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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Old Blue and Political Ornithology

Posted on September 11, 2014

By Al Benson Jr.

Having not seen Old Blue for sometime I was a bit surprised when he flew by the bayou the other day and flapped his right wing, indicating he wanted to stop and visit a spell. Since I am independently wealthy (not hardly) I do spend some time out at the bayou enjoying God’s creation. Heaven knows there’s not much to enjoy on the television “news” anymore.

As Old Blue glided in, he informed me he had taken up the hobby of political ornithology–the art of watching the various birds that infest the political realm. Now I’ve enjoyed watching birds over the years in various parts of the country, but the political variety tends to be of the sort that gives me indigestion. Though I’ve watched them over the years, I take no pleasure in it. They remind me of the cowbirds we have here in Louisiana. These birds are too lazy to build nests and so they deposit their eggs in the nests of other birds. The cowbird eggs hatch somewhat faster than the other eggs and soon the baby cowbirds push the other eggs out of the nest and commandeer it for themselves and the other birds end up feeding the baby cowbirds. Although they are parasites, they, in no way, are able to compare with the parasites that are omnipresent in the political bird world.

Political birds, as a species, have several characteristics. They are, like the cowbirds, parasites–gathering where they have not sown and feeding where they have not hunted. For them, every lunch is a free lunch. Then, too, their left wings are significantly overdeveloped, resulting in their always flying in a leftward direction no matter what. Even when they need to fly straight ahead or to the right, the always veer to the left. It almost seems they would rather fly into a building that is on their left than to fly into the unrestricted airspace that may be on their right.

These birds mostly nest in urban areas. There are flocks of them in the Washington D.C. area, where they nest in droves and mess up everything they come into contact with, inside or out. And flocks of them have been sighted in Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Wherever there are bones to be picked clean, swarms of them descend from the clouds like the locusts in Egypt.

In his ornithological observations, Old Blue has pointed out several subspecies in this gaggle that are of interest. While in Washington recently he saw a Tweaking Obommabird (Tweakus Obommanatus). This is a bird that has never sought its own food but has always survived on those scraps thrown at it from the people that inhabit those buildings over on the left that the political birds are always flying into. The Obommabird has learned to avoid crashing into those buildings on the left only so it can continue to fly further to the left. Were this bird a human he would, no doubt, be trying to suck people’s IRA accounts dry so he could redistribute your wealth to his friends.

Believe it or not, this bird is related to the infamous Blue Bush Wren, which nested in Washington before it. Old Blue didn’t know if the two subspecies couldn’t get along with each other or what, but most of the Blue Bush Wrens (Bushicus Neoconnicus) have presently moved their nests to other areas. The cry of the Blue Bush Wren sounds a bit like a human being shouting “Miss me yet? Miss me yet?”

There was one other subspecies Old Blue took note of in Washington. It was the Pelozzian Left-Winged Dingbat, (Pelozzicus Dingbatticus) so named because many in the ornithological world have not really been able to make up their minds whether this one is a bat or a bird. It seems to fly around some of the buildings Congress meets in at the midnight hour, which seems to be its favourite time. When Congress is about to enact some of its most pernicious late-night legislation (the stuff we are not supposed to know about) this bird sits on the rafters of the Congressional Building and screeches at the top of its lungs, a call that sounds oddly like “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Were this bird human it would undoubtedly be a charter member of the Democratic Socialists of America.

Old Blue mentioned several other subspecies in this avian grouping, but by the time he had gotten through he was turning green, a bad colour for a Blue Heron, and I had heard almost enough to make me want to swear off bird watching for the foreseeable future. It would be nice if, come this November, all these parasitic birds would fly south (way south, like Argentina) and stay there permanently.

They claim many of these birds are allergic to tea, so what I might suggest is that cities like Washington sponsor giant tea parties and in the process, clean out the nesting places for this fowl species.

This article was originally published on the old website but I felt that, with November just around the corner and us about to re-enter the mid-term political charade once again, it was appropriate. These birds or their close relatives still infest the body politic and I don’t expect we will have relief from them anytime soon.