North Valley Magazine

Page 82


By M.D. Thalmann

Flightless Fowl


Prepare for the arrival of the snowbird.

Summer is finally coming to an end, and oh, have we locals paid the price for the subtler, shadier days ahead. Remind me again why we moved here or didn’t move somewhere else after high school. Oh, yeah—it was that nine or so months out of the year that this place is paradise. We suffer through the scorching days of near eternal summer to enjoy the nectar of a late Arizona fall, when the trees change from dark green to a slightly brighter shade of that same green. As the cooler air hints at rolling in, along comes an infestation that both plagues the locals and bolsters the economy. These varmints* (I jest, of course) can be quite annoying and can really put a damper on your plans for the day. They get in the way, leave behind big messes, and clog up the highways

and byways almost a s i f t hey were sent by the state to provide evidence M.D. Thalmann is a local that we need more writer and author. To see his money budgeted to work, visit . the city works. No, I’m not referring to the rogue coyotes that come down from the mountains and stop traffic—I’m talking about a flightless fowl—the snowbird—and a few ways to avoid getting in their way when they come back to roost.

Don’t feed them, otherwise they will think its OK to keep coming ’round, and this helps no one. Don’t make eye contact with anyone who says “don’tcha know,” “jeepers,” “golly,” “gosh,” or “oh ya.” If cornered by one of these critters, simply make a reference to how the Vikings looked strong in the last game, and RUN.

Sell your car, or only go out after dark—like way after dark. It’s safest to go out near midnight, as the snowbirds will all be sawing logs or else indoors dining very late. Either way, you can finally get to the gym. As demonstrated in the popular ’80s movie Gremlins, don’t get ’em wet. You can always spot a snowbird by a desire to get into the pool in the middle of December, claiming it’s warm and that others should join in. This is a trap—don’t fall for it. The water is actually near freezing.



Speaking of the gym, as long as you are going for the weight-lifting half of the gym, you may be safe. However, if you have designs on cardio, you might as well pack it in. The snowbirds will be lined up in loud wind suits, hiking on treadmills moving so slowly that you have to stare to be sure they’re even plugged in. This isn’t bad in itself until you overhear the din of their conversation, which sounds much like a flock of seagulls arguing over the legal ownership of a mackerel. Don’t wear brightly colored clothing, reflective sneakers, or a fanny pack, as this will attract the creatures to you to fill a need to assimilate with their own kind, so far away from the burrow.

Note: If you encounter any of these miscreants, please remember that it’s only temporary. Again, just like in the movie Gremlins , the intense summer sunlight will drive them out—we just have to look forward to the sweltering torture of next summer. *Editor’s note: This article is entirely in jest. Snowbirds are our friends.