• Opinion   Thu, Jun 23rd, 2022   Barry S. Wolfe

Bacon Scrapins are the little bits of meat left in the greasy fry pan. They’re tasty, but the nutrition needs searching for. This tale is a bacon scrapin.
One of my pleasures is sitting in my zero-gravity recliner and pondering stuff. Important stuff, like the destination of a passenger jet overhead. The drift of ‘continents and their peoples’ as imagined in overhead clouds’ shapes. The drift and swoop of birds. I enjoy their graceful arcs as they come in to land, and then, with a perky twist of the head, they check for potential predators or a food source.
The pleasure I treasure, though, is sitting in my recliner, in pristine condition, washed only by the rain. I had never considered that I might be motivated to become a robin’s predator. But the past few weeks have had me planning combat strategies – me versus the robins.
It had come to pass that I was not the only one who enjoyed the view from my recliner. It was long white streaks that appeared on the back of my chair that first caught my attention. Looking out the back window, I spied a culprit. A robin was enjoying the scenery from the rear yard, as I like to, while perched on the top of the back of my chair. Not its chair, my chair. My throne of solitude!
And then it did it! A long white streak of goo appeared down my chair. Guano! Bird poop! And the robin didn’t even have the dignity to be embarrassed. It just rested there and continued to enjoy my view, relieved of all its worldly cares. The selfish vandal! It was using my throne as its throne - turning it ceramic white. It sat there and enjoyed the graces of living, where I should be able to sit with no worldly concerns – including no guano!
Subsequently, I dragged the chair to the outside tap and hose nozzle, and with a soft-bristle brush, scrubbed off the defiling mess. I dragged the chair back to another spot, less under the huge pine tree, hoping the new location would not be in any birds’ landing flight path. Wrong. A few days later, the same accumulation of guano appeared.
What I needed, I decided, was a scarecrow. We have farm fields across the way, and get our share of domestic animal fumes, but a scarecrow did not seem to conform with the ambiance of our nine-stop-signs sized community. I needed another solution.
By happenstance, while in the ‘more-than-a-dollar-now’ store, I found it. It was perfect – six blades to catch the breeze, six colours, sturdy wooden frame, whirled easily with a pursed mouth blow, and only four bucks. A gorgeous whirligig!
I again cleaned off my zero-gravity throne, installed a short piece of black tubular water pipe foam insulation along the side of the chair frame, and slid the whirligig into place. It spun freely in the wind. My ‘scarecrow’ was in place.
I’ve been monitoring robin’s behaviour through the back window. The little villains hop toward the chair. They twist their scrawny necks to find a way past my defenses. The continued motion of the coloured blades dissuades their coming any closer. They move on to spread their havoc elsewhere. Success!
I still like watching birds, knowing they aren’t likely to drop their chaos onto my comfortable perspective of life’s ways.
I wonder if we could protect ourselves from ‘social-media-conspiracy-theorists’ guano if we all carried whirligigs?