Today’s bird story is about seagulls and perspective.
Many, Many, Many years ago whilst pursuing my bachelors degree at Oswego State, I did what many pale-skinned white women do… I lay outside with my equally pale friends and tried to get a tan.
I often wondered about the absurdity of attempting to change my appearance — especially my skin color in light of the pervasive issues of racism in our country and apparently most of the world. This was especially brought home recently when I watched a taping of an Oprah Lifeclass about colorism. Colorism being the intraracial prejudice against your own race based on color variations. Within the group of people questioned apparently those of lighter skin thought those of darker skin were blessed and visa versa — with those of the color of a paper bag belonging to no group.
The thing that struck me as I watched this show was that the culture persists not just after the passage of decades of my life wondering about color variations but centuries since slavery ended in this country.
After spring break, I used to take a deep breath before I would leave my dorm because from past experience I knew strangers that had returned from the southern climes were going to walk up to me and place their forearms next to mine to feel better about their great tan and always follow with “obviously you didn’t go on break.”
I know I haven’t spoken of a bird yet but it is coming.
That same day that I lay out in my bikini with my friends, the green vans driven by the men that worked on campus in various maintenance jobs slowed down to “admire the view.”
I need to backtrack at this point and explain that my dad drove one of the green vans and worked on campus in air conditioning/refrigeration maintenance. Before I attended college, I often kidded him that his frequent headaches were from staring at all the pretty coeds.
When I kiddingly told my dad about the green vans, he demanded to know who the guys were — what was the van number ….
I looked at him first stunned and then amused. I asked him why it was okay that he glanced at all the pretty coeds but it wasn’t okay for his buddies to look at me and my friends. I got the typical father answer, “It’s not the same at all. They’re not MY DAUGHTER.”
These two stories that originated on my seagull day — made me think of perspective.
In this case, the perspective of humor.
Do we ever find something funny as humans in which no one or no critter was not put in a one down position so that we feel as if we are in a one up position? In other words, for a moment, they are not our equal.
I like to laugh — a lot — but I have always wrestled with the “rules” of humor — especially if I’m the one being laughed at.
Here comes the bird.
As I lay there on my towel — I studied.
As I studied the excretory system of birds — a seagull flew over and excreted its gelatinous white-poop all over the page of my ornithology textbook.
My friends thought this was an absolute hoot. Although, I admit I could see the humor in the situation, it is what happened next that to this day still makes me laugh.
As my friend was laughing — one of those raucous — can’t-breathe laughs at me — the exquisite timing of the Universe happened.
A seagull flew over and…
excreted its gelatinous white-poop…
right into her…
Now that was funny!
Or was it?
I guess the world is just a matter of perspective.
What do you think? Funny or not?
😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