My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

Bring out yer dead!

When I woke up on Thursday, there was a dead crow on my front lawn! It was lying prone, wings spread, its head to one side. The sky overhead has no trees, no electrical lines--nothing that gives any hint as to why this bird fell out of the sky. So of course, that's when I started jumping to conclusions and thought about West Nile Virus.

Our health unit runs a dead bird collection program to test specimens for the presence of virii, particularly West Nile. So I called and left a message, then I ignored the bird. Someone from the health unit returned my call yesterday. He said that the collection program had ended for the year, so to dispose of it I should take a shovel and put the bird in a garbage bag. Even if it had died of West Nile, it wouldn't be contagious that way, so according to him it would be "moderately safe."

Excuse me? Moderately safe? The only adverb I want before "safe" is something like "completely."

Nevertheless, I did as suggested. Grabbed shovel. Grabbed gloves. Scooped bird in garbage bag. Put garbage bag in another garbage bag (I am very thorough). Put bag in trash can. It's still sitting in there, now that I think about it. Kind of ... hmm. Yeah, let's think about something else. How about that lamp? Who else felt sorry for that lamp?