It's happened again. This one occurred as I was walking down Robson Street in Vancouver. I was crapped on rather mightily, by a crow this time. Mercifully, crow shit is no worse than the gull or pigeon variety (I'd always imagined it would be utterly more foul, for some reason). And I was wearing, of all things, my rain coat. Oh frabjous day. Maybe now I can find a job!
6. Update: 2002.08.18
Well, six months and two days later, I've still had no luck with a job (or with much else, actually), but I have had another dose of bird shit. This time it was on the beach as I was about to approach a woman who I'd noticed had the same dragon tattoo I've got. I had just tucked away my camera to walk over to where she was lying with her husband, when I felt something hit my leg and crotch. I looked down, and there was a large dollop of rather dark birdshit about two centimetres to the right of my fly. Another, even larger smear graced my leg about ten centimetres above my ankle. It was the biggest shitting by a bird to date.
After struggling to get it cleaned up with sandy saltwater, I decided I was no longer presentable enough to go chatting to strangers on the beach (what an image that would have made, someone fully dressed with a stained wet patch in the crotch asking about women's tattoos—I passed on the idea). Definitely the worst bird-shitting to date. Hopefully of a lifetime. I don't know what luck befell me next.
7. Update: 2002.11.09
Toronto. This was another of the charming episodes where I didn't even notice the event. It was my friend Charlie that pointed out that I'd been crapped on just as we entered a cemetery to take some photos.
Three times in one year is too much, honestly.
8. Update: 2004.07.02
Halifax, Nova Scotia. I don't know how I got through 2003 without any bird crap landing on me, but my (un?)lucky streak seems to be over. It happened today as I was on my way to pick up a rental car. Some small bird got me right on the right wrist (say that ten times fast—heh; maybe it was a wren).
I am, by now, resigned to a lifetime of this.
9. Update: 2006.11.08
Thailand. This time, I even have a photo. We'd just finished eating at a small stand beneath a highway overpass, where office workers go for some cheap and quick grub. Sort of an outdoor, tropical mono-cultural food court. We'd eaten our nice light dishes, and had stepped back into the street. Wending our way through the human and vehicular traffic, a gust of pigeons washed over us. A slight sensation at my knee caused me to look down... at some fresh shit.
To the laughter of the locals, I retrieved a tissue or two from another food stall and poured some of my bottled water on it to rid my pants of the kind of stain with obvious crusties. Later in the evening I managed to get most of the rest of it out. Then I wore the pants for the next three days, almost continuously.
A fine way to start married life.
10. Update: 2007.11.08
A year later, in a different city in a different Asia country. It was an enormous load, easily among the top two (along with the unfortunate incident at the beach). Probably a cormorant, or possibly a crane. Something that ate lots of fish, in any event. It hit me right on the shoulder, like an egg cracking. Three centimetres to the left and it would have gone inside my cycling jacket and ruined the shirt I was wearing for the day at the office. Ten centimetres higher, and it would have splashed across my face.
11. Update: 2012.07.28
It's been quite a while, but it's happened again. A bird above me was doing that type of "stalling" where it looks like it's going to crap. I watched it warily, and didn't see it unload. But it did; it got my shoulder and someone pointed it out to me. Just a tiny dot, about one square centimeter or so. This is the first time in nearly five years!!
All in all, a lucky crapping indeed. And a nice bit of luck to welcome our little Emma. Waittaminute—did I really go through the first four-and-a-half years of my son's life without any bird crap? Maybe the kid's a good luck charm!
12. Update: 2013.04.18
Oh, bother. It's picking up speed again. This time I took it on the collar and shoulder, a smear of white shit that spattered pretty badly because I was at speed on my bike at the time.
13. Update: 2013.08.21
So is this daughter of mine some sort of talisman for bird crap? Or is there a numerical explanation—do I only get crapped on by birds when I have zero or an even number of kids? Anyway, it's happened again and to be honest it was a "dream" shitting. A fat circular splot on my right thigh just in from my knee as I sat on a beach having a picnic with some friends. It was a herring gull, a member of that species that blesses Toronto with its charming presence year round. It had just taken to the air two or three meters away and I believe it hit me because I wouldn't part with any food. But it was okay: even the secondary splatter was OK; just a dot on the opposite thigh. Given that the bird missed some open food containers and missed our little Emma's head by about twenty centimeters, I'll consider this a "perfect shit".
13a, a possibly bird-crapping, 2013.11.27
The weather's been suddenly colder, and today I was tromping around in my boots and parka after picking up my son when I noticed that the shoulder of my parka had a suspicious white area on it. It was the right size and color for bird shit. I can't think what else it might have been, because it wasn't warm enough for melt-water, but a) I never saw a bird and b) it must have virtually liquid because it was a thin stain indeed and without any real lumps or residue or darker grey splotches.
14. shot to the sleeve, and a bird's to blame, 2016.02.29
It's funny how there's such variability to these incidents. Nothing at all for 20082011, then a flurry of four in 20122013, and then silence for nearly three years. But today I arrived at work to find the familiar grey-and-yellow smear still cooling on my sleeve. I take it as a good sign: I'll need some luck for some things I have going on!
15. like a frangipane in my hair, kinda. 2017.10.09
This morning at breakfast I mentioned that I'd had a comment on this web page by someone who was hoping to hear back about a job interview, and had gotten the happy news shortly after being crapped on by a bird.
My mum responded that she thought she had been several times, feeling that something had landed in her hair. But it had never actually been bird crap. This afternoon, upon arriving back in Toronto from our visit with her, we were unpacking the car when I felt something strike my hair. Naturally, it was indeed my fifteenth bird blessing.
So that's my run of luck with birds.
Buddhists say things like Wise people know that everything they achieve or fail at in life are only consequences of their own actions and thoughts. But I disagree. I haven't done much with my days, but my luck remains pretty good. There are hazards in every life, but I find that in broad terms, I've managed to stumble into everything I need: health (mostly), shelter, food, education, employment (um, mostly), and now a woman who'll share her life with me and a son and daughter who are happy and healthy and great to know. That this is owing solely to my own actions seems a little far-fetched.
On the other hand, it's seductive to think that I was just such a great person in a past life that my just reward is the good life I'm currently living. Perhaps I could accept the fact that I'm just that deserving. But I think I'll instead make a quiet nod to the birds and keep one eye on the sky.