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Ornithophobia

I hate birds. I think they are disgusting and creepy and gross.

In Las Vegas, there are pigeons everywhere, and I can never look at one without thinking that they are rats with wings. Their little red eyes and that horrible way they waddle around make me so squeamish that I try to avoid even looking at them. They are revolting in every way.

Here, in Texas, where there are dead animals everywhere (Roadkill Capitol, I swear), I have learned not to look at the ground when I drive. Unfortunately, when I ride my bike to and from work, it’s harder not to see the dead birds littering the pavement. There was one huge dead black crow at an intersection I ride through every day and it lay there for weeks, while I studiously stared at the other side of the road. It’s finally gone now, thank goodness.

All of this is to say that birds are one of my biggest phobias. In London, we went to a science museum and there was a big display case about phobias, including a phobia of birds and, well, I couldn’t even look at the stuffed bird on display. Too gross.

At about four a.m. yesterday morning, I woke myself up screaming (and, of course, I woke up Bart too). I’d had this horrible dream that there was a dead mangled bird in my bed and I’d touched it with my foot. I still sort of feel like screaming when I think about it.

I am really glad that didn’t happen when I was in Vegas, though, because I think my parents would have thought I’d gone completely off the deep end.

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18 Comments

  • Reply Douglas Carl July 25, 2008 at 1:21 pm

    Are you OK eating birds? Turkey, chicken, quail, etc.? If so, kind of ironic.

  • Reply TheMoncurs July 25, 2008 at 1:36 pm

    Your dream made me laugh out loud. I was expecting it to bite you or something, but no. You touched it.

    I had a friend in high school who was deathly afraid of birds. Her family went on a big trip to England and they went to the Tower of London. Now, I don’t know if you ever went there, but I did, and it was chock full of these MASSIVE black birds. I don’t really feel one way or the other about birds, but I was still sort of afraid of these things. Like, one of them could have easily carried Wes away. So she locked herself in the bathroom and refused to come out until her fam was ready to go.

    It’s the logical thing to do.

  • Reply Erin July 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Yuck. Yuck yuck yuck.

    But even if you have ornithophobia, you must admit that this clip from the Planet Earth series is one of the most amazing things ever.

    Or maybe it’s just the music.

  • Reply jodifur July 25, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    We were in atlantic city once and this woman had a funnel cake and these birds attacked it. I started screaming, Doug was luck what? I said, “what you never say the birds? Birds are creepy man.”

  • Reply Jess July 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    You should avoid Paris, then. And really most European cities. Pigeons EVERYWHERE.

  • Reply Elizabeth July 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Um, is Bart ok? That would have scared the daylights out of me, if Mr. E woke me up screaming!
    I have a raging fish phobia so I sympathize. Thank goodness I don’t normally dream about them. Now watch, I probably will tonight.

  • Reply chloe elizabeth July 25, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    I’m so glad to know there’s someone else who thinks that pigeons are flying rats! Seriously nasty!

  • Reply Science Teacher Mommy July 25, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Uh. . . what kind of person HATES birds? Oh, you.

    I’ll have to post sometime about Australian magpies. Now that is a good story.

  • Reply Heather July 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    I’m with you on the geese, but other birds I seem to tolerate alright. Do not care for pigeons, except for when they’re featured in Mo Willems books.

  • Reply Packrat July 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    You and my daughter have always seemed to have so much in common, but this just changed that. She loves birds. Also, I always thought that seagulls were rats with wings – lol.

    I hate things that move really fast – mice, snakes, spiders. Our cat brought me a live mouse one night while I was asleep. So, now, that is my nightmare. Totally understand phobias!

  • Reply Gretchen July 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Pigeons are rats with wings and seagulls are hyenas with wings.

    I think Scott has the same problem. At least 3 nights a week he wakes up crying in the middle of the night and when we ask what his bad dream was about, he always cries “bird” and grabs at his lower back. I guess the birds must always attack him there in his dream. Poor kid…

  • Reply Rhiannon July 25, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    Birds are filthy, disgusting animals. That is all.

  • Reply Jen July 25, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    I also DESPISE birds. Seriously. I think they’re so dirty. I get it from my grandfather–he wouldn’t even eat poultry!

  • Reply Isabel July 25, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Is it just in Seattle or do pigeons in other cities all have messed up feet? I swear they are all handicapped up here. It’s like they were mangled in some huge pigeon civil war, or something.

  • Reply MizFit July 27, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    (laughing at DC’s comment…realizing Ive NOW forgotten what I was going to say.)

  • Reply Prudy July 28, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Nothing like a nightmare to make you glad there’s someone else in bed to tell it to when it’s all done. I’m enjoying my first visit to your blog. I read your about me page, and I’m pleased to know that there are other subtitle freaks out there.

  • Reply Megs July 31, 2008 at 10:47 am

    So when we were in Edinburgh last week we saw these birds fighting overhead, and I was definitely ducking and running for cover. The birds here are always so much closer and less scared of people. I might develop your phobia if I stay here much longer.

  • Reply Bryan August 4, 2008 at 4:32 am

    I agree, birds are dirty, and I always secretly speed up when I see a pigeon in front of my car. Love the blog though! I wish I was a cooker, but I tend to stay inside my comfort zone of pizza and sandwiches.

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