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Posts tagged ‘fear of birds’

downers: birds

Some fears you are born with. Others take time to develop. Like my brother’s fear of heights, discovered inconveniently at the age of 20, right before we boarded a mountain cable car near Banff. Or my fear of flying, which has developed over the last ten years into a real impediment to the jet-setting lifestyle that I’d envisioned for myself as a child.

My fear of birds started slowly. When other kids would chase after birds at parks with day-old bread, I’d feel compelled to run in the opposite direction. Birds have beady, unblinking eyes, greasy feathers, and webby/bony feet that end in claws both sharp and unsanitary. They move unpredictably, with little forewarning. You’ll think a bird is walking safely away from you when it will suddenly veer off course and charge at you with aggressive neck bobs. I didn’t verify the info on Wikipedia or anything but I think birds are responsible for SARS, avian flu, and chicken pox. Anyway, I don’t like birds. Except for owls, which have a nice look about them. I thought I learned at some point that owls are not actually birds, and perhaps, that they give live birth (??), but when I asked Tom about that he started getting one of those pained and depressed looks he gets when I ask a question not to his liking. Like, are marsupials mammals; does Wisconsin border Kentucky—the kind of question that usually garners this response: “Yoona. You went to COLLEGE.”

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i’d free you, bird, but you might peck my eyes out

Anyway, I go out of my way to avoid birds. So imagine my horror when I recently stayed in a hotel that not only features live birds as part of the d├ęcor, but encourages said birds to mingle in spaces that IMHO should be reserved exclusively for humans. The first day, I got lost on my way to the pool and wandered into a bird habitat filled with lazy and unclean swans. The birdshit-strewn path in the habitat wends its way around and ends in a footbridge that crosses a koi pond. Koi rank somewhere between grubs and birds in my regard. They are overgrown, disgusting, and likely riddled with worms, and I know that if I ever have the misfortune to accidentally fall into a koi pond, I will expire immediately from sheer terror.

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the only thing i love more than birds is quasi-asian statuary

Between the swans and the koi and the mandals on all the tourists stopped on the path, I found myself in the middle of my own personal nightmare. The only way it could have been scarier is if Gwyneth Paltrow was there. As I sprinted down the path, I got so panicked that I tripped on the footbridge and fell headfirst into the poolside lounge on the other side. Some well-oiled teens in bikinis pointed and snickered. But I didn’t even care about my ignominious spill. Because I was free. Safely delivered from the birds.