I drove along side a gentlemen today who was driving a red Ford Fiesta. The only reason I remember him or his car is because while we were at stop light on Post Road/Church Street/Division Street (the name of the road is an entirely different story – this stupid road changes names 3 times in the length of 4 miles and thus makes it nearly impossible to give directions to anyone who doesn’t live in the area). While we were stopped at the light I noticed a small movement on the Fiesta’s front bumper. The guy had accidentally hit a robin and it was stuck in one of the air holes built into his car’s bumper. The poor little creature was obviously almost dead and I am pretty sure there was no possibility of recovery for it. Still I thought the guy would want to know so I started to signal him.
This is where I need to say that there isn’t really a universal gesture for “Hey you have a bird stuck in car’s bumper.”
I started out with an understood friendly, small, double honk to get his attention. Then I rolled my window down and shouted “you have a bird stuck in your bumper!” The guy didn’t roll his window down but looked at me smiled and nodded. I was sure he didn’t get the message. So I tried again. This time I pointed to the front of his car. I was sure the point would work. After all, I just wanted to make the guy aware of the situation. What better way than a point? Once again, he smiled and nodded. In fact, I am pretty sure that he added a thumbs up to the nod and smile. The light turned green and we both started to drive.
I went along side him trying to get his attention, but this guy was apparently very serious about road safety and thus kept his eyes focused on the road ahead of him. I decided to follow his lead and waited till the next stop light (there are plenty of them on Post Road/Church Street/Division Street) because while it is physically one road surface the city planners apparently thought it should have enough street lights for 3 separate roads, since it has three road names.). Once we stopped I pulled out my best form of communicating the truth of the basically dead bird stuck in his bumper.
I screamed, pointed, and I began to flap my arms like a bird. I even made a few bird sounds while I was doing this. Since I don’t really know the sound a robin makes I went with crow and dove sounds. An interesting combination of caws and coos. While not technically accurate for a robin stuck in a bumper, I did think it would still communicate the message more effectively than not including the sounds. I was very convincing. Unfortunately this guy most have been listening to a very interesting radio show, because he was too engulfed in whatever he was listening to for me to grab his attention. His eyes stayed forward. There most have been a segment of the radio program that caused him tension because I also saw his hands grip the steering wheel a little tighter. When the light turned green he turned left and I lost him.
So if you see an older gentlemen driving a red Ford Fiesta can you look and see if he has a bird stuck in his bumper still? Maybe you could also caw and coo at him so he will get the message about the bird.