Posted tagged ‘Crow’

Caw II

March 17, 2008

Another Wittenberg crow-related article I wrote:

I had a terrifying experience the other day.  I was walking from the Hyper-Center towards Ferncliff when I passed a tree filled with roosting crows next to Myers Hall.  I know this is going to be hard to comprehend but right as I was passing the tree, the crow-scaring electronic bell went off on top of Myers and the crows didn’t even budge!  Horrifying I know, but I somehow I managed to keep my composure and make my way down to Ferncliff.  Why was this occurrence so scary?  It’s because this is proof that the crows are evolving!  Think about it from a medical standpoint.  When penicillin was first discovered, it did EVERYTHING.  It destroyed bacteria and viruses, cured diseases, eliminated back pain AND removed tough stains.  Now penicillin is kind of a joke in the microbe community; in fact, most bacteria like it.

“Oh no!” the bacteria will cry, trying to keep a straight face while writhing their cilia in fake agony.  “Not Penicillin!!  Anything but that!  Please, have mercy!”  But as soon as the scientist turns off the microscope and leaves the room, all the bacteria erupt into laughter and high-five each other’s flagella before sitting down to a banquet of penicillin.  Now let’s look at the crows:  During the fall of 2006 the crows were completely terrified of the air cannon. Even though it work well against the crows, it also caused everybody within a two mile radius to either drop to the ground and cover their heads or sprint indoors while weaving back and forth in a serpentine fashion.  But by last fall the air cannon didn’t even cause the crows to flinch.  So Wittenberg implemented the next crow-scaring tactic: the Electric Bell/Shrieking Demon Monkey Recording.  This worked very well at first.  In fact, even I was scared the first time I heard that weird shrieking recording.  But now it appears that the crows no longer fear even that, so what next?  What if these evolved “Super-Crows” begin breeding with America’s normal (as in “stupid”) crow population and they begin to branch out?  I can only imagine the horror:  News programs begin broadcasting non-stop coverage and information on the locations of the spreading Super-Crow flocks.  A permanent ban on bird trading between countries is put into place.  Terror sweeps across European nations upon hearing rumors of a villager encountering a crow that did not fly away when it heard a church bell.  Citizens are required by law to shoot and kill any crow that remains in a tree after an air cannon is fired.  Newspaper headlines read, “Bird Flu Outbreak is the Last Hope for Mankind.”  Society falls into turmoil.

But don’t worry, we have a chance to prevent a future like this!  A permanent and entertaining solution would be for the Student Senate to advertise crow hunting as an attractive and fun sport.  Every year once all the students are home for Winter Break, a 3 week “crow season” would open on Wittenberg’s campus.  The best part is that because of the crow’s familiarity with the air cannon, most of them will be sitting ducks.
Crow #1: “There they go again with that air cannon.”
Crow #2: “Haha yeah.  Hey Steve, want to fly up for a few seconds and pretend like we’re scared?  Steve?  Why’d you fall to the ground Steve?”

Some nitpickers might point out that this plan isn’t exactly environmentally friendly, but we can counter this by sending the dead crows to Antarctica to become food for seals.  Everybody wins!  Remember, we aren’t doing this for ourselves;  we’re doing this for our children.  Do you want your kids to live in a world where every morning they wake up in fear, dreading to look outside and see their car carpet-bombed with bird droppings?  I didn’t think so.


Intro to “Caw”

February 29, 2008

The following is an article I wrote last year for the humor section of my college newspaper. Unfortunately the amazing comedic genius’s at the Wittenberg Torch felt that the article wasn’t funny enough so they rejected it (they’re the same people who rejected my Vista article). Instead they ran another crow-related story about a fake “poopiest car” contest that was so terrible that many of the papers, so ashamed of the drivel that was printed on them, spontaneously combusted in a merciful attempt to prevent more people from reading it.

