The heat, or maybe the calendar, has brought grackles to the yard. My birdwatching is pretty casual, but I associate flocks of grackles with withering summer days. We’re going on a second week without rain, so with water in short supply, they’ve turned our birdbath into their private spa, strolling around the driveway nearby and scaring off anything smaller, except for a few cheeky robins, who are closer to their size.
And I do mean strolling. These birds don’t hop so much as walk. They are a motorcycle gang. They probably have tattoos under their feathers. Meanwhile, the goldfinches stay away, and even the wrens, my chatty little buddies, seem to have moved a few yards away.
The grackles alternate great splashy baths with foraging through the ground cover for their traditional diet of crap on the ground. Of course, that’s not all they eat, and I feel fortunate to have seen the display described in that link, more fortunate still to have read LAMary’s offhand comment on it:
Grackles never look sweet in illustrations. Ever. I know a very nice person named Robin. If someone was named Grackle, they would likely have a job gassing puppies at the pound.
Grackle’s second in command at the pound would be Heckuva J. Brownie, an idiot manchild. That’s one of my new favorite phrases, having turned up in a recent rewatching of “Barton Fink.” Audrey lays out the secrets of screenwriting for Barton, in this case a B picture featuring wrestlers:
Well, usually, they’re . . . simply morality tales. There’s a good wrestler, and a bad wrestler whom he confronts at the end. In between, the good wrestler has a love interest or a child he has to protect. Bill would usually make the good wrestler a backwoods type, or a convict. And sometimes, instead of a waif, he’d have the wrestler protecting an idiot manchild. The studio always hated that. Oh, some of the scripts were so . . . spirited!
Boy, you can tell I slept badly last night, can’t you? I’ve kicked the thermostat up a degree, so the central air doesn’t have to work quite so hard. It still works very hard, but I woke up before 7 a.m. with no chance of further slumber. Ah, middle age.
Or, given that I spend the hours before bedtime chasing down news, it might be that I was simply disturbed by current events. Like this story. Man hands on misery to man, it deepens like a coastal shelf:
FARIDPUR, Bangladesh — Whenever Bangladeshi brothel owner Rokeya, 50, signs up a new sex worker she gives them a course of steroid drugs often used to fatten cattle.
For older sex workers, tablets work well, said Rokeya, but for younger girls of 12 to 14 — who are normally sold to the brothel by their families — injections are more effective.
“It’s the quickest way to make a girl plump and hide her actual age if she is just a teenager,” Rokeya said, adding that the drug, called Oradexon, is cheap and widely available.
There’s something a little smelly about the story, however, which speaks of users becoming addicted. You can’t get addicted to steroids, can you? They can screw up your body and mind something fierce, but addiction? Meh.
So, as we seem to have already cut to the bloggage, here’s a little more:
Criminals, when disposing of your guns, do yourself a favor and throw your iPhone in there, too. I once found a woman’s DayRunner lying on the sidewalk while walking the dog. I took it home and used all my powers to find its owner, via the advanced investigation technique of looking her up in the phone book. Disconnected. So I started combing through it for an address, and learned so much about her, just from the notes to herself, that it sort of scared me. She had an elderly parent. She was looking for work. The phone disconnection was maybe connected to a sticky note near the back, with the title of a bankruptcy self-help book. There was also a bill in there, with an address, and I dropped it in her mailbox the next day. I don’t think I wanted to look her in the eye.
If anyone ever found my phone, I’d be done for — calendar, contacts, games, text messages, e-mail, even my secret guilty music pleasures, all there for anyone to see. They should call them dumbphones.
How hot is it where you are? Eighty-six here, and it’s not even 11 yet.
But it’s past 10. Time to go, with apologies for aggravated lameness.