Riding the bus with Gary Winslow: Fussin'

If you spend any time on the Internet, I’m sure you’re familiar with the wide range and seemingly endless supply of cuter than cute animal videos. From animal fails to awesome feats to acts of kindness or just plain cuddly moments, the Internet is filled with them, and I have to admit that, every once in a while, I’ll check one or two out when I run into them. However, I have to say that there’s nothing like witnessing animals do the same types of things that humans do … in real life. The following story is one that I wrote before I got the smartphone that I can’t seem to go without these days …

Apparently the act of a female nagging and fussing at a male isn’t unique to the human species. Ladies, don’t get mad at me … nobody’s perfect male or female. How about we just laugh about it a little bit, OK? OK, here goes …

I was sitting on my bike, apart from the few people that were left at Northland Mall, waiting for the last bus of the day. It was after the evening rush when there may be as little as 10 or less people left to take their respective late buses (after 7 to 7:30, the buses tend to start “runnin’ funny,” i.e. less frequent and less dependable). I was just in my own head, not paying any real attention to anybody, when I heard what sounded like urgent chirping coming from a bird of some sort. It kinda woke me out off my daydream state and I turned to investigate. Looking to my left and down to where I heard the sounds I noticed two small birds hopping on the ground; one in front and one in tow. The birds were hopping along almost in unison and at first it seemed like they were executing some cute little birdie dance or something, so I decided to observe and see what might unfold.

After a few more hops and chirps that sounded increasingly less friendly, I began to realize that this was no dance. Nope, further investigation indicated that one bird was in hot pursuit of the other. It was the smaller of the two that was having a fit; screeching and repeatedly thrusting its beak, piercing the air in the direction of the larger bird. In addition to the size difference, I noticed that their respective coloring was also noticeably different. The smaller bird was a combination of muted browns and quite dull in comparison to the larger bird, with additional black, white and red markings, especially in and around the face.

Now from watching more than a few nature shows I know that for many species of bird, the male is typically larger and more colorful than its female counterparts. I also know that if this was a male bird in another male bird’s face like that, they would’ve been fighting. Using this amateur knowledge of mine, I deduced that this was a male bird gettin’ cussed out by his significant other … and she was pissed! It soon occurred to me that the male bird hopping at the head of this twosome was being severely admonished. I thought to myself, “Woooo, boy, you done fucked up!” Yeah folks, it appeared that this bird was relegated to the ol’ doghouse!

I don’t know what ol’ boy did to upset her, but she was giving him the business for real. He tried to be nonchalant about it and hop away from the bombardment, but when he zigged, she zagged, heading him off at every turn. He tried picking at scraps and looking in the opposite direction of wherever she was, but no dice. The look on his face seemed to say, “If I ignore her long enough, she’ll stop,” but he just couldn’t shake her. His crisis resolution technique was failing miserably as evidenced by her chirping, squawking, shrieking, and squeaking, which by now was downright maniacal.

The male began to feverishly look from left to right, desperately trying to find an escape route as his best efforts to quell the situation weren’t working. Even though I identified this bird as a male of a different species, I believe I saw the familiar look of embarrassment on his face. (I’ve been there, bro.) As a result, he began chirping back with her, but only sporadically, which seemed like he was still kinda walking on eggshells and trying to calm her down. It was almost as if he was saying, “You’re making a scene, dear,” again, ineffective against the onslaught of displeased expression from his mate.

I remember thinking, “Poor technique, bro. Sucks to be you,” but I gave him dap for hangin’ in there like a gentleman and choosing to hop away; believe me, that ain’t easy when ya’ll get to trippin’. Just when I gave him credit for his patience, his chirps started getting louder and more frequent. He started to direct his chirps in her direction, now trying to just shut her up by putting the proverbial foot down; that didn’t work either. When he chirped she shrieked, when he squeaked, she squawked and was not to be outdone.

Exasperated by her relentless fussing, and knowing that he was no match for her no matter what he tried, he just up and took off flying. His attempt to escape this beak-lashing he was receiving was also fruitless, as his angry companion gave chase about a millisecond after his take off, bird-cussing him out along the way. Ever seen birds chase each other when they’re flying? If you think back to when you have, you know what I mean. It always boggles my mind to see how fast yet precisely they fly, and the chaser almost always seems to know what the one being pursued is about to do. Such was the case here. He dipped, he dodged, he banked into sharp turns, he squeaked, squawked and chirped back but she was hot on his trail and wasn’t letting up … this little chickadee was gonna get her point across, dammit!

I don’t know what homeboy did, but I do know one thing; he won’t do it again any time soon. I empathized with this “guy,” still hearing the bird-bickering that slowly faded the further they flew … then again, this was just too damn funny. I stood there laughin’ my ass off all by myself (probably lookin’ crazy as hell) as they literally vanished into the sunset. After they were no longer visible, I sat back down on my bike, and with a head shake and a smile I said to myself out loud, “Damn, bruh, I know the feelin’ … I know the feelin’.” Sorry, bruh, but this is the D … even animals can get cussed out!

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