i was just trying to get a closer look.
You know that childish compulsion to chase or otherwise bother a group of animals while they are sleeping or foraging for food? Well I’m here to tell you why, as an adult, it’s a bad idea. As a child, chasing pigeons in the park is a fine way to get some exercise because the child is not going to catch the bird, nor does he have any real intention of doing so. He just likes to run around and make them fly. As a drunk frat-boy at a New Orleans bar, catching the pigeon is the whole point. He directs all of his focus and breathing toward the bird until it’s lulled into a false sense of security. Then he pounces, wrapping his hands around the struggling creature while his friends hoot and holler. He does this over and over. Not a good idea, but amusing. As a 45 year old woman, there is no reason at all to approach a flock of anything, ever. And yet…
This weekend I went with a friend to try that fancy stand up paddle thing all the kids are doing. It was super fun and easier than I thought it was going to be. We were paddling along when I noticed a flock of geese near the shore. They were just standing there so I decided to paddle over for a closer look, because I’ve never seen geese up close, right? As I approached I could see that the river was very shallow, and that there was a lot of flotsam, flotsam covered in goose shit. This, coupled with the fact that the geese didn’t run away, disturbed me so I turned my board around to skulk away. I didn’t see the rock. That’s why I face planted off the board into a floating mass of slimy, putrid goose leavings. Moss, feathers, shit, mud, all over me and in my shoes. Luckily, my face never actually touched the water and I landed on all fours up to my neck. I remember asking the dock hand how to get back on the board if I fell off in the water and he described a technique, but I like mine better. You simply shriek, propel yourself horizontally about three feet in the air, and land perfectly on all fours in the middle of your board.
I’m pretty sure I heard one of the geese mutter, “idiot” under it’s breath as I paddled away.