Thursday, November 16, 2017

I have one weird item on my bucket list. I know everybody else has the usual clich├ęs: they want to jump out of airplanes, sing on TV, or have a shirtless Alec Baldwin knock on their door holding pizza. My dream is a little more unique, and as far as I can tell I'll be the first person in history to actually do it.

I want to kick the living shit out of a goose.

Now, I'm not a thoughtless asshole. I don't mean just ANY goose. I'm sure there are some really nice geese out there somewhere, though I'm having a hard time picturing them. I can't exactly picture a goose helping a disabled chicken across the road. I don't see them donating their bird seed to less fortunate creatures. And there's a reason you have to kill geese to get their down: they don't hold their wings back and say, "Here, you take it. I know you can't sleep without a pillow that completely collapses under your head."

If they exist, I don't want to beat up any of those geese.

No, the geese I'm talking about are the ones you see on TV's funny video programs. You know the videos: it's a beautiful spring day in the countryside, and somebody with, say, a basketful of leeks is skipping through a field when a big, angry goose comes out of nowhere with wings flailing and honking his head off. At first the person is puzzled: can this sweet, fluffy white thing really be coming after me? But then they realize it's moving like a missile with a pointy orange beak aimed directly at their crotch, and they run. As fast and as far as they can. They jump creeks and spring over fences, their leeks flying, millimeters away from the goose's angry choppers clamping down on their ass.

People laugh at these videos. Me, I don't think they're so funny.

First, I'm not a fan of unwarranted anger. What do geese have to be mad about? You're close to their nest? Whoopee. They don't have Time Warner Cable. They don't have landlords. Their friends with emergency keys don't barge in when they're trying to take a shower or masturbate, thinking that because they didn't answer a text within eight minutes they're probably sprawled out on the floor, dead.

Hey, Emma.

Second, it upends the natural order. I don't like the precedent set by running away from something so far down the food chain. If we let geese intimidate us, what's next? Rabbits? Hamsters? I refuse to put up with backtalk from other species. If I give Mr. Papadopoulos half a can of Cheapo Chow I don't want him hacking up hairballs on my shoes and thinking, "Buddy, this is your life until I get fuckin' Meow Mix." Next rats will be waking us in our beds, squeaking, "I can't get this Rice Crispies box open, and you used the scissors to trim your pubes."

Oddly, I don't have that same visceral reaction to monkey crime. You see them stealing our stuff all the time in other funny videos: tourists on mountaintops observing the cantankerous monkeys when suddenly one grabs their reading glasses and scampers up a tree. Personally, I'm fine with that. Monkeys are pretty close to us evolutionarily-wise, so it's entirely possible they have recipes to peruse or filing to do. I wouldn't blame them for getting bored in the forest and grabbing somebody's binoculars or cigarettes or fanny pack: I always pull out my cellphone when my boyfriend starts talking and he has other things to say than, "Eek eek eek."

Still, I don't want to give the wrong impression. I'm not ordinarily a tough guy, but geese aren't exactly Colin McGregor. They don't have muscles or tattoos: that would change everything. If I was in a field and a goose with a tiny teardrop tattooed under one eye came running after me, I would also run like hell. There'd be leeks all over the place. If he had a spiderweb tattooed around an ankle, I'd be completely freaked out. I'd jam YOUR ass into his beak so he'd leave MINE alone.

I think it's a fair fight, because there's just as much danger to me as there is to them. I'm a much bigger target, and they've had a lot more practice. They're more purposeful, and driven: if somebody got too close to my nest I'd be like, "Eh. It was just, like, eight minutes collecting twigs." I haven't run up to a stranger clucking since Jaegermeister passed twelve bucks a bottle.

Plus, I've never actually punched anything, especially something whose head is on a two-foot stalk. They're so fluffy I don't think I could even bruise one, while they could inflict serious damage on me. We're talking an actual animal bite, which would be painful. Maybe not alligator painful, since alligators have teeth, but about as painful as something can be when it has like a nerf ball for lips.

So anyway, it's on the list. And with all the geese here in Germany it's a distinct possibility. All I have to do is buy a basket, buy some leeks, and head for the countryside. I'll wander through fields. I'll scamper, I'll meander, I'll skip ... all while keeping my eyes wide open for the vengeful little bastards.

Eventually I'll spot one, and instead of running I'll stand tall. Of course, he'll be startled. He'll stop, confounded by a human being who has no fear. I'll lower my gaze to his round, pale face as he waddles up and squawks, "You want a piece of me? You want a piece of me?"

I'll be picturing a new video in my head. In it, I'll put the leeks down, slick back my hair, take off my shirt, crack my knuckles and say, "Yeah, you fluffy son of a bitch. And I'll start with a leg and a breast."

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