Pin It I was headed to Tennessee, enjoying the plush leather solitude of my rented Buick Enclave with its uber-quiet interior, enhanced as it was by the plug-in for my IPod and minus the sounds of any bickering offspring (bless their hearts). Suddenly an errant thought hit me, and I picked up my cell phone to call my husband.
"Has the mama bird come home yet?" I asked him.
I could understand his confusion--after all, that's how I had initiated the conversation--exactly as the thought had struck my mind. No social "hey, how are yous, what are you doing, blah blah blahs." Just right to the point. I repeated myself, not seeing the value in lengthy explanations. He'd get it eventually. "Has the mama bird come back to her nest?"
"What are you talking about?" Or maybe he wouldn't.
"The. Mama. Bird. The nest on our porch. You know. Whenever we've walked outside today, the baby birds have hollered something fierce because they're hungry. I haven't seen Mama Bird all day long. I was just wondering if she had come back."
"How would I know?" I expelled a breath of exasperation.
"You're supposed to know these things! You're, like, the king of all things Nature, husband."
"Well, no, I don't know if the mama bird is there or not."
I waited politely, as in: could you go check out the situation, please, but he sort of missed his nonverbal cue because there was just a long pause on the line. And then, impatiently, "Are we done?"
"Well, no! I thought if she wasn't there, you could take the whole planter thing out in the middle of that shady spot in the yard where I have the bird feeders and set it there and maybe some other birds would hear the baby birds hollering and would adopt them. Sort of. You know."
Long pause. "You're kidding, right?"
Okay. So I know it's a bit on the naive side. But stranger things have happened and I can't just let them DIE!!! (for hyperbole's sake). They're babies. It's pitiful. "Well...no. It could happen. I think I've seen something like it somewhere...in National Geographic or something...." I trailed off.
Duane laughed. At me, not with me. It's a cruel world when your better half laughs at you, people. "Uh, yeah. That's not happening. I'm already halfway to Richmond."
I sat in silence for a minute, pondering. Then Duane spoke again. "Is this seriously the crap you think about while you're driving down the road?" I stared at the traffic flashing by on the opposite side of the highway, at the pines that lined the road at intermittent intervals, at the license plate of the car in front of me that had been bugging me for the last three miles.
Seriously? "Well, yeah." Isn't this the kind of thing everyone thinks about?