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There's a rather large flock of wild turkeys roaming the campus this year. They've been doing us a service by eating the mostly rotted Ginko fruit that's littered the lawn by the building I work in. Rotted Ginko fruit smells exactly like decomposing dog shit. Only you'd need a dog the size of a Triceratops to get a stench this big.

Driving in to work today, I had to stop and swipe my garage pass. One of the poults* hopped up on the hood of my truck, all 'Oh hai thar'. All I could think of was:


I turned on the wipers, the poult backed off but stayed on the hood. I tried to shoo it off, it ran to the other side of the hood and gave me a hurt look. So I got back in the truck and waited. As you do when there's a really stupid bird that has these on their feet:


Having worked with raptors*, I see talons and all I think of are the other raptors. The ones with claws like these on their feet:


I am not stupid enough to get in a confrontation with a bird that could seriously hurt me if it panics.

The Parking and Transit service dude, however, was not so smart. He came over and told me to move the truck.

"Can't. Turkey on the hood. I tried to shoo it off, but it's stubborn. It'll likely get bored in a few minutes and hop off."

"You have to move the truck now. You're blocking one of the entrances."

"There are three more right next to this one, and nobody's come in for the last ten minutes. I'm pretty sure I can give the dumb bird a few to get a move on."

"I'll scare it off the hood for you, then you can move the truck."

"That's a bad idea..you've already started to chase the turkey. Great."

So this guy tries to shoo the turkey. It runs to the other side of the hood. He runs around the front of the car to that side, yelling and clapping his hands and looking all manner of foolish. The bird just moves out of reach. Wash, rinse, repeat several times. I'm trying not to laugh, and I really regret that I didn't bust out the cell phone and get video.

The bird hunkered down and leaned forward. I heard the guy say something about it ready to fly and.. well, birds in that position? Flying isn't what they're about to do. Which the guy found out. He reached to try to startle the bird, and it let loose. And I do mean loose. Semi-liquid stress urea and feces, from a Ginko-laden diet, came out at force and hit the man's lower face, neck and chest. Thankfully, most of it did not land on my car. I had the windows up and the air wasn't on, and even so, I could still smell the horrendous stink he'd just been covered with. Only after, when the man was screaming obscenities and gagging and trying to clean his face off, did the bird hop off my truck and scamper off into the grass.

At that point, I couldn't move the truck because I was convulsed with hysterical laughter and gagging. I did manage to hand the man a roll of paper towels to help clean himself off.

And this, folks, is another reason why you don't harass the wildlife. Seven hours later, I'm still giggling.

* - a young turkey
* - birds of prey
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