The seagull

Yesterday lunchtime I was eating a packet of chips on a bench outside work, when a seagull landed on my knee and spat on my face.

Naturally, I was taken aback. As to not cause a scene I took a tissue from my right pocket, scooped the spit from my cheek and popped the tissue back where it was.

The seagull just glared at me. I attempted to coax it away by waving a chip in its face and flinging it for it to follow. I flinged, it didn’t follow. It just stayed still on my knee, glaring.

It spat on my cheek again.

I looked the seagull up and down. It was quite an ugly thing, if I’m honest. It had rough, greasy wings, a crooked, weak beak and dark, piercing eyes. It had one of those metal tags around one of its legs. Like an ex-con wearing an ankle monitor whilst on parole. It wouldn’t surprise me if it had an ASBO too, I mused. I started chuckling at the idea of it wearing a teeny, tiny hoodie, holding a wooden fish and chip fork it had fashioned into a mini shank.

Then it spat on my chest.

Wiping the phlegm off my tie I tried to scare it off by waving my arms and making barking noises like a dog. But the seagull didn’t even budge. It spat at me again, but this time I managed to dodge the gooey bullet!

The seagull continued to stare straight through me. I began to feel uneasy as I could sense it trying to work out my thoughts. I began thinking of an escape plan in Spanish in order to confuse it. Then I realised it’s definitely seen more of the world than me and would’ve probably picked up a few useful Hispanic or Latino phrases over the years, thus rendering my linguistic trickery ultimately useless.

I tried jabbing it with my wooden fish and chip fork.

The seagull’s eyes squinted as I remembered my mini shank idea from earlier and got scared. I put the fork in my left pocket. The seagull spat on me again.

As I began removing the blob from my eye, whilst reminding myself to Google ‘Do seagulls spit?’ later (which, incidentally, I did and it turns out that while seagulls have saliva, they don’t spit in the same way a human, or this thing, would), the beautiful, blonde girl from my office came walking towards me, smiling.

“Hey,” she said, boinging one of the curls on my head before pinching a chip. “Fancy grabbing a tea with me?”

The seagull glared at my eyes. I looked at the girl and nodded.

“Great!” she said. “I’ll meet you over the road in five minutes.” And with that, she left. Not before shooting me a smile so sweet that I vowed to see it again.

My cheeks started to go warm. I scrunched up my chip packet, threw it in the rubbish bin to the right of me and rearranged my tie.

I looked down at the seagull, whose piercing eyes had turned kind of round and moist.

We shared a strange moment of silence.

I went to say something, but the seagull flew off. Shitting on the girl’s head in the process.

© Carl Burkitt 2013

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