A True Story of Real Angry Birds: A Cautionary Tale

7:24 PMHeather

As we pulled into Galveston, I was pridefully playing tour guide to my friend Amy. Bless her. She just went with it. Until I realized something.

She used to live in Houston. Which means Galveston was a quick trip she surely must have taken.

"So, wait a minute. Have you ever been to Galveston?" I asked.

"Oh yes. Lots of times," she answered.

Oh, good grief. This is why she is such a good friend--so dear to me. Because she let me rattle on about Galveston as if it was all new information to her.

She puts up with all my crazy.

She then proceeded to tell me a hilarious story about a day trip to Galveston as a newlywed where they were viciously attacked by birds as they tried to eat Sonic on the beach.

"And that is why I am afraid of birds!" She exclaimed as she wrapped up her story.

It was a premonition.

If it had been a prime time movie, the sound track would've taken a foreboding turn.

A little R&R. That's all we were after. Because while I'm all trying to  BE THE HOUSE, my people are actually scattering a million places. A MILLION, I tell you. Not even exaggerating. My tender little mommy heart is all falling apart with the realization that I will have all my little chicks in my nest for approximately a minute and a half this summer. One goes there, comes home, then the next one goes somewhere. And somehow, my husband managed to have a business trip BOTH of the weeks leading up to sending a child solo on an international flight. For 9 weeks this summer, one of my beloveds or another is GONE. 

So, it's kinda hard to BE THE HOUSE gathering the troops when your own troops are scattered all willy nilly all over creation.

Our time in Galveston was our only opportunity this summer to go somewhere as a family. With our friends who are "framily." All 11 of us, venturing off for some serious chill time.

And it was good. Really, it was very good. We were using a friend's house for free. A beautiful house right on the beach.

For free.

Can you even believe?

And it was indeed fabulous. 

But in the middle of all the fabulousness and gathering around one huge table and sitting with toes in the sand, there were some memories we didn't expect.

Galveston never ceases to deliver. It's not the French Riviera, after all. Instead, it's like the Redneck version of it.

So, just as I'm telling stories from previous trips there, including the nearly naked man with a beard wearing a red thong, who looked like some starving Santa Claus...we had our contender for creepy beach encounters.

It started innocently enough.

Amy and I were all relaxing in our beach chairs, whilst children played happily in the waves and built sand castles. That would be the three younger children, I mean. The four teenagers were elsewhere. As were the husbands.

A man in a black swimsuit, wearing a t-shirt and a ball cap, walked toward our rather deserted area on the beach. 

We thought nothing of it at first.

But he slowed down. Then walked by.

And turned around.

And walked by again.

And repeated this a few times. Quite methodically. Strangely slow and deliberate in his movements. As if he was sizing up the situation.

Listen, these two mama Baylor bears were ready to pounce into action.

Hell hath no fury like a mom whose cubs are threatened.

Thankfully, he finally walked away.

Good for him.

Cause he outta be glad he didn't get the whooping of his life.

And so, we thought we were done with Creepy Man.

Until the next morning at breakfast. When we saw him from the house where we were gathered at the aforementioned table for 11. Creepy Man was walking along the beach.

To the exact spot where we had been sitting the day before. Right there, next to the carefully constructed sand dolphin that Amy's husband had made upon our arrival. 

Creepy Man dropped a large black bag on the sand.

And then, he dropped his drawers.

Oh, yes. He changed, right there in front of God and everyone.

From a swimsuit to a speedo.

Or, we think a speedo?  Maybe it was a thong. We didn't want to look too closely.

We suddenly realized who we were obviously dealing with here. 

It was the son of the Naked Santa Man from several summers before.

And he was seriously just standing around and letting his presence be known. Tanning his hide, literally. And standing painfully close to the sand dolphin, as if taking credit for its creation for all who passed by.

I thought Amy's husband was even madder about the threat to his sand dolphin than we had been the day before about our children.

We left for a little shopping and sight seeing and Creepy Man was gone upon our return. Deep sigh of relief.

Later that night, in the midst of the joy of BEING THE HOUSE in someone else's free-to-us beach house, I decided to take a photo of the beautiful sunset from the front porch.

I got the shot, then realized a bird was swooping near my head. I felt his (or her? I don't know) wings or feet or something touch my head.

And I ran for the door in what must have been a hilarious show of great dignity, much like Amy's story from the bird attack on her previous Galveston visit.

When I slammed and locked the door, I saw several of those ugly, black grackle birds. 


But that's still not even the end of the story.

(I know. I'm just rambling these random stories today.  Because my brain is still on vacation and I haven't blogged in 10 days. This is what you get, bloggy friends. It's all I got).

The next night, I saw my husband come in from the front porch.

He very calmly asked if I could look at where he was bleeding from the head.

I laughed.

Why yes, I am a licensed social worker. Skilled and trained in empathy and compassion.

Because I thought he was kidding when he announced that a bird had just pecked him on the head and he was bleeding.

Alas. That we should be so lucky.

He sat down next to me. And there it was.

A gash. A bleeding gash on the top of his head. He proudly announced that it was merely a flesh wound.

Well, I hoped so anyway? It was about an inch long, and yes--it was indeed a lovely gash from being pecked on the head.

I'm usually good in an emergency. But I had to hand this one over to Amy's husband.

Because we all know that trained optometrists are also specialists in bird pecking wounds.

I had visions of an ER visit for stitches..and a shot for rabies? A tetnus shot? I don't know--what kind of shot do you give a man pecked on the head by a nasty, filthy disease carrying Angry Bird?

Amy's husband got the wound treated and declared no need for stitches.

And a long look out the front windows revealed the root of our Angry Bird issue.

Bird nests.

Several bird nests, in fact.

With not even cute baby birds inside them. But little nasty grackle baby birds. Ugly. And disgusting. Obviously, future terrorist of other beach goers. Or part of the vast grackle conspiracy that we Baylor alumni know descends on the campus of Baylor University in the fall and spring, as well as upon other targeted areas in the world.

I felt like the Alfred Hitchcock movie was coming to life as the birds seemed to be multiplying...swarming from all sides, swooping dangerously around the front porch, eager to attack anyone who dared to venture forth.

For one split second, though, I must admit that I felt a tinge of comradery with the mama birds.

It was like some Creepy Man was walking by their babies. Threatening to drop his drawers or snatch an unsuspecting and innocent little one nearby.

Dumb grackles.

They didn't even realize that my man was so very far from the creeper we saw on the beach.

But yet...the feeling of fierce protection is universal.

From awesome beach babes to nasty black birds.

And listen, one other moral to this story.

Angry Birds ain't just an app.

So don't even think of snagging a photo of a beautiful sunset from the front porch.

Unless you like to live dangerously.

(I'll save the sad and cautionary tale of the jellyfish larva that attacked our children for another blog post. Can't use all my good material in one day).

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