Bye Bye Birdies
“I am Stanley, building superintendent; are you an East Indian?” a man in sleeveless undershirt introduced himself.“
“Nobody called me an East Indian after I left Trinidad in 1978, not many people on the mainland US can distinguish the Caribbean Indians from Indians from India,” replied Juggernaut.
“So you are an East Indian from the Caribbean?”
“I am an Indian alright from India but not from the Caribbean,” replied Juggernaut with a big laugh.
“There are few East Indians from the Caribbean live on the Big Island and you look more like an East Indian,” Stanley looked surprised.
“Perhaps my 12 year living in the Caribbean turned me into an East Indian look.” Juggernaut rubbed his facial hair.
“I understand from your neighbor that you have been feeding wild birds on your porch and as per our building by-laws, feeding wild animals on the premises is prohibited,” Stanley was friendly but firm.
“You know birds are not wild animals,” replied Juggernaut politely.
“Well, when we say wild animals we mean anything wild, cats to reptiles to birds.”
“OK, can I place bird feed outside the premises?”
“You can place bird feed wherever you want but not on the premises, we just don’t want the residents to encourage stray animals to prowl on the property,” Stanley started rubbing his over tanned chest with his palm.
“Well, I feed birds twice a day when birds would fly in and out within 5 minutes after feeding. How I am encouraging wild animals to prowl on the property?” Juggernaut tried to explain.
“I know birds are not wild animals but once birds were used to get fed on a daily basis, they quickly become boisterous pets and turn into a nuisance pooping all over the porch. I am not sure whether you watched Alfred Hitchcock’s horror movie ‘The Birds,’ from early 60’s, that scenario could happen here to you once you stop feeding them and we don’t want that happen to our residents,” Stanley gave a strange look rolling his narrow eyes when he brought up the subject of Hitchcock’s horror movie.
“Sure I watched the movie ‘The Birds’ several times but to say my bird feeding may turn into a horror situation is somewhat farfetched but I am happy you brought up the subject of Hitchcock. I am a fan of Hitchcock movies, my favorite movie is ‘The Rear Window’ with James Stewart and Grace Kelley, I could watch that movie again and again,” Juggernaut was happy the topic was changed to Hitchcock’s movies from bird feeding.
“Well, the local library is screening the Hitchcock’s movies, you can check out the timings on their website,” suggested Stanley.
“Thank you for invitation and I respect and comply your rules on feeding wild birds now onwards , certainly I don’t want to create a scenario like in the movie ‘The Birds’ on the premises,” Juggernaut gave assurance to calm Stanley of his fear of rampage by the birds how ridiculous it may sound.
When Juggernaut first met Stanley at the building parking lot, he reminded of somebody Juggernaut couldn’t figure it out immediately, but then his lanky personality with carefully carved thin mustache, a small goatee and a tool belt around his hip, Stanley has a look of character Schneider played by actor Pat Harrington in 70’s hit TV show “One Day at a Time.” The resemblance between the character in the show and Stanley was remarkable; the way he talk, walk and twitch his mustache and his accent as if Stanley has intentionally molded his mannerisms around the character Schneider as building superintendent from the show. Juggernaut almost asked Stanley whether he was aware of the character in the show but to be polite decided against it.
Juggernaut gradually steered the birds with feed from the porch onto the sidewalk under the Plumeria tree. Now he can enjoy watching the feeding frenzy from a distance and say bye bye birdies.