chair.

As a flock (is that right – or is it a gaggle, a bunch?) of gulls fly overhead, they call to each other and I’m instantly reminded of Steve Allen (oldies know who I mean – others must google his name), who often said – in a high-pitched voice: SCHMOCK, SCHMOCK – the closest he could get – in 1950’s America – to saying “schmuck” on national TV.


And now – from the benign to the truly evil…SAND FLIES. First of all, they’re not supposed to show up until late afternoon. That’s the rule (Karen’s 2nd, in case you are keeping track). So why are you little demons biting my ankles at 10:30 in the morning? Fortunately, they are not fans of my suntan lotion which I have now slathered self-protectively.

Chair, Hat, Towel, Umbrella, Water, Notepad and Pen: That seems like everything I could ever need in this world. Sure, that’s a beautiful sentiment and it remains as my core truth for about two minutes until I realize I’m starting to get hungry. So now my focus is on figuring out the earliest acceptable time to eat and then planning backwards from that.

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