Well, it finally happened. My writing has disrupted someone’s life. I have been blamed for stirring up trouble in a place far from where I live. I wrote something that has directly affected another human soul in a negative way. Or, so it seems.
One of my readers has written me:
“I am laying this on you, as we have never suffered this insult before your musings.”
Hey, I’m the kind of guy that believes in taking responsibility and giving credit when it’s due. If you carry the team on your back, you should get the applause. If you stink and make everyone else around you suffer due to your own mistakes, then a big old pile of rotten worms with your name on it should be laid at your feet.
“Stand up and take it like a man”, I say.
But I don’t see any way on God’s green earth that I’m at fault here. All I did was to write an honest observation about the pesky habits of bluebirds. These are critters over which I have no control. And, I’m not going down without a defense.
First of all, the basis of the indictment is just plain ridiculous. Right there in print, my accuser says, “I think one of my birds read your last post.”
Case law #24-875. Bluebirds cannot read. Rothstein & Himmel, 1949.
Honestly, I could stop my argument right here. No judge in his right mind would even consider hearing this case in a courtroom.
I have never met a bluebird with a fourth-grade education. Bird libraries do not exist for a reason. If a stupid bird cannot tell the difference between his own fine-feathered little body and the reflection he sees in the glass, I seriously doubt he could identify the letters of the alphabet, and for sure he would not never recognize a double negative if he pooped all over it.
Apparently, all the bluebirds in North Georgia were just fine up until a few weeks ago. Before I took a shot at this particular ornithological species, they were “perfect, even entertaining little neighbors”. Now, placing the blame directly at my door, they have “become demented, attacking our windows, and nearly driving us crazy with the constant thumping of little heads.”
My accuser sent me a picture looking out of her living room window. A green lawn. A grove of mature shade trees in the back yard. A view to-die-for of the ancient Appalachians in the distant background. A smear of white and brown streaks up and down the glass in the foreground. It was perfect.
“Look at all the long poop streaks on my windows!”
This is an obvious attempt at guilting me into taking the blame for bluebird behavior across the globe. Similar to the look I got from Max when he chewed the window trim off the wall during a thunderstorm last year.
“Look at this mess. What did you do?” I got nothing from him but ‘that look’. The look that says, “It’s your fault you let all that booming noise and pounding rain scare the bejeebees out of me. What else was I supposed to do?”
Clearly, my fault.
I suppose if I write a column addressed to all the knuckled headed birds out there telling them to put a cork in it, that should correct this display of aggression. Evidently, all it takes is one bird to read the gospel according to Paul, and the news travels like wildfire. I never knew I had the power to affect the natural order of Birddom. If National Geographic shows up, let me know.
I tried a very direct approach in my reply. “I take no responsibility for I am but a mere observer of life.”
This did not go well. My accuser drew upon her personal experience with her attackers. “Say what you will, but the word is apparently out to these little demons.”
What just happened? A few minutes ago they were perfect little neighbors. But because I wrote down a few hundred words bemoaning my own irritation with them, now all of sudden these winged creatures have turned into demons.
Again, clearly my fault.
I haven’t been able to write for days. My heart and soul are traumatized. Every time I sit at the keyboard, I am paralyzed with the fear that I might ruin someone’s life. I could write something that might possibly tilt the earth off its axis. Oh Lawd! If the snakes and possums and cicadas ever read my stuff and pull their resources together, there could be an all-out war against humanity. I couldn’t live with myself.
Normally, I am even tempered and quite civil about such matters. I have been falsely accused many times over the years for various things.
There was the time in 9th grade English class when the grass outside our windows caught on fire during the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet. I was sitting in the back corner by the open window. I was bored to death and playing with matches. Don’t ask. I would light one, blow it out and toss it out the window. I made sure they were OUT before I got rid of the little wooden stick.
Next thing I knew, I heard a crackling and popping noise. I could see the kids in the classroom across to the other wing with their faces plastered up against their windows looking back our way. Orange flames leaping up to the bottom of my window. I ran up to the teacher.
“Hark! Beyond open window a flame doth blaze.”
I hustled out the double doors at the end of the hallway and grabbed up the big rubber floor mat as I went out. The fire was stifled before it got out of control. Everyone watched and cheered. I was their Romeo. Really. No one blamed me for anything. Clearly, no one ever knew until now that I played with matches that day.
Okay, so, that was my fault and I got away with it. But this bluebird thing is not on me and I’m not gonna take it sitting down.
I have been unjustly charged for an incident 150 miles from my front door and completely beyond my sphere of influence. I won’t divulge my accuser’s identity. That would be less than civil of me. All I can say is that a relative of mine who lives up on Buck Snort Mountain just north of Blairsville, and whose name begins with a “B” and ends with a “y” and has two “t”s in the middle is suffering at the hands of the native bluebird population and is confused about my role in her tragic circumstances.
Lest you think I am overreacting and being too harsh by bringing all this out in public view, I am sympathetic. I might even be willing to help wash windows. I mean she did try to make up for heaping her problems on innocent little old me at the very end.
She says, “BTW, I love your posts no matter my complaints.”
I guess I can take it. It was clearly my fault anyway.