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Friday, October 9, 2009

Shitbird

Jeff and I were driving, Ruby is in the backseat.

Ruby-"Mommy you like Mommy birds, Daddy you like Daddy birds and I like Baby birds.I like them because they tickle my face with their wings."

"Is that so?" Jeff is laughing.

"No! Stop it birds! I don't like that!" she is getting really agitated.

"Ruby, there are no birds in the car."

"Birds! I told you already, stop it!"

Speaking of birds, my new favorite insult is "shitbird". It makes me laugh every time I think of it. I'm giggling right now as I write this. There is something so patronising about calling someone a "shitbird". It's what a mean old alcoholic father would call his son after he wrecked the car.I love it.

As we were leaving the festival this weekend two guys were walking arm in arm, their hands in the back pockets of each other's matching camouflage cargo pants. Normally I would be moved by such a sight, but as they were directly in the middle of the road and all I wanted with every fiber of my being was to leave the festival grounds and not return for at least a year, I hated them.

"See, Jeff?" I turned to him."That is why you can't wear your cammo shorts."
"I understand now." he says.

I don't honk at them, because I just can't bring myself to honk at pedestrians or bicyclists ( cars, no problem. People, no.) But when they FINALLY move slowly out of our way I lean over and yell-
"Out of the road, shitbirds!"

God, I thought. That is so insulting. I love it.

Earlier in the day, when we were packing up the last of our merchandise, I bought some body products with a bird on the packaging. A white crane, which seemed to imply a clean, fresh smell and feel.

We were throwing away 25 rain jackets I'd bought. I'd started with 75, bought at thrift stores and quickly resold as the temperature became wet and the air cold.

"Jesus Sunny, you're such a profiteer." Jeff didn't know what to make of my enterprises.

"What? It's not like I'm jacking up the price of gasoline or bottled water. This isn't Katrina."

"We are making the same amount of money selling all of those rain jackets with the sale of three dresses. Why are you fucking around with this?"

"I can't drink. I can't get high. I can't go out and have sex with strange men. What fun do i ever get to have? This is my gambling, Jeff!It's my thrill!"

"What is wrong with you? I am Never taking you to Vegas."

So I sold these rain jackets, and it was awesome. People lined up waving money at me. I was thrilled. I took a little risk and it paid off, much like betting at the casino or playing the stock market.

But then I had 25 mud splattered jackets left on Monday.

"I'm throwing these out." I said.

"let's go see if anyone wants them."

"Who is going to want 25 jackets, shitbird?"

"I'll go ask those guys." He pointed to a booth staffed with three gorgeous Africans in traditional garb.

I watched, as he offered his pile and they eagerly took it. He came back to us.
"They were so happy. They know a bunch of refugees who don't have any clothes."
"Kind of makes you feel like an asshole, doesn't it?"
"Yeah."


So I walked over there to say hi and buy some stuff, feeling kind of bad that I hadn't done so before.

I bought some Neem oil-I don't know what it's for but I like that word, and some shea butter, and some mosquito spray, all handmade in villages in Africa.
The man pointed to the spray.

"I'm an entomologist." he said."I tested this on a trip to India last year. It works.'

Cool. At 15 bucks a bottle it better work.
It's unfortunate that I was too tired to think about smelling my new products before I bought them.

The next day I poured some "neem oil" into my bath and was overpowered by the distinct aroma of gasoline. I looked at the glowing white crane on the bottle.
Just what the fuck is neem oil? What is a neem? Is it a plant? A nut? A root? An animal by product? Is it made from the white crane on the bottle? It occurs to me that I don't know, and now I am soaking in it.

When I get out, I reek like a gas station attendant, but my skin does feel pretty soft.

I open up the shea bottle, eyeing the crane suspiciously as it takes flight again on this new product.

It reads-
Diaper Cream
Calus
Family
It smells like rotten honey with the consistency of old butter.

Jesus, I spent 30 dollars on this crap.

In a desperate attempt to redeem my purchase I search out the insect repellent that was tested in India. I go outside and spray it at the cloud of black flies swarming over our shit covered display on the porch. They dissipate quickly("He wasn't kidding!) making me feel like less of an idiot, but it smells strongly like urine.
Damn.

Africa! We put synthetic fragrances into our products for a reason! Consider doing likewise!

The white crane on the bottle now looks like it's flying away from me, perhaps saying-
"Ha ha! You could have gone to Sephora!"

Shitbird.