Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Good-bye Mr. Chirps

At one time, the “IN” thing was to have a chirping bird ornament to hang in among the boughs of a Christmas tree. Most people would hang this gold or silver plastic filigree-like ball where they could reach the on-off switch and entertain visitors when they visited their home during the holidays. It was battery powered and played a recording of a bird song. Well, not actually a song but a series of a single note monotonous chirp. CHIRP. CHIRP. CHIRP.
I was so glad when the Christmas season was over and the mechanical birds were laid to rest in storage boxes for at least a year. I would be free from the freaky phantom-feathered friends but sadly, it was not be.
My wife, Cindy and I were shopping in Connellsville, Pennsylvania and climbed the back steps into the McCrory’s five and dime store. As I neared the top of the stairway I was greeted by the gloriously annoying twitter of a bird ball that had somehow escaped interment until the next Christmas holiday season.
I clenched my teeth and finished the climb into the sales floor. I began to hunt down the canary-like Caruso. Through the maze of merchandise laden aisles, I followed the siren’s song. I was on a seek-and-destroy mission, but I knew if I shut it off, it would provide only temporary relief. I was sure some diligent employee would notice the silence. I changed my mission slightly.
My wife had just gotten here and was sure there was at least another half hour for her to shop. I couldn’t stand being cooped up for so long with the screeching songbird.
When I found it, the silver egg was perched on a pyramid of plastic bird seed sacks. It proudly announced that there were seeds for his wild companions on sale. I circled the display. Nonchalantly, I meandered around it in ever narrowing circles, watching for employees that might be eyeballing me. One more pass-by and I lowered the boom. Actually, I lifted a bag of seed and then lowered the boom. In one swift movement, I dropped a plastic bag of seed on top of it, smothering it between the layers of seed. The loud, offending opera went from a Chirp, Chirp, Chirp, to a chirp, chirp, chirp that could barely be heard a yard away.

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