Thursday, May 18, 2006

Missing Toes, Lonely Mate

I live in one of those neighborhoods where there's a fairly high tolerance of variations in yard maintenance. The degree of lawn care and shrub pruning varies wildly at Le Maison de Bailey, depending on how much wine we've drunk or whether a mother-in-law is in town. (Mothers-in-law are mad for gardening, it would seem.)

Yard ornamentation is all over the map, too. Most folks get their Christmas lights down by July; one fellow favors large concrete statuary; the band group house has had a six-foot plush snake wrapped around their front walk banister for three years. We're too busy drinking wine and plotting the revolution to git after much code enforcement.

But I give a cold dose of stink-eye to neighbors committing what I consider the cardinal sin: parking their formerly indoor-residing upholstered furniture on their front porch. Just because the cat shredded the dusty rose velveteen couch or the naugahyde Barcalounge split along the seams, that doesn't mean it now counts as "outdoor furniture." It means that it is old and busted and should be taken out back and shot. If it's no longer good enough for inside your house, why in the world would you put it on your front porch for God and everyone to see?

I get a shudder of joy up my spine when I see a For Sale sign in the front lawn of one of these houses. It not only means that the people who obviously lack basic social skills are leaving my 'hood -- it means that their circa-1974 plaid sectional will soon make the short, but ultimate walk to the curb, at the insistence of their real estate agent.

One of the long-time offenders on my street finally succumbed about a month ago, and it was even more satisfying because they and their overstuffed mustard rocking recliner were apparently evicted. Look, I said to Mr. Bailey, they've being punished for their aesthetic crimes! Mr. Bailey, ever the Wonder Killer, countered that they had probably abandoned the house and their rental payments along with their recliner.

But Karma is a mean-ass bitch, and she did not care for my gloating one bit. For in place of the mustard recliner, she has given me The Bird Lady. There's a new front-porch horror in my 'hood: people who put big ole bird cages full of squawking, shrieking parakeets and other feathered things on their lawn and porch. Bird Lady sits on her old milking stool and removes the birds one at a time, holds them up to the sky, whirls them in what must be a few nausea-inducing loops around her torso, and talks to them in a high-pitched voice.

Yesterday, one of her charges had apparently had enough of this foolishness, and bolted. Hand-lettered signs on half-sheets of neon posterboard bloomed like dandelions on the street corners last night:

#### XX Street
Flew OFF 5/17
Green, Missing toes
Lonely Mate at Home!!!

While I do question Bird Lady's mental stability, this sign is a great reminder that sometimes, The Crazy really do give us some awesome blogging material.


At 8:49 PM, Blogger Veronica, yo. said...

As discussed with coworkers earlier today, birds are dirty, carry disease, and now, apparently, some of them are missing toes. Probably was the disease that caused the toes to fall off. While it's sad to think that the mate is longing for him/her, it's probably for the best, as there will be no baby birds from the toeless, diseased parent. And since we can't get K-Fed to stop breeding, the least we can hope for is that these birds stop.

At 2:55 PM, Blogger Bailey, yo said...

You know me and Nature, yo. Toeless and diseased is no way to go through life.


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