Saturday, May 16, 2009

Peacock Attacks Saturn

"Man, one of your students really hates you," my neighbor said.

She and I were both standing in our building's parking lot staring at the damage to the side of my car. I shrugged.

"I don't know who could have done this."

The whole side of my black Saturn was keyed and scratched. Whoever did this was incredibly angry. I tried to think back. Had I really pissed anyone off lately? I couldn't recall any parking lot altercations. I had a student write some pretty nasty stuff about me on the Internet, but I don't think she would know my car to key it this way. I certainly hadn't angered any of my neighbors. I spent the rest of the day wondering why someone would vandalize my car and wondering how much it was going to cost to fix.

The next morning I caught the culprit right in the act. It was one of our friendly, neighborhood peacocks. The big boy peacock to be exact and it was the height of mating season. First I didn't realize what he was doing. I thought he was admiring his reflection. He is gorgeous after all with his long iridescent tail and slender lapis neck arching up towards his crowned head. I've never stopped thrilling at the sight of these beautiful birds, even after living with their middle of the night shrieks for the past five years. How lovely, I thought and took out my phone to take a picture.

But then things took a terrible turn. The peacock wasn't vainly admiring his own beauty at all. He was pissed. He thought his reflection was a rival and flew into my car door pecking and kicking at his own image.

"Get out of here!" I yelled.

This didn't work so I decided to cuss the bird out to get it to leave. That usually works with people, but it didn't work with the peacock. I opened my umbrella in its face and shooed it away with it so I could get in the car. I had somewhere to be and wasn't about to waste my precious time fighting with a fancy looking turkey.

The peacock scuttled away long enough for me to get in the car, but before I turned the ignition I heard:


The peacock was back.


He was pecking his reflection in the driver's side door again.

I beeped the horn.


I beeped it some more and for longer.


Then the peacock flew at the car door again.

I turned the car on and started backing out. This actually made things worse because the stupid peacock mistook the movement of the car for the movement of his imaginary foe and amped up his attack.

I rolled the window down and yelled. He thought it was other peacock yelling. I then realized that I was trapped in a car under siege by a giant, numb skulled, bright blue exotic bird. This is my life, readers. Only I would get attacked by a peacock.

I was going to be late to an important appointment. I could just see everyone rolling their eyes when I explained that I was late because I had been attacked by a vicious peacock.

"I bet he ate your paperwork too," they'd say sarcastically.

I was desperate. I had to get away from this monster so I began wildly opening and closing the driver's side door, batting the bird away and screaming all the while for effect. Some people passed by, walking their dogs and doubled over with laughter. I thought they were going to wet their pants right there on the street. With every flap of the door I backed up a few inches. This whole thing took a lot of coordination on my part and I am not a coordinated person. Imagine me trying to drive backwards, yell and open and close a car door, all the while trying not to kill a peacock, but just to shoo him away. I wish someone had filmed it. I could have won the $25,000 on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Finally, I managed to sufficiently get the peacock out of the way so that I could peel off down the street and away to safety. As I rounded the corner out of our neighborhood I saw in the rearview mirror that the peacock had gone on to better things. He was now attacking our other car.


DiaryofWhy said...

Clearly, you need a dirtier car. :)

Jeannie said...

You are so wrong - this sort of thing would happen to me too. It hasn't (yet) but now that's it's out there...

Erica said...

Words cannot describe how much I LOATHE those birds...I used to ride at a barn that leased out trail horses and they kept peacocks at the barn to desensitize them. Except for the horses I was working with were all crazy polo ponies who did NOT appreciate being ambushed in the middle of the indoor arena by the birds who were roosting in the rafters. Stupid birds nearly caused me to break my neck on several occasions.

Erin said...

Well the good news is it SHOULD be covered under your insurance. Your comprehensive coverage covers damage done by animals. You would just have to pay your deductible if you have one.

Last Minute Lyn said...

I used to drive a van. Not a mini van a big ole cargo van. Brown and ugly and only had two seats so Sean usually ended up rolling around the back.
When I worked a peacock would sit on that ugly van all day.

Truly a beauty and the beast moment

Robin in Ohio said...

Well, maybe you could have the peacock go after Cousin Boaz if he returns?? :-)

Kindergarten girl said...

...hands down funiest narrative I've read in a long time... Wish you did have it on film... It would get a zillion utube hits.
=-) kindergarten girl

MtnMama said...

This part of the world has big stupid turkeys that roam around the complexes where I work and often block access to doors. I HATE aggressive stupid birds. There are also peacocks around here, and yes, they have beautiful plumage, but no. I can't stand them either.

Michelle said...

Not a peacock, but I've been attacked by a black swan, and let me tell you, those things are strong. Like you, there were plenty of bystanders pointing and laughing while I wondered how I would explain this to the triage nurse in the emergency room.

Albany Jane said...

Oh no! Ok, I'll admit, I'm giggling because it didn't happen to me, but lordy I would love to have seen something like that!

Jenn said...

This is one of those things that is only funny because it didn't happen to me... but I can't stop laughing. I'm in my office at work, giggling like an idiot.

SoozieQ said...

I used to work at an animal hospital with a peacock named "Birdbrain"

He was evil. He was always trying to attack people in the parking lot. I used to run around with an open umbrella and a dog leash like some sort of crazy lion tamer trying to scare him away from people.

One day I left work and found him standing by the driver's side door of my car. I knew he was preparing to attack, so I grabbed the hose next to me and bega to spray him.

It wasn't until after I started yelling "EAT IT YOU FILTHLY BIRD!" that I saw there were clients in the parking lot with me.

I cannot begin to guess what they must've thought about me.

Anonymous said...

Great story...Peacocks are scary birds. I was in a park in FL where they had them roaming around and one was sitting on a set of picnic tables by the walking path and tried to attack me b/c I was in its territory. Like swans, they are beautiful but not to be messed with.

Candid Carrie said...


onemeanmfa said...

Flannery O'Conner wrote a great essay about growing up with peacocks. I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head, but it's in the same book that has her lectures published in it. I think it's in Mystery and Manners. You would totally appreciate it.

onemeanmfa said...

Flannery O'Conner wrote a great essay about growing up with peacocks. I can't remember the name of the essay off the top of my head but it's in her book with her lectures. I think it's in Mystery and Manners. You would totally appreciate this essay.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my God! I haven't read this blog for a while...glad I checked it...trying to smother my giggling while everyone sleeps...BAHAHAHAHA!

Jessica said...

I actually saw a very similar thing happen with a swan when I was an undergrad at Iowa State. The swan was really going to town on that poor car too.

Kirby said...

$25,000? hell no that would have been the grand prize $100,000 winner! LOL

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