It happened about 15 years ago.
I was on a dock in Beaufort S.C.
I noticed a pelican who was wrapped in fishing line so he couldn’t fly or eat the fish waste that the local fishermen were throwing into the water while they cleaned their haul.
I pointed it out to one of the fishermen who helped me catch the pelican. I held the bird while the man, a big gruff guy, was cooing softly to the pelican while he cut the fishing wire away.
I can almost feel that bird in my arms. If you’ve ever held a pelican then you know that in spite of it’s size, it’s all feathers and surprisingly light.
While this was all going on I heard my friend’s eight year old daughter, Becca, say
“See the girl that’s saving the pelican? She’s my friend”
We put the bird back in the water with all it’s relatives and it began eating with the others immediately.
Those hardened fishermen were all happy and proud. So was I.
Now why am I bringing this up?
Because just the other day on my way up to visit my niece, Stephanie, I almost got in an accident.
I was coming out of my garage and trying to move into traffic when the pick up truck that should have let me in, clearly wasn’t going to so I came to a complete stop. The truck moved forward a little too close and tapped the front of my car with the side of his truck.
He calmly got out of his truck and walked around like a big shot to see if there was any damage. Spotting none he got back into his truck and drove away.
I was furious because how could I prove that I was completely stopped? It would look like the front of my car hit the side of his.
I was telling this story to Steph including that I was going to give that guy what for. I said I was about to pull over next to him and give him a real tongue-lashing when Steph interrupted me.
“Yeah but what DID you do? Run away?”
It so happens that I did but I didn’t want to tell her that. She can be such a bitch.
Then she proved my point by listing all my past acts of cowardice in no particular order.
1. When she was a teenager, she and I were in my car when I got a flat tire. A somewhat questionable man pulled over and offered to take us up the road to a gas station.
I put Steph in the front and I got in the back. When later she asked me why, I said that he looked unsavory so if he tried to grab her I would be in a position to jump out and go for help.
2. dave and I were trying to take her to the airport in Miami and we got lost in the part of Miami where all of the riots were.
We pulled into a gas station to call and make a hotel reservation and get directions out of there. Since Stephanie was the most nimble of the three of us it was decided that she would make the call.
We only locked the door behind her because in case she was grabbed we could go for help. (hmm that seems to be a theme)
3. Her next example is a poor one. She claims that while we were on line in Walmart a woman accused Steph of bumping her cart. The woman began screaming at her and threatening her.
NOW IF IT HAD RESULTED IN BLOWS I would have come to her aid. She is entirely wrong when she says that I simply pretended to peruse the candy acting like just another person on line until the fight died down. It wasn’t anything like that. Everyone knows I have a sweet tooth. I really was looking at the candy
4. We were on the Montauk Highway in stop dead traffic when I noticed the woman in the BMW in front of us open her window and throw out some trash.
I instructed Stephanie to get out of the car and admonish that woman for teaching her kids that that kind of behavior was acceptable.
She did just that and as a little joke I locked the car behind her causing her to have to bang on the window to get me to let her in.
We spent the next 40 minutes with the kids in the back seat of the BMW giving us the finger.
There was another thing with a naked man on the beach and my trying to run away leaving her behind and something about me making her complain to my neighbors about the racket they were making while I hid.
I stopped listening to her after that even though she went on for quite a while.
Did you know that Pelicans can be quite dangerous when cornered?