I had the house to myself the other night. Since houses are big scary places to be when you’re by yourself, I decided the best thing to do would be to take a walk around the neighborhood. Then, when the time was right, I could return home and find my fiancée back from her night class. In the meantime, I’d be out in the world, visible, safe amongst my fellow man.
Boy was I wrong.
I’d made it maybe five minutes away from my house when it happened. There I was, walking along, minding my own business, finishing up a podcast on dinosaurs when all of a sudden I heard what sounded like honking. That’s odd, I thought to myself. After all, I was on the sidewalk, well out of the way of any traffic. Perhaps it was a bike horn or something. I pulled one earphone from my ear and looked around in an attempt to locate the source of the noise.
And then I saw them. In the backyard of the house immediately to the right of me: two monstrous swans. They were each about the size of one of those toy, battery-powered Jeeps kids used to cruise around the neighborhood back in my youth. Each one probably weighed as much as three morbidly obese cats. Maybe more. Probably more.
Worst of all: one of them was making a beeline directly to me.
Its neck was stretched out perfectly straight in front of it like a lance. It was honking viciously and moving fast. Not like cheetah fast but fast for a large ungainly bird.
Best I can figure, even though they were in the middle of the yard, nowhere near me, the one had felt threatened by my presence. Likely, the ample masculinity I exude had unsettled it. Instead of cowering in fear, it had decided to charge me, setting the stage for a man vs. beast battle for that lonely stretch of sidewalk.
The way I saw it, I had two options. Option A: Run away screaming, crying and wetting myself. Option B: Wheel back and kick that son of a bitch directly in the head. Kick it like a man had never kicked a majestic water fowl before. I didn’t really want to do it, but the swan totally started it.
There was also an Option C. That involved doing nothing and seeing what happened.