Anyway, here’s the background required to understand the article. During the Fall and Winter months, thousands and thousands of crows come to roost in the trees on Wittenberg’s Campus. They have done this for hundreds of years and were roosting there before the school was even built (apparently the contractors decided the location of the school during the summer and were not aware of the Crow Swarm). So during the cold months, thousands of crows will sit in the trees around some of the dorms. Every morning starting around 6, they will begin to caw. This will go on until maybe 9:00 A.M. and then all of the crows will fly away to god knows where. Than at 9:00 at night, they will return and start cawing again until sometimes 1 or 2 A.M. If you’ve ever wanted to see a massive flock of birds, just come to Wittenberg University’s campus during the winter. Feel free to kill a few if you’d like, they won’t be missed.

Here’s the article


February 29, 2008

If you are like me, there’s nothing you enjoy more then waking up every morning to the calm, soothing sound of about 700 screeching crows, but recently they have become an annoyance. Occasionally, instead of waking up at 8:00 every morning, I would like to sleep in to maybe, oh, about 4-5 PM, but the crows seem intent on preventing that. Back in the fall when the crows first arrived, it was kind of cool to see whole trees covered with them. But now, “Cool, look at all the crows!” has turned into “Oh damnit, they’re BACK!” Back in the middle of November, I was already ready for the crows to move on and was expecting one of the following to happen as winter approached:

A: It would get cold, and the crows would all leave

B: It would get cold, and the crows would all die.

Any one or combination of the options above would have been fine. Instead, the crows chose option C: Hang around through the winter and annoy the hell out of everybody. For some reason they chose the trees around Myers Hall as their official squatting grounds.

I’m not sure if people in other dorms get to experience the joy of this, but every morning starting at around 6:00, the crows start singing (and I am using “singing” in the sense of “hellish screeching”). What are they talking about? There can’t be that much information for crows to talk about for hours on end; crows are only about as intelligent as the average hamster or State Representative. My guess is that they just tell each other, “It’s cold!” over and over, occasionally agreeing with another crow (“yeah, it IS cold!”). It’s not just a constant noise either; after a while the cawing starts to die down, and just when you are about to fall back asleep, about half of the crows have an amazing epiphany and realize that – get this – it’s cold! Then the feel the unquenchable urge to loudly explain this amazing fact to all the other crows around them, and the loud/quiet cycle begins anew. Closing the window helps, but in Myers, you have two options: You can either have the window cracked and have a comfortable room filled with the loud noise of crows, or you can shut the window and have a uncomfortably hot room with only the muffled sound of crows.

One time my friend, (who for the sake of protecting his privacy, will only refer to as “Cory Shoemaker, room 101 Myers hall”) got so fed up with the crows he grabbed his trombone (everybody has a trombone, right?) went outside, and started blaring it back at the crows. I have actual video footage of this, but I have not shown it to anyone yet for several reasons. One reason is that the entire video is pretty much just a black screen, because it was about 1:00 in the morning, and all you can hear are the crows, a few trombone blasts and the occasional, “DIE you damn crows!” and then maniacal laughter. Another reason was I was afraid that our mental health would be put into question. I have to admit, the trombone worked pretty well and the crows abandoned their trees for about two minutes, but eventually they all came back. That actually wouldn’t be a bad job; walking around campus, scaring crows out of the trees with a trombone in an attempt to get them to stay away for good. The only downsides would be getting pooped on by hundreds of birds, and of course looking like a complete lunatic striding around campus blasting a trombone.

Speaking of poop, you may have noticed that the sidewalks between Myers, Hollenbeck, and the Science Center looks kind of like some crazed, abstract-expressionist artist’s painting. This is because crows, just like other animals and some people living in the Deep South, do not care in the least where they poop. I thought geese at golf courses were bad, but they have nothing on these birds. If some sort of sellable product could be made from bird poop, tuition at Wittenberg could be cut in half. Then and only then will I put up with these crows. Until that happens, I’m going to carry a trombone.