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 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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