The Thing About You Birds

By: David Holub

You know, the thing about you birds is that you sit on that branch for hours, whistling the same song.

TWEE-twee. Two notes. The same two notes. Over and over. First the high one and then one a little lower.

But, my small, feathery acquaintance, let me ask you this: What do you think will come of all this so-called singing? That you’ll attract a mate? That some female bird will be so taken with your little tweedle-dee routine that she’ll just offer herself no questions asked? That she’ll hear your call and then swoop in and say, “Hey Mr. Bird with no job and no prospects, wanna have some sex?”

Well, good luck. Because I’ll tell you, women don’t seem to like it when guys sit around all day, whether it’s in a “tree” or in what they refer to as “filth” and “crumbs.”

And don’t just dismiss everything she says, because she may have a point about the job. Just loitering on that branch all day whistling isn’t going to get you any closer to becoming a contributing member of society. And even if it did, I wouldn’t show up to your first job interview in months looking anything but your best. Those red and brown feathers may do the trick in the forest but you come like that to an interview and they’ll eat you for lunch (not literally, though I wouldn’t show up around lunchtime. Just to be safe).

Just be careful not to overdo it. I know the logic. When getting dressed for your interview you’ll say, “I should wear something nice, and what’s nicer than a tuxedo?” So you show up in a tuxedo and they, in their corduroys and turtlenecks, ask, “What’s with the tux?” and sensing a fashion gaffe, you feel the only way to save face is to perform that magic trick where you make the baby kitten “laugh,” which, if you knew you were going to be performing it, you would have practiced a little harder and the kitten wouldn’t have stopped breathing.

But those are the chances you take when reaching for your dreams. Unless it’s that dream where you’re walking down the halls of your high school naked but really, you’re more embarrassed because you’re facing allegations of human trafficking. I wouldn’t tell too many people about that dream.

But certainly your dreams are more than this, more than standing on a branch and singing the same two dumbass notes on a loop. Do you think this song of yours is going to make someone stop and say, “Hey bird, quite the song. Here’s a blue ribbon.” Sure, you might be filled with a sense of accomplishment, but then you find out that the blue ribbon is not for musical achievement but for prostate cancer awareness and you freak out and start frightening pedestrians and their children because you get the impression that the ribbon means you actually have prostate cancer, which you don’t, but you didn’t know that at the time. You just wondered how they got all this information about your prostate.

Believe me, your prostate is fine. The point is that you’re a bird and you have wings and you can fly so why would you choose to stand on the same branch and sing the same two notes? Unless it’s because you’re injured and if you are then I’m sorry, but you were probably doing something incredibly stupid, like flying repeatedly into a plate glass window. Why would you do such a thing? Perhaps you were turned down for a job because you dressed inappropriately and might have harmed a young cat during the interview. But that’s no excuse to get all drunk and aggressive and instigate a shoving match with your reflection in the bar window.

If there’s one piece of advice I could hand you, something that will allow you to realize your potential and make your tiny winged life more successful and less complicated, it’s…Oh I see you’ve flown. And I’ve been talking to myself.

You know, the thing about you caterpillars is those creepy-looking cocoons…


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