Birds, I Hate You: A Formal Complaint


Dear Birds,

I write to make an official complaint about you, in general, and in specific. I will treat my respective complaints in the most efficient order, first general complaints, then specific. I will do this, because your time, like mine, is very valuable and I do sincerely respect that.

First of all, my complaint in general: WHAT THE FUCK, Birds?

Now, I will move on to my specific complaints. I have an itemized list, which I will bring to bear and which I wish were literally a bear that would maul your screeching faces into oblivion.  Sorry to be blunt.  I just think it’s better to get this out in the open, like where someone is most liable to be attacked by a group of birds.

You must, at this point, have at least a working knowledge of the distress your actions are causing me.  You don’t fool me. Like babies, super models, and members of the House of Representatives, you are not nearly as blissfully ignorant as you would have us believe you to be. Don’t play dumb with me, birds!

Birds, just this week you have swooped down at my eye area several times.  Your constant swooping is maddening. I can’t even do something as simple as walk down the sidewalk, happily avoiding tumbleweeds of garbage and deliverymen on bicycles, without one of you hurtling your body in the direction of the two ONLY organs from which I derive vision.

Birds, you swoop so often that you—not the retired WNBA legend—are the entity most deserving of the name “Sheryl Swoopes.”  You are, collectively, the Michael Jordan of Sheryl Swoopeses.

We’ve now arrived at my chief complaint: the noise you create. What could you possibly be doing that requires you to be this loud outside my East Village apartment? Are you auditioning for a role in STOMP? If so, I hope you get it and I hope it’s for the part of the overturned buckets, so that smiling street urchins will wail on you.

It is extremely rude to carry on the way you have every morning—especially considering this is New York City, a precious, quaint metropolis. We are all neatly stacked one on top of the other, sprinkled with cronuts, like the layers of a fashionable, sweaty wedding cake.  Birds, your morning racket is interrupting more than just my life. You are like stones plunked into an unsuspecting pool of day-old, reeking hotdog water. Those ripples you create touch many, many lives. Millions of people live here, in this day-old reeking hot dog water, and they’re all trying to enjoy some peace and quiet during their drunken arguments, inappropriate Snapchatting, and boombox parties.

Don’t attempt to scapebird a small fringe element as some kind of disconnected loud rebel. This is not a fraction of you; it is all of you. The chorus of your bird voices is enough to fill a megachurch, nay, an ultrachurch. It’s like the jungle, or, more accurately, it’s like the juice of said jungle and I’m legally drunk on bird noise.

I’ve tried earplugs, covering my head with a pillow, and even sleeping pills—but you refused to eat them. I’ve become the man in the Hitachi Maxell commercials, but with no sunglasses and a shittier armchair. There is no stopping your malevolent orchestra from blowing my hair straight back like a stylist in a Staten Island salon.  Your sounds seem designed for mental penetration. Stop penetrating me, birds.

It is disconcerting just how many different types of formerly beloved members of your species you have turned against me. You are stealing my sleep, and some of my favorite childhood memories. I no longer enjoy cartoons, Disney movies, or most items sold at Brooklyn flea markets. Also, some of you assholes are nocturnal. Hearing an owl during the day makes me so furious I want to rip off his graduation cap and stomp it into the ground.

They say, “don’t hate the player hate the game?” Well, I plan on hating the game, the player, the referee, the scoreboard, the express written consent of Major League Baseball, and most of all you, birds. It’s unforgivable: the swooping, the noise, the general incurious nature—when was the last time any of you even watched the news? This is a letter of complaint, not an olive branch for you to land upon and surely poop. Do not attempt to tell me, “I’m sorry.”

Your apologies, like your bones, are hollow.


Laura Jayne Martin

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image – Phalinn Ooi