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9.17.2007

Gaggle of Scavengers

There’s no more ominous sign than looking out your window to the sight of a flock of buzzards on your front lawn. Good morning, Gaggle of Scavengers. In the grass, on the road, perched on neighbors’ roofs. I counted 29. I started to wonder if I was dying. Aggravating those fears, I looked up in the sky, the one place I’d forgotten to check, and another 50 or more were circling above. And those were even harder to count. They don’t fly in a “V” or circle in the same direction—that many would have started a tornado.

I’m still alive. I think. Is this a dream, maybe? I’m waiting for a man with a sickle to show up at the door. Maybe a large bell tolling while I answer it. I think I’ll take that hint.

I know they aren’t hunters, like the predatory pterodactyl. But I work in an RV camper. What if they’re on my roof? 30 avian beasts on my roof would collapse the ceiling for sure. Then knocked unconscious, they’d see flesh wounds and rip me apart. I’m glad they eat dead things. Not unconscious things like a boa would do. Otherwise that’s just vicious.

Nosy Merritt Islandian: “So I heard Brent died. What happened? Did the bottle finally take him?”
Gossipy Merritt Islandian: “Oh, yeah. He’s dead. But he got picked apart by Vultures. They don’t normally hunt, but they happened to injure him and finished him off. And he was wearing black flip-flops with brown shorts.”

Well, I can see they’re fighting over what’s either a small mammal or large amphibian, maybe a frog. But 29 buzzards plus 50 reinforcements overhead? WHAT IS DYING?! Do Buzzards even eat amphibians? Maybe they’re omnivores and that Old Oak Tree has finally photosynthesized its last CO2 molecule.

I’ve had a bad cough for the past week. But I just thought it was an upper respiratory infection (Thanks for ingraining that rampant medical diagnosis into my vocabulary, Nurse Molly.). Maybe I have the Black Lung, Pop.

A kid just rode by on his bike (bet he’s wishing he didn’t skip today). I pictured one of those Disney cartoons where a lonely armadillo is walking by himself in the desert or something and dozens of buzzards line up on opposite sides of the road along his way to taunt him. All creepy and smart-alec-like.

I guess sicking vultures on absent kids is one way to stifle truancy.

One thing’s for sure. I’m not leaving work anytime soon.

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