Thursday, May 11, 2006

Firearm Catharsis

I think part of the frustration and rage I associate with living in New York stems from the fact that I can’t just shoot the things that annoy me – you know, loud B&T bitches who can’t make change because of their ridiculous fingernails, David Blaine, overmuscular men walking small dogs. Oh, that I could just shoot them. But I can’t. I just have to deal with them. And deal with them. And deal with them.

Here’s an example of how shooting things would make it better.

Growing up in South Dakota, if there was some pesky creature that annoyed you, you didn’t just grit your teeth and endure it. You SHOT IT. You just got out your gun and shot it. This led to a true feeling of catharsis. No more rage!

When I was a kid, starlings – the particularly mottled and aggressive kind – really bothered my dad. They were loud, they’d dive bomb other birds, and they shit everywhere. “They shit EVERYWHERE,” my dad would roar as he inspected the latest poop puddle deposited squarely on the hood of his freshly washed car. Then he’d run inside the house for a BB gun or one of his rifles and start taking out birds all over the lawn. Given his time in Vietnam, I guess he’s quite a shot, because before long there were four and twenty to bake in a pie. I grew up in town, mind you, and this was considered perfectly acceptable behavior within city limits. (In his defense, my dad is not some crazed lunatic, and in fact is a bird lover who this year is cooing about how many finches the finch feeders he put up are bringing to their garden.)

Last time I was home in South Dakota for Christmas, I mentioned to my dad one morning that I thought he might have mice in the attic, because something scrambling around up was impeding my sleep, and man, do I HATE mice. I have to put up with their verminy, sneaky existence in New York every single damn day, and I don’t want them bugging me when I’m on vacation and trying to sleep.

A few hours later, I looked out the dining room window, and there was dad, rifle firmly tucked up against his shoulder, aiming at the third floor. “Um, Mom, why is Dad shooting at the house?” I asked my mother, who was likely in the kitchen baking some delicious dish consisting primarily of butter, cheese and Corn Flakes. “Oh, honey, those weren’t mice this morning, those were squirrels up on the roof. Your daddy’s out there taking care of it for you!”

Sorry Mister Squirrel.

Now, when similar aggravations take place in New York, there’s no way I can take out my frustration through firearms.

We apparently have a family of starlings living in my backyard right now. They perch every morning on my roommate’s fire escape, right outside my window, and won’t let me have a moment’s peace. I know chirping birds are supposed to make me think of lazy mornings somewhere in a log cabin, holding a ceramic mug full of joe as I contemplate the dew while it rises from the grass. But honestly? These birds sound like my clock-radio alarm. And to anyone who’s heard my ear-bleedingly loud clock radio alarm in the last 15 years (sorry residents of Abel 12 at the University of Nebraska!), you know that’s not a pretty sound.

Seriously, though, Wikipedia says starlings “have been known to imbed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms and human speech patterns.” So these starling calls, starting every morning when my clock radio goes off, echo right back: “MEEP MEEP MEEEEP MEEEEP.” When they learn how to mimic me as well, they will add “Shut up you stupid motherfuckers!” to their lyrical calls. The New York Times might find them sweet, but I just want to shoot them. But can I shoot them? No. I just have to ram the pillow over my ears and shove my rage deep, deep, deeper down.

Of course, we have a rodent problem in New York that threatens to permanently push me over the edge, as well. And if ONLY it were squirrels scratching around on the roof. Oh, no, I have my very own stable full of mice. Mice with bellies full of poison who refuse to kick off. And, I would love to shoot them.

Instead, I am left standing on my own couch, helplessly screaming for my roommate’s boyfriend to come out and smash the fucker who just brazenly dawdled across the living room while I was watching “Lost.” The arrogant little fucker.

Obviously, this girl needs a BB gun.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I stumbled onto your blog last month. It's lovely. That's a compliment, not at all like someone saying, "mmm...INteresting." -- the comment of death. It's funny, smart and acute in just the right way. Hence, lovely.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Had To Move said...

Aw, shucks, thanks! I don't know what to say. If you have a blog, tell me where I can find it so I can give it a look. :)

9:34 AM  

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