NEXT DOOR there’s a stand of eucalyptus trees. And at the top of one of them is an aerie. Do you know what an aerie is? Well, most importantly, it’s a crossword puzzle word, like “tor” or “Ida Lupino.” But also, it’s a nest for a bird of prey.
And living in this aerie is a couple of red-tailed hawks.
Now, these birds are largely benign, I guess. They don’t hunt around here, which is both good and bad, because there’s a lot of cats in the neighborhood, but there’s also a lot of filthy squirrels and that’s a population that you agree we’d all like to see decimated.
Often you can hear the hawks’ signature call as they approach their home, and my God, suddenly you think you’re back in the Andes hunting Nazi war criminals with Jonny Quest.
Now they’ve been there a few years and we’re all getting along fine, and then this year, last week, suddenly, they decide – without so much as mentioning anything to anyone – they decide to have babies!
And since then it’s been wall-to-wall high-pitched screeching from dawn to dusk! It sounds like some obnoxious kid blowing on a toy whistle! But here’s the difference: You can smack some obnoxious kid blowing on a toy whistle! You can smack ‘im hard! But you can’t smack a baby red-tailed hawk! Oh no, they’re protected by Federal and State laws!
Here’s an illustration I commissioned myself to draw so you can more easily understand my dilemma:
As you can see, my enormous muscles here help my situation little. (I didn’t draw my abs in because to be perfectly frank when I’m wearing a muscle shirt, you really can’t see them.)
I can’t even use my wrist rocket (not a euphemism; get your mind out of the toilet; it’s a slingshot) because even just pelting the holy hell out of the aerie with rocks just to get them to shut! up! is considered “harassment.” And I don’t need to sit through another court-mandated class, especially after – when I was apartment manager a few years ago – letting myself into #2-H’s place when I thought she wasn’t home and it turns out she was taking a shower.
Anyway, I hope they grow quickly and get the hell out of our neighborhood. Which, interestingly, is the way I feel about most of the human children around here, too.