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Tuesday, 23 August
Dr. Guano

On Saturday, the wife said to me: "I want to take you out to dinner!" Well, okay. She wanted to go to the Coastal Kitchen, a nice enough place with a rotating regional menu. Groovy!

Around 6:30 we walked out the door. "It's kind of like we're having a date!" she said. I grunted agreeably, because I'M ALL MAN or whatever. I grabbed her hand, and we walked happily in the beautiful evening.

A couple blocks later, a bird shit all over me.

Blap! Blop! Blup! I felt something fall onto my back, and I stopped in my tracks. "Did a fucking bird shit all over me?" I yelled, drawing yet again on my inexhaustible reservoir of Duh. I presented my befouled back to the wife as if in accusation. "Oh baby!" she cried, confirming the obvious. In no time at all, she started to scrape the crap from my shirt with, I think, a magazine subscription card.

I of course handled the whole thing really poorly. As she scraped away, I snarled, "Well, I'm not wearing this fucking thing the whole night," and stomped off back home to go change my t-shirt. The wife trailed behind me, silently, because for one, I'm an asshole with a temper, and two, what can you possibly say to someone who has just been shat upon by another member of the animal kingdom?

"It was just a bird. Rise above the avian hijinx, mammal!"

"I think that G.G. Allin liked to cover himself in birdshit. I think it looks cool."

"You know, proponents of the Many Worlds theory of physics would tell you that there are an infinite number of universes where a bird didn't crap on you." (There are also an infinite number of universes where I don't recycle this joke, but sadly for you, reader, this isn't one of them.)

Yeah, no. Anyway, after a bit of a scrub and a change of shirt, we re-embarked on our date night, and after a minor trek, arrived at the Coastal Kitchen, where we discovered that the newest menu featured Puerto Rican cuisine.

I didn't feel up to Pulled Eel and the wife wasn't too down with Braised Trake, so we ordered some safer stuff, and at the same time ordered some drinks. There was another table right next to us as well, with a couple of oldsters: in fact, I had full view of them in the opposing seat, while the wife had her back to them. They had me a little concerned.

Specifically, the guy, who was facing me. He did not look good, and seemed to be hanging onto the table as if it were Mother Russia. He had an alarming pallor, making him look like he were constructed from fungal rice paper, and he was sweating. A lot. Presently, he began drooling as he clung to the tabletop, and I am ashamed to say that I felt kind of disgusted--Gosh, I wish people wouldn't drool!--nice. And then he pitched over in his seat with a terrible clatter.

See, he was having a stroke.

KA-BLONK! He went down like a sack of sand. "Did that guy just fucking keel over?" I senselessly asked the wife. I pulled out my cell phone, but the geezer's dinner companion seemed not at all concerned, and waved us off. "I think he's tired," she explained. Tired? This looked a lot like a fucking stroke to me. My thumb twitched itchily over the cell keys. But by now the waitstaff were grouping. The guy's dinner companion vaguely explained, "Well, he just got released by the hospital this morning." And she launched into an incomprehensible account of their failure to obtain the guy's medication. "Why was he in the hospital?" we cried.

"He had a stroke." Jesus God.

Eventually the paramedics were called, but not by me: Being me, I actually listened to the crazy fucking bat with her "Aw, he's just tired" routine--she was stacking her leftovers into styrofoam containers while the guy was struggling to sit up--she periodically turned to us, at the next table, and made some "What can you do?" shrugs.

They hauled him out on a gurney, right about when our entrees showed up. We poked at our food gloomily. I stared hopelessly at my martini, which had just arrived sans olive, thanks to all the what-the-hell. I did not make an issue of it.

Is it awful of me to say that I kept wondering if they should have offered us a different table? It might be. I kept staring at what my brain insisted on calling the "Death Booth." Not that he died. When he got wheeled away, he looked all right, except for the fact that he seemed to be made of burlap.

I also accused--jokingly--the waitress of foul play. "I've got my eye on this guy," I said, referring to Mr. Stroke. "I'll know it if you slip this guy a mickey like you did the last guy." I got a skeletal laugh, more than I deserved.

I'm surprised that birds don't shit on me every damned day.


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Comments

Someone (stupid) once told me that when a bird shits on you, it's good luck. So maybe, you just barely escaped a stroke because of your stroke of good luck. I'm sorry. That was terrible. I'll stop now.

Comment number: 005524   Posted by: jessica on August 23, 2005 03:07 AM from IP: 139.60.210.5

Oh, that's just so horrible. Yikes. That would cast a pall over dinner for me too, kind of hard to shake that one off. And the guy's dinner companion, what a twat.

Comment number: 005525   Posted by: Wanda on August 23, 2005 07:31 AM from IP: 63.225.103.155

Birds may shit on you, but efts love you. Even ex-efts. (Does that make me a newt?)

That was funny and sad and sweet. You have a real genius for that particular combination.

Comment number: 005526   Posted by: sennoma on August 23, 2005 07:52 AM from IP: 64.213.211.27

~get bent, Senn dogg.~

Comment number: 005527   Posted by: norm on August 23, 2005 10:22 AM from IP: 64.65.174.18

(A little kitty told me to say:)

~Sod off, herring-breath.~

Comment number: 005528   Posted by: sennoma on August 23, 2005 10:42 AM from IP: 64.213.211.27

well, I know where I'm eating this weekend.

Comment number: 005529   Posted by: beige on August 23, 2005 05:02 PM from IP: 128.95.169.36

Crazy. Just last week my brother went car shopping at the saturn dealership in Bellevue and the salesman was filling out their paperwork when he all of a sudden started drooling, shaking and then passed out at the desk...seems he had a "diabetic episode." They just got freaked out and ran away, they called the dealership from the road because they thought the guy was just cracked out.

Comment number: 005530   Posted by: melanie on August 23, 2005 06:59 PM from IP: 216.231.44.190

Maybe the guy was just pinin' for the Fjords.

Comment number: 005541   Posted by: Jim - PRS on August 26, 2005 07:44 PM from IP: 68.45.43.205

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