One day Bessie Braddock, a rather plump Labor MP,
approached Winston Churchill in which she said
‘Sir! You are drunk’, to which Mr. Churchill replied
‘I am drunk today madam, and tomorrow I shall be sober but you will still be ugly.’
Winston S. Churchill
(our resident mockingbird / Julie Cook / 2015)
Remember how I shared the tale of woe concerning our shower?
The twenty year slow leak that could only be rectified by tearing out the old…
all the way to the studs…with dust upon debris of rot and leak….
Only to slowly, and just ever so, add back layer upon layer…
eventually putting things back better than before???
Well we’re still in the middle of the layering process—
water mesh, moisture barriers, shower pans, sealant, cements…
on and on goes the mess.
Tile fellow is a very nice man and very much a Brooklyn boy who lives and breathes
for his beloved Yankees…. who have been winning their series in the playoffs.
Much to my favor as Happy Yankees beget Happy Yankee fans who beget
Happy Yankee tile guy, who beget happy tile customers…
But this has been a very messy and very dirty task.
Had I known what all was entailed, I would have just said re-do the entire bathroom
while you’re at it because if I live through this, I won’t be retiling anything
again in my lifetime.
After Tile man leaves each evening, I’m rolling up drop cloths,
vacuuming up a ton of dust, gingerly removing old insulation, wiping down cabinets,
mopping floors, and cleaning from top to bottom the residual mess of the day’s work.
Tile man wanted to leave his shop vac sitting in the middle of my very dusty bedroom at night as its just too heavy to haul back and forth from the garage along with the air compressor for the nail gun.
“You know we sleep in there right?”
I had to remind him that I prefer not having heavy equipment out lest I run into in the middle of the night.
He also didn’t understand why I insist on rolling up the very dirty and very dusty drop cloths every night only to roll them back out early each morning….
I don’t know, something about living without any more excessive dust and dirt then absolutely necessary seemed to make sense to me, but who am I to say.
So you should know we have a door in our bedroom that leads to the back deck,
the covered back deck.
We never use that door but it was in the plans when we built the house 20 years
ago so we have a door we don’t use….
Tile guy tells me that since he’s a New Yorker and Italian to boot, the heat is brutal
on him so every available window is open, the AC is running, fans are blowing
90 to nothing as dust is delightfully blanketing my entire house—
think Pompeii indoors.
And the high this week have only been in the mid 70’s….go figure.
He told me that he was going to open that door in the bedroom for more air.
Obviously windows are not enough.
However he was going to need to make a quick run to get more caulking.
Tile man was obviously born in a barn because all doors remain open whether or not
he is coming or going—
as in he will not, for love nor money, shut a door behind him.
Think now of every fly in the county and every bee and wasp for miles seeing
these open doors and I might as well have a sign out,
“all bugs please come inside!”
So as Tile man ran to the store for more caulk, I went to shut the back door.
When I headed into the bedroom to shut that door imagine my horror as I spied
our resident full grown Mockingbird flying around and around in a panic in my bedroom.
Let that sink in a minute…
a full grown bird in a tizzy flying around and around like
a nutjob in my bedroom—
did I mention the antique lamps that were my grandmother’s???
Let me back up a tad.
During the past week or so I have noticed how our Mockingbird has been singing
his pretty little head off as if it were a new Spring…
as in the birds and bees being oh so happy that it’s “that” time of year again…
as in it’s time to sing and look pretty for the ladies.
But wait…the calendar says mid October…as in cool nights and temperate days.
Not the time for making, let alone thinking about, woo…
This nutty bird has been sitting outside the closet window staring in at
Percy my cat, singing to my poor cat his song of love, for the past week.
Plus I’ve noticed a copious amount of bird poop out on the front porch…
As in the bird is off his rocker, making a mess and creating all sorts of havoc.
And then it dawns on me…
This time of year berries, Pokeberries to be exact, are in plentiful supply.
These things are similar to elderberries but poisonous to human consumption.
However they have been used by Native Americans and others for centuries to make a
deep lasting purple / magenta dye.
The berries just sit on the vine and, well, ferment.
In other words… free drinks on the house for all woodland creatures of
both field and air…
Meaning, I’ve now got a very drunk Mockingbird…
who by the way, is acting very much like a typical drunk,
now trying to fly drunk in a place he has sense enough to know is not home…
This is why you don’t drink and fly.
Ok, back to the present and this bird in my bedroom.
The bird continues circling and bamming into the ceiling,
leaving grey feathers everywhere along with seeds and purple poop.
I collect myself enough to quickly shut the bedroom door—
otherwise I’d never catch the bird if he made it to the rest of the house.
And now he heads to the bathroom.
Of all places????….
Tile guy is bad enough in there and now I have a drunk bird pooping purple crap all
over the place.
It was a miracle he missed bombing the lamp shades and my bed!!!!
As that purple mess isn’t washing out of anything.
The bird flies into the shower, into the mirror, into the window,
into the ceiling and back into the bedroom…
grey feathers are now stuck or floating all over the place.
All the while I”m chasing this drunk bird with both arms outstretched
trying to either catch it or shoo it out….whichever works….
Finally, thankfully, he finds the door….and out he goes as I quickly slam
the door in his wake.
And if you’re wondering where the cats were during all of this excitement—they
shelter in place in the guest bedroom, cowering in the closet when workmen are in
the house as they have apoplexy when visitors show up.
So not only was I cleaning dust and sheet rock residue, I was now cleaning purple poop
from the the windows, the door trim, the floor, a pillow case, the drop cloths…
When Tile man finally returns I, in no uncertain terms, tell him that there will be
no more open doors in the bedroom as I pleadingly ask how much longer does he
anticipate this job is going to take…
“Tile,” he tells me, “is messy hard work, probably another week or so… that is
if I don’t rush him…”tile can’t be rushed”….
So what’s the moral of this little tale you ask?
Well there really isn’t one…
just know that you should always be weary of melodious singing birds in the fall
who have been hitting the sauce, or in this case the pokeberry juice, one too many.
And that pokeberry juice will stain anything it touches…
Envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these.
I warn you, as I warned you before,
that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.