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Thursday, May 19, 2005

I can see why Hitchcock didn't call it The Grackles

Somewhere, Alfred Hitchcock is quietly chortling to himself.

Apparently, passerby at the Houston, Texas - County Administration Building are being attacked by birds. While that statement quite possibly generates fearful visions of massive flocks of avian raptors descending on pedestrians like grey clouds of locusts upon a wheat field, in this case, Houston has been disrupted by only a few industriously homicidal birds... in one tree. I say "homicidal" although, thankfully, they've not killed anyone yet. Of course a small group of birds really wouldn't be able to kill a person, unless they managed to frighten them into traffic or could do the Vulcan death grip with their tiny claw-like feet.

Since there's no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip, we're left with Houston rush-hour traffic. As that generally consists of endless gridlock, the birds would have to frighten someone into running full-speed, tripping on the curb, and falling under the wheels of a vehicle, just as it lurches 2 feet forward to make sure that Mercedes in the next lane doesn't cut into their path. I really don't think these birds are that calculated. The term "bird-brain" isn't an insult for nothing, you know.

The birds themselves are Grackles. I have no idea what a grackle looks like or how dangerous it could be. Apparently they are fairly large blackbirds with wingspans up to two feet. Quite frankly, I don't fancy myself being particularly frightened of a crow-esque feather-duster whose name vaguely resembles the sound that Rice Krispies make.

"They were just going crazy," said constable Wilbert Jue. "They were attacking everybody that walked by."

I have a novel solution, Wilbert. Shotgun blasts to the tree. The surviving birds will grackle their way to San Antonio after that. I always think that Hitchcock's film would have turned out much differently if Tippi Hedren and Suzanne Pleshette had simply whipped out submachine guns to deal with all those birds on the jungle gym.


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