A Gift of Dead Birds

When I was growing up, there was a basic understanding that if a cat killed a bird there was a good chance it would be dropped by the front door as a token of affection. Oddly enough, the supposedly more friendly Old English Sheepdog (named Sherlock Fuzzy Bones) would keep dead birds for himself.

But I digress.

As I ventured forth into the world and met more people, I soon learned that this was not an isolated phenomenon. It was so universal that I eventually used this term to refer to a practice that arose in the randy 90s. After a long period of friendly online conversation (weeks? months?) relatively nice boys would invariably end up sending female acquaintances pictures of their genitals, not as a prank but because they genuinely believed the gesture would be well-received.

It should be noted that in most of these cases the contents of said attachments were clearly labeled, and at that time attached photos were not displayed in-line with the message. Imagine, therefore, the dead bird is in a gift-wrapped package with a card that reads, “Dead Bird Inside.”

Now, let me say at the onset that there may be women reading this that are genuinely happy to receive a photo of their friends’ naughty bits, to which I say, “May the good Lord bless you madam.” The majority of these tales, however, usually followed the pattern of “thank you, but…what am I supposed to do with this?” One friend of mine said that she kept them in file on her hard drive in case one of the senders became famous. In almost no case did the relationship end. It was very similar to a beloved pet dropping something dead, cold, and squishy on your doorstep.

For all I know this practice is still occurring, and I’ve simply moved out of the demographic.

I was reminded of this because I’ve begun mailing copies of Love in a Time of Zombies to strangers. That’s not to say that everyone I’ve mailed the book to in the past has been a friend of mine, but they’re at least people with whom I am somewhat familiar enough to think that they’d like the book if they decided to read it.

Now, I’m still making guesses, but I’m not as sure.

So, if you have found yourself here because I sent you a book you don’t want and you don’t know who I am, thanks for caring enough to be curious. If you don’t want to read it, please send it to someone who might. It makes a great gift, especially if you don’t have to buy it first.

Also, please delete me from your hard drive. I was young, and will most likely never be famous.


About paulgude

Paul Gude writes small books, makes stupid music, draws silly pictures, and does weird things on stage.
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