I have a paralyzing, white-hot fear of birds.
And before you ask All birds? Really? And start in on a “what if” situation: What about a fluffy, talking parrot that poops Hershey kisses and sings the Alphabet? YES. All birds, all the time. No exceptions (ok…I might make a teeny-tiny exception for those teeny-tiny baby ducklings with pastel yellow fluff who fit in your palm but as soon as they start bobbing their heads like all their ugly bird cousins then it's dead to me.)
I’ve been known to scream, duck, hiss, go out of my way to avoid, and kick at them (only AT them, folks. They are way too quick for me to actually connect.)
I believe this crazy, heightened fear developed in high school during my tour of France with my high school French Club. Its 1998, I just graduated, and was heading to college, so I was clearly one of the cooler kids in the crowd. (Pssst… I wasn’t.) I was wearing my super cool, oversize Reebok sweatshirt (and frankly it was the only thing I wore the entire 3 weeks. My stink fit right in) and my super classy fake nails with the French manicure (because everyone has French manicures in France, right? No? Just me, then? Ok, moving on…)
As we’re walking underneath the Eiffel Tower this enormous swarm of birds (probably pigeons because those a-holes are EVERYWHERE in Paris) flies directly at my head.
Let me clarify because my husband (who wasn’t even there, thankyouverymuch) insists this isn’t real.
The swarm looked like something God used to tick off Pharaohs. It was massive. Probably a good 50-100 birds. And it wasn’t that they were flying high in the sky. That would have been acceptable. They flew directly at chest level. Imagine if you will, a huge swarm of large, trash grubbing birds, each the size of a loaf of bread aimed directly at your chest, flying at the speed of light and you’d probably have a huge, crazy fear too. My palms are a little sweaty just thinking about it.
All I remember is seeing them coming at me and screaming as I flung myself to the ground. After I was sure I had all my bits and pieces in tact, I jumped up to find my group gaping at me with wide-eyed bewilderment. No one else seemed to have feared a bird beak lodged in his/her chest. In fact, I was the only one flicking off pieces of discarded crepes from my sweatshirt and dabbing at the blood sprouting at my knee caps. Apparently, they did not value their lives as much as I did.
I feel like I dodged a bullet on that trip.