May 25, 2010

Two men and a bird.

One sunny Saturday morning, I heard the sweet chirp-chirp of what I know now as a Starling. I turned about on the bed, smiled at r~ next to me and this time heard the chirps right above my head as if there were a bird incessantly calling out to me from the ceiling. I alerted k to this fact just like the past 65 times that I had done that and just like the previous times, he muttered an eloquent, "Uh uh" and went back to sleep inside his comforter. So I left it at that.

A few days later, k told me that he is going to Home Depot to do some "chores". This surprised me because k, like other husbands I know, tend not to take up initiative when it comes to chores (Yes, yes, broad generalization). They tend to believe that they live in self-cleaning, auto-organizing houses that prefer not to be interrupted while performing their self-auto-duties. So anyway, I left it at that.

A half hour later, he comes back with a long metal ladder strapped on to the top of our mini-van. "Need to sort this bird issue out", he said sounding very business-like and matter-of-fact.

"What bird issue?"

"The birds in the attic."

I give him a look that says, Ok, so you woke up now after a year to take care of that? 
Maybe 65 is the magic number, remind a man 65 times and he will get the task done asap.
Only in our case, asap turned out to be a bit longer than I expected.

So, he sheepishly admits, "The home depot dude said bird nests in the attic could be a fire hazard. So, I thought I should take care of it."

Strike out the 65 theory.

k valiantly unloads the metal ladder that seems to weight heavier than our house and leans it against the outside of our brick wall on the side of our house. There, about 200 feet high (or some similar dizzying height), there is an opening that our dear Starlings have been using as the entrance to their house -- the nest in our attic.

But you see, if you have ever lived through the experience of "driving birds out of your attic", you will know that step #1 is just that -- driving them out. So k proceeds to do the logical thing next.

Which is place our ipod player, volume turned max, in our attic (In case you are interested, no, he did not have to climb the ladder outside to place the ipod player in the attic; we have an access to the attic through our bedroom closet). The theory is (and you will notice by the time you read to the end of this post that several theories support the "driving birds out of attic" experience, most of which are flawed. The rest are untested.) that birds do not enjoy music that humans do. So, they tend to stay away from human music and humans. And hence an ipod player in the attic will drive the birds away. Ta da! So, all day long, the poor American Starlings hear Suprabharatham and an eclectic collection of Tamil and Hindi movie songs and then k announces that the birds have flown out of the attic.

Which leads us to step #2 -- Clean the attic

No complications in this step. Clean the nest from the attic. Make sure you take big trash bags with you to the attic. Step out with bag full of nest stuff.

And that brings us to step #3 -- Seal the opening so birds can't get in in the future.

k managed to climb the 200 feet ladder propped outside the house, somehow with a drill and drill bits (or whatever the thingamajiggie is called) in one hand, and cover the opening and nail it all down or drill it down or whatever the technical term for that is. And so we are done. And that is how you drive birds out of your attic.

Normally, that is how this happy serial would end. But, ours turned out to be more along the lines of a Sun TV mega serial.

The next morning, I heard sweet bird songs early morning and in my sleep nudged k and said, "Birds."
And then a few moments later, we both sat up upright with the sinking realization that we had sealed those birds in. They apparently enjoyed the music a bit too much and did not exactly leave the attic. They were just silently sitting there praying with MS.

So now enter man #2 of the "2 men and a bird" saga -- S.

k and S hemmed and hawed and tried to decide what to do with the stuck birds. Firstly we did not possess the infinitely tall ladder which was returned to home depot earlier because it costs $30 for every 4 hours! So to recap, the options are:

1. Do it the hard way -- climb the ladder, remove the nails, free the opening and let the birds fly home or fly away in this case. And then reseal.
2. Do it the harder and possibly more comical way which is to remove the opening to the attic from our bedroom closet, leave all the windows open in our bedroom and let the birds fly from the attic to the bedroom and out the window.

Thankfully, they decided against #2. Ok, so I thought k & S decided to go with option 1 but k tells me I am wrong. The wise men chose option 2. So, the men decided they would go up the attic from the bedroom, leave the attic entry open, leave our bedroom windows wide open and use the window screens as tools to lead the bird out our bedroom window (An hour prior to that, the men sort of waited for the birds to fly out all by themselves which of course they chose not to). Once in the attic, k had the bright idea to shine a pen light torch towards the bird in the hope of attracting the bird to the opening. The bird liked the light a bit too much and flew straight towards k. Of course, our brave man fought hard till the end which involved frantically waving the light and pushing the bird towards S. The bird took the hint and flew straight to S who at this point tried to wave the bird off with his window screen but in the process stepped onto our dry wall and then he sort of hung out in our attic. By that I mean, literally that -- his leg broke through the dry wall and sort of dangled below our ceiling inside the house!

Edited: k tells me they took a stick and a window screen up the attic. The stick to wave the bird towards the attic opening and the screen to protect themselves from the grave danger that Starlings are capable of inflicting on humans with sticks :p

In case, that wasn't clear, this scene should explain:
One man waving his pen light torch in arcs and his window screen with his other hand crouching in the dark attic. Other man valiantly trying to deflect the bird away with one foot dangling down our rest room ceiling and one scared little bird trying to figure it all out.

So bright idea #2 having turned out to be a spectacular failure, our men decided to fall back to #1. My manager was kind enough to lend us a ladder and this time k did it all by himself -- basically a repeat of the first part of this serial.

Long story short, the bird did eventually fly out. S's leg is doing much better now. The hole in our ceiling is fixed and drying now. k has realized that theories about driving birds out of the attic are just that -- theories and may not work out for musically inclined Starlings with a penchant for bright lights.

3" button / pin printed with hatchling, feeding, starling, bird, animal


Parth said...

You can legitimately claim your husband wasn't bird-watching :)

kamal said...

Hey, I was a proper warrior, I had stick in one hand to direct the bird :) .. and a window screen (shield) for my protection.

The Doodler said...

Ramya, you didn't mention the time it took them both. 7.00 AM to 4.30 PM..:) And also how K was so scared to go up the attic because he feared birdly retribution for nest removal..hehe.

Anonymous said...

atleast the men were busy :) so the ladies can bury themselves in SUN TV!

Pooja said...

You didn't take pictures?!

Pooja said...

Append to previous comment:
Thanks for the hearty laugh Ramya!

DR said...

I am at work - trying to wrap stuff so that I can head out. I thought I needed a break and so took a quick peek at ur blog. I have never ever laughed out so loudly @ work! Really funny!

RS said...

:) I bet the men would be glad they provided entertainment to you folks :)

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