Friday, September 04, 2009

Lighter (?) News:

I was standing at the counter yesterday afternoon and noticed the date: 9-3-9. I turned to the charge nurse and said, "Hey! John! If you take that first number, and its square root, and then square that second number, you get today's date! Isn't that cool?"

My good friend Maria, the craziest girl on the block, looked at me solemnly and said "You will never, ever find a man as weird as you are."

Today we were discussing one of the docs whose wife is having twins, fairly late--she's a little older than I am. I said, musingly, "I don't know; maybe twins wouldn't be so bad. I could have twins."

Without looking up from her charting, one of my coworkers said, "You'd eat them. Like a gerbil. You'd have them in the middle of the night, and bury them in wood shavings, and then eat them before dawn."

I have to admit she's right.

And now, for an email I sent my uncle at Sainted Mother's request, detailing something interesting that happened on my street this spring and summer: The Buzzard Tale.

(Actually, it's the Black Vulture Tale)

Black vultures are much more common here in town than turkey buzzards are. They're smaller, more adapted to quick dives and quick escapes, and they're easier to get along with than their more aggressive cousins.

The folks down the street--and you have to understand that I am like the Den Mother to every other house on the street, all full of hippies--decided to start putting dog food out for the black vultures that nested in their liveoak. Now, why a pair of black vultures would nest in a spreading tree that never gets very tall is beyond me, but they did. And they had an egg. And, sure enough, the egg hatched this past spring.

The hippies down the street decided to keep putting dog food out and to try to get the vultures acclimated to human activity. Given that they (the people, not the vultures) are constantly outside, playing hackey-sack or horseshoes or just sitting smoking weed, this was not difficult. Pretty soon the vultures had learned to associate any human with food.

Which led to the inevitable: every person walking past the house gets to within fifteen feet of the cross-street (the house is on the corner) when Plop! Plop! Plop! and Braaak! Braaaak! BRAAAAAAK! (that last is the baby), here come the vultures out of the tree, looking for treats.

They're not aggressive. The baby, who is now half-grown, is tame enough to take food from the hand without biting. They just really want to hang out with humans.

Which is fine. I don't have a problem with vultures, per se. They do, after all, perform an important function (in our neighborhood, that extends to cleaning up the occasional electrocuted squirrel and the blown garbage that escapes the truck) and are social, intelligent animals. Max, however, has a serious problem with them. They're not dogs, and they're not humans, so he's not sure whether or not to protect me from them. At the same time, they're obviously assertive, which weirds him out no end. He has what my old sociology professor would call "total role conflict, maaaan" every time he sees them.

I've taken to taking him the other way on walks, just so he doesn't ruminate on the Vulture Issue for hours after we get home.

That, courtesy of your big sister, was the Vulture Tale.

4 comments:

Moose said...

Your good friend Maria, due respects, is so, so very wrong. You just need to hang around with geekier men. I can think of 101 geek boys (and girls) who would think of math comments and jokes like that. Most of them even shower regularly and are socially adjusted.

And the vulture tale is awesome.

shrimplate said...

And 939 divided by 3 is 313, an elegant prime.

Penny said...

A woman at work was telling me about her 150 pound dog whose sole failing in this world is that any time a deer gets hit near their home, he brings it to her as proof of his love and devotion, and then guards it from the magpies until she sees it.

I dunno. "Max" and "electrocuted squirrel" made me think of this.

DT35 said...

My new license plate number is 43277 -- or, as was instantly apparent to me -- 4+3x2=7+7. Incredibly, no one else noticed what an arithmetically significant number sequence this is.