- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Victor was on his feet. "Oh my God," he said. "This is terrible! We've invented a bird I won't be able to see. The superb song swift." He looked into the surrounding darkness. "I can hear that song coming out of the air. Oh my God! Now we'll have to organize a special expedition!"
After the euphoria of constructing the superb song swift, it was difficult to redirect my two companions to the composite of a "worst bird." Rowlett began by suggesting that perhaps the solution was to construct a bird out of the features one doesn't associate with birds—feathers that look like stiff hair, like a kiwi's or a cassowary's. "It should prefer not to fly," he added.
Victor said, "Certainly one of its distinctions is that it gets in your way all the time. You see it when you're looking for another bird. When you're focusing your glasses on something in a bush, on what you think might be a Swainson's warbler, or something special and wonderful, suddenly out comes this thing."
"What about giving it the flight of the groove-billed ani," I suggested, mentioning a bird that in the air looks as though it's coming apart, a wing fluttering down here, a tail floating off there.
"If it does fly, it should have a lumbering and ungainly flight," Victor said. "It has rounded, short wings. It sort of pumps along."
"It should defecate like a night heron taking off from a tree," I suggested. "And, of course, it should do that an unconscionable amount of time."
"Yes," said Victor. "But I don't see the bird as being as large as a black-crowned night heron. It should be a chunky, medium-sized bird, without distinguishing redeeming features."
Rowlett said he felt that the bird should have almost no coloration. The entire plumage should be shiny black, because black was the color of birds that most associate with man: starlings, grackles, cowbirds.
"It should be a cowbird type," Victor said. "Definitely. In fact, why don't we start with the cowbird as a model and add onto it?"
"Beaks," I said. "What about giving him one of those big ugly beaks? How about a razorbill's? Or a puffin's?"