Naomi Dayton and the silent birds

One day in kindergarten, Naomi Dayton brought in a long playing record.

You know, vinyl.

Or at least you know if you are old. This was way before CDs, mp3, and streaming Pandora music.

The record was made up of many examples of bird calls. So the announcer in his best Marlin Perkins voice would announce “ruby-throated grackle” and then you would immediately hear the appropriate bird song for the grackle.

All the birdsongs, and there were dozens of them, were easy to hear. As a five year old, I thought it was fairly boring, but it was still better than regular kindergarten class work.

Wait a minute. Did I say that all of the birdsongs were easy to hear? Not so fast, brother.

The last bird song, the very last bird song, was for some type of humming bird. Marlin Perkins would announce the  birds name, and a moment of silence would commence. Total deafening silence.

God, how that pissed me off.

I looked over at other students. I realized quickly that they heard nothing also. And you know, if it happened today, I am so hearing impaired that I would expect it. But my hearing was fine in 1955.

So, move ahead one year to first grade. Naomi brings the bird song record in once again. This time I am ready for the hummingbird. I move very close to the record player. I stop breathing. The hummingbird is announced. I hear nothing. NOTHING.

I am a tiny six-year-old homicidal maniac.

Move ahead one year to second grade. I am laying in wait for the day that Naomi brings in the record. And the day arrives. I try to think of ways to amplify the sound. The moment arrives.

Yes, more silence.

I want to smash the record into a thousand pieces. I want Naomi to experience unspeakable agony.

So, I try the ‘pursue a hot girl’ approach. You know, ignore the hot girl and she will come after you.  So in third grade, I pretended I didn’t care about the hummingbird, and it would come after me.

Didn’t work.

I soon came to be unmistakable realization that Naomi was trying to torture me.  There was NO f’ing hummingbird song.

Naomi, I know that you, now a Toronto grandmother, are smirking. 

Oh yes,yes he’s still tormented.

Burn, baby.



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