A Bird Pooped On My Head

posted in: D.C., Day In The Life, Story 1
Women in bird costumes at Mardi Gras, 2008. Photo: Wikipedia
Women in bird costumes at Mardi Gras, 2008. Photo: Wikipedia

A bird pooped on my head yesterday.

Hang on.

A bird, high in a tree over the Klingle Bridge, pooped. I was crossing the Klingle Bridge and happened to be directly — and I do mean directly — under this pooping bird, so I got poop on my head. “A bird pooped on my head” makes it sound like the bird pooped on me on purpose and I don’t think birds choose where they poop.

Or do they.

I was walking back home from a quick trip to the grocery store. Time: nine o’clock. Weather: pleasant. General mood: excellent. On the way to the store, for some reason I recalled the night I found a $100 dollar bill on Clark Street. It was the night before my 31st birthday. I was riding my bike and there it was, right in the bike lane in Wrigleyville. This is relevant because it shows that last night I was already thinking about odds.

I’m just at the start of the bridge when: ploop!

I gasped. No. No, no, no. That was not a bird, I thought to myself. I did not just get pooped on by a bird, I thought. No. Oh dear Lord … It was an acorn. An acorn?? No, it was water. I don’t know why it would be water and be … heavy, but it was not bird poop. This is what I thought to myself, what I tried to think.

Slowly, I raised my hand to my head. Wet. I brought my fingers down, looked, and yes, ’twas poop. Have you ever recoiled from your own head? It’s pretty weird.

I was about two blocks from home and there were a lot of people out walking; I immediately quickened my pace to escape their eyes. I was sure — sure — someone would see that my number was up, that I had been pooped on. The shame! Though even in my pain and disgust, I found it amusing that I was literally holding my head up high. When in disgrace, it’s good to keep your chin up, your head high, right? Yes, but last night I held my head high so that maybe no one would see that poop on it.

“It’s a good thing you’re so tall, Mary,” my friend Marlene said on the phone today. “Unless someone was way taller than you, there’s no way anyone saw it.”

The odds that someone taller than me would have passed me on the bridge last night are pretty good. Better than finding $100 bucks, better than getting pooped on by a bird. But no tall man came. This is why we roll the dice.