Saturday, September 11, 2010

For the Birds

OK, So I know that I promised -- or at least eluded -- that I would write about the Combine Derby week before last. I'm struggling with how to explain an event that goes like this:

Especially when I managed to get seats that placed me in a spot where all the best action happened behind the support pole.

The combine derby consists of heats of 5-6 mostly beat-up large farm implements, many of whom have been painted to resemble cows, chickens, dogs, and in one case this year, an incredibly large flying pig. And yes, I said "whom". Alison, that was not just to make that nerve behind your left shoulder start to twitch, although I know it had that effect.

These combines take on a certain personality that extends beyond their operators, their paint jobs, and their inevitable gleaner attachments. Some move slowly and with tremendous constitution, grinding their way across the track and through their opponents; others are lithe, nimbly side-stepping the worst of the hits. The crowd roots for the largest, or the smallest, or the one that looks like it really shouldn't be running at all.

This, my friends, is Americana. It carries with it a charm missing from NASCAR, Monster, Trucks, and anything having to do with American Idol. This is about corn dogs, harvest time, and bragging rights. It's about lending your opponent your TIG welder, because it's his first time here. It's about baseball caps, slaps on the back, Hammond organs, and singing the national anthem. Out loud.

What does this have to do with birds? Nothing.

So...birds. Yeah, I have one. A Cockatiel. His name is Kevin. And if my sister is reading, the name is from the movie "Up", not about making a namesake for your husband. Kevin showed up here without warning one afternoon. We put an ad in the paper; no one claimed him.

The bird is in love with me. As in, he wants to get to "know" me. If I walk into the room, he wolf whistles. If I take him out of the cage, he sits on my shoulder and hisses at anyone who comes within five feet of me. He coos and rubs up against my neck. When I come home from work, he dances and sings me the Colonel Bogey March and the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

And now Mr. Bean has put Kevin on the family stickers on the back of the car, which means he is a permanent part of the family. Which wouldn't be so bad, if the family stickers didn't already feature 4 cats and 3 dogs. But can I get rid of him? No; I can't. Because he's just sofa king cute.

Oh and more birds? Yesterday, Mr. Bean won a chicken coop off a radio show.

Yes; you read that right: Chicken. Coop. Which means, of course, that we will soon have chickens.

This is something I have resisted for years; I hate chickens. Hate them. Mr.? He loves them. For as long as I've known him, he's wanted chickens. Kes wanted chickens, too. I think she may have had a hand in this.

Mr is thrilled beyond words. This is important to him.

So maybe having chickens won't be such a big deal. The little ones are actually kinda cute.

I wonder if any of them are interested in having a very handsome pied cockatiel for a boy friend? This has possibilities.


Anonymous said...

Another gift from Bug.

Unknown said...

you will LOVE the chickens once you have them. Get some Bantams with their fluffy little feet.