Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Falling Birds and Floating Fish...

Things are picking back up after the holidays, it seems. Today, people actually returned a few of my calls and replied to my emails. I take this as a sign that people are coming back to work both mentally and physically.

It’s unusual outside for this time of year. Normally, we have some form of ice or snow on the ground. On New Years’ Day it’s not unusual to have several inches already. This year on New Years’ Day, it started out as a 50 degree day. All the snow and ice melted and it seemed positively balmy. Since then, it’s got colder but it’s still snow/ice free out there.

It’s strange to look out into my backyard and see the yellowed, flattened grass which, prior to my leaving for my parents’ for the holidays, was covered with almost a foot of puppy-trodden snow. Now, the grass is completely clear although you can see the marks where I dug a path for the puppies as well as the paths they themselves made to burrow through the snow.

It’s strange especially as I know they had snow in Southern California yesterday and the day before. Now that’s an interesting thing. During my time there, it got cold. It got rainy but the only time I saw snow in L.A. was when I drove up to the mountains. You could see it glittering on top of the mountains from a distance but unless you drove up there, you didn’t actually feel the cold of snow. Thus, it’s weird to think that my friends in California are having weather that’s more like ours and we’re having weather that…is not like ours.

Of course, that’s not the only odd thing that’s happening. I’m currently intrigued by the state of Arkansas. According to the news, 5,000 birds literally fell out of the sky shortly before midnight on New Years Eve in Beebe, Arkansas. This was preceded by about 100,000 fish showing up dead in the Arkansas the day before only 125 miles away from Beebe. According to MSN, yesterday, another 500 birds fell from the sky just over 300 miles away from Beebe in Louisiana.

I don’t know about you but I’m intrigued. The scientific theory on the birds is that they had a mass trauma. Since it occurred before midnight on New Year’s Eve, scientists are stating that fireworks were being set off and this terrified the birds.

My question is this: Aren’t fireworks usually set off after midnight on New Years’ Eve? Also, what about the fish? That’s a lot of fish.

Naturally, with this kind of weirdness comes the non-scientific theories. The, uh, ‘crazies’ are declaring it as a sign of the apocalypse. Me, personally, I’ll wait for the four horsemen and the locusts to show up before I start worrying.

Seriously, more than anything, the writer in me is jumping up and down with her hands raised saying, “Let me try! Let me try!” and then my brain begins to come up with scenerios that could mystically cause the death of the birds. The easy solution is aliens. I hate aliens. I’m fed up of aliens. If something weird happens, after people start thinking it’s an apocalypse, the aliens are blamed next. It’s an easy way out.

Also, I find aliens a little boring. I mean if they were responsible for killing birds and fish, I find that a slightly dull thing to do to another planet. Granted, I suppose that’s better than any of the following scenerios which are cultivated by the Hollywood idea of aliens:

* They have no water on their planet. Thus they need ours.
* They come in peace to study us.
* They come to destroy us either in retaliation for something or because they’re aliens and according to Hollywood, they don’t really need a reason.
* Their planet is dying and they need ours.
* They’re bored.
* They like earth so they decide to take over it.
* They get stuck on earth because they’re spaceship abandoned them/broke down.

I’m sure there are plenty of other alien scenerios from Hollywood but those are the ones that come to mind.

I don’t want to think aliens are killing our birds and fish. I’d prefer to think of it as something more…exciting. Maybe the fish just had a suicide pact. Maybe theirs was a fish cult and they all drank the fish equivalent of Kool-aid because they were fed up of being bottom feeders (note: the fish were ‘drum fish’ which aren’t usually caught for food). Maybe the birds dropped out of the sky because they ran into a strange, invisible wall that only appears every 2011th New Years’ Eve. Or there was a skyquake which we didn’t feel because humans don’t have wings.

Who knows? My ideas are silly but it’s interesting when such phenomenon’s occur. They’re the kind of news stories that pique my interest because they’re not the normal depressing tales of murder, mayhem and tragedy that often bookend the news. They’re unusual. As a writer, they get my imagination flowing.

It’s just interesting that this is how the new year begins. I’m sure in a few short days, we’ll have someone who’s done the math based on either Nostradamus or Revelation and they will declare that 2011 is predicted as the end of the world. Then they’ll start infecting people who formerly were only a little paranoid and turn them into ‘crazies’ who start buying books called, “2011: YEAR OF THE APOCALYPSE.”

People fascinate me. Mass bird deaths and fish deaths fascinate me. I know this makes me slightly twisted and disturbed but, well, if you read my blog regularly, I make no apologies for that.

I’m going to be keeping an eye on the news. In the meantime, since I’m looking for story ideas, if anyone out there hears of any other interesting news stories (or “News of the Weird”, as it’s called), pass it along. I can always use ideas.

Oh, and if you spot four horseman riding by, let me know that too. Now that would REALLY make for an interesting story. If there’s time, of course.

Happy Wednesday!

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