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The bird lady

 

This lady was weird. Hmm, not a great way to start a story now is it. But, it’s true.

 

This lady was a weird as it gets. The name “bird lady” was actually from my daughters. They nicknamed this gal after a couple of trips to the shop to see what old dad was up too.

 

On many occasions that the girls would come by to visit good old dad during working hours, this car would be at the shop. There were always bird cages in the back seat, feathers everywhere, and bird droppings in the back seat. Turns out, that the lady owned an exotic pet store somewhere in town.

 

She never carried a purse, instead she used a “Wal-Mart” plastic shopping bag. Most of the time she would be dressed in some funky 80’s style coat with a frumpy crochet hat with kaleidoscope colors. To talk to this lady made you wonder if she wasn’t coo-coo herself, always off in her own little world. Always seemed a bit nervous and preoccupied with her own immediate situation.

 

She would come in on a regular basis most of the time for general maintenance. Oil change one day; check the tire pressure before she would go on a trip out of town, so on and so on. One particular time in the shop she was there to have the leaking valve cover gaskets replaced. She was waiting in the front lobby while we finished the job in the shop.

 

As I walked through the front office for something I noticed her sitting there in the lobby reading a book while crunching down on pieces of raw spaghetti noodles. You could hear the crunch from a block away. Crunch, crunch, crunch, went the noodles, as if it was an automatic reflex with her. She would start off with a full length piece and then would quickly munch it down to nothing. Over and over again she would do this. I just shook my head and went back to the business at hand. Soon we had the work completed and I went up front to finish out the invoice.

 

You know, it’s impolite to ask people what they are doing munching on noodles like that. I’m no doctor or chef… but this can’t be good for you.

 

I just had to ask, “What’s with the noodles, you seem to like them.”

 

“Oh, I’m on a diet,” she said, “It keeps my mind off of eating and I feel full all the time then. Works great, I haven’t put on a pound since I started this.”

 

To keep this friendly conversation going I had to ask the next obvious question, “So when did you start this diet?”

 

“Today.”

 

Ok then, I’ll just finish this invoice and send this lady back to her little nest. I really don’t want to ask her anymore questions. Oh, I’ve got plenty, but, I ain’t asking.

 

“Would you like to try it?” She asked me.

 

“No,… no, that’s ok,” I told her, “I’m fine, wife and I are having spaghetti tonight. Thanks for asking though.”

 

I told this story to my wife when I got home. She couldn’t place the lady’s face until I mentioned that this is the lady the girls called the bird lady.

 

I think the nickname fits. If you could have seen this spaghetti eating champ at work… you would have thought she had gone to the birds too.

 

 

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