The Insult

I’m not in the mood to write, plus I’ve written and erased ten beginnings anyway. So here it is. My parents, Ken and I were at this restaurant on the Gulf Coast of Florida this last Friday afternoon. There were two small tables at this small restaurant in this large complex where tourists hang out. It was dockside and birds were everywhere. The group of people next to us was older, conservative, and had a tense vibe. They ordered their onion rings and beer and attempted to enjoy the beginning of a strange courtship with the questionable sustenance being delivered from the open kitchen inside. It was sunny out, cool, music from an adjacent bar was spilling into the breeze and the klip klop of steps on the tattered boardwalk had become rhythmic between each other’s words. Their guard was down, or maybe it was up, and that’s why it happened. She, the sourpuss lady, reached down to take up the first onion ring from the oily basket when an experienced and savvy pigeon elite, dive-bombed the table and claimed it for himself, winging her in the forehead before his grand exit. Damned bird deserved a standing ovation for his performance, really. Her response? “Asshole!” Yes, of all the things she could have said, all the things most humans would have blurted out without thinking, her response was to call the bird an asshole. The thing I just couldn’t get over, I mean, I really just couldn’t find any logic, and the hysterics that well up in me each and every time I think about this thing I witnessed, is how the sourpuss lady took it personally. I mean, who the hell calls a bird an asshole?

1 Comment »

  1. A weekend I will never forget. Our ‘alone’ time with you and Ken, looking out onto the Gulf of Mexico from the lovely condo you rented, the drives, the meals out, the good conversation and yes the laughs that the ‘sourpuss lady,’ the famous ‘onion ring’ and the ‘savvy pigeon’ afforded us for weeks after, you going into hysterical laughing every time we reminded ourselves of it. Amazing how something so simple could make such a lasting impression. Thank you again for that very special time with you both!

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