Friday, June 27, 2003


Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain.
A pause.
Raven’s voice calling me from the rooftop:

“I feel like Noah after the flood!”

Uh, just a minute Rave. I think you should be feeling like the bird Noah sent out to find land.

“Doves and pigeons are suckers. Who, with a normal set of brains, would bring back a branch of a tree in his beak under those circumstances? You can’t eat stuff like that.”

You don’t know what he did BEFORE he came back to the Ark with the branch. He could very well have eaten something tasty, then grabbed the branch to bring back.

“At least it couldn’t have been a MacDonald’s hamburger. Is that anti-MacDonald’s French guy still in jail?”

I thought that you would be up on all the news, guy. What’s the deal here?

“The deal is that this wheeler and dealer’s brain has been too rain-logged to process information.”

Raven flutters down next to me on the stone steps.

Thanks, Rave. I was getting a stiff neck looking up at you. I haven’t been too with it, either, but it seems to me that after they dragged him out of bed and crammed him in the slammer that something must have happened because I think I saw something about house arrest.

“At least if he’s in his house he won’t have any prison guards slipping him genetically manipulated gruel….And, speaking of snacks….”

Now what?

“Mind if I swipe the last packet of rye crackers?”

You know, some people have sent me e-mails commenting that you are obsessed with food.

“I’m a bird! A basic creature. Bound to the base of Maslow’s bird-feeder of needs—or whatever it’s called. Birds spend a lot of time looking for food and eating food. That’s not obsession; that’s survival. Birds like me don’t live to be 80 years old on a diet of self-actualization.”

Oh. How old are you, anyway?

“I’m not exactly sure. But I’m getting up there. Let’s just say 40-something.” Raven beaks into the last cracker, and crumples the wrapper. “But let’s get back to the anti-genetics guy.”

José Bové. He was supposed to turn up in Caracas in April, but he didn’t.

“Probably had other fish to fry.”

Rave, please. You’re doing it again. Somebody has to drive tractors into fast food spots. And somebody has to destroy genetically manipulated stuff that doesn’t even reproduce normally. All that weird DNA in the Darwinian soup has got to bode ill for our future.

“And if birds like me eat genetically manipulated garbage? What will happen to us?”

Are you complaining about the crackers?

“Naw, they were great. I was asking a serious question.”

I’m not sure if the eggshells would open and mutants would emerge. But something would happen. Eventually.

“Mercifully, I am not a producer of eggs. But I’d hate to see my descendants breaking millennial Raven traditions. A mutant sounds pretty unappealing as a grandson.”

Rave, is there a point to all this? A needle hiding in a haystack somewhere?

“Why does there have to be a point? Can’t I start my brain cells working again batting around a few random thoughts?”

A few random thoughts can be pretty dangerous. Look at Baby Bush.

“I said a FEW random thoughts. Not A random thought. And certainly not the same random thought over and over: Bomb someplace!

You forgot about: Put food on your family.

“Genetically manipulated mashed potatoes, no doubt. Just what people need: a smearer for president. And you think birds are obsessed with food! At least we eat what we find. We don’t smear it on our fledglings.”

Nor, I’d wager, do you bomb their nests.

“That would not be usual.”

Let’s hope that one of his random synapses puts the Oval Office in the crosshairs.

“Fouling his nest. Big time. Works for me!”