Canadian weather is notoriously volatile and today was evidence of that. Yesterday, I was contemplating the winter duvet; today, I’m thinking about wearing shorts and a strappy top; tomorrow, I’ll be wearing full body thermal gear probably. But I am not complaining as they already have had days and therefore, inches of snow in Calgary where we used to live, whereas I was able to go out for a midday walk and revel in the warm sunshine in my flip flops which was heaven for someone who hates their feet being encased in anything but especially boots.
The walk was divine: warm, but not too hot; the birds were twittering, but not too loudly; there were people on the path, but not too many. I was striding it out and thinking about my projects that I have on the go like flag painting and knitting for my Etsy store and I was also contemplating my next blog.
Suddenly, the unmistakable sound of honking Canada geese came overhead. This is one of the things that I love about Canada. I’m not overly fond of Canada geese, per se: after a particularly traumatic incident with a farmyard goose when I was just a young lass, I have been left, perhaps unfairly, wary of anything remotely goose-shaped on foot. However, I love it when they get into their V-formations and take flight, heralding their passage with enthusiastic honking. I think that it is one of the marvels of nature.
I always take time to look up and watch and today was no exception. And there were a lot of them today, possibly as many as a hundred, all flocking at the same time and it was quite the experience. Keen to continue my walk, I focused once more on the path ahead of me and noticing that it was a little bit muddy, I concentrated on the route that would leave the least amount of dirt on my shoes. The geese were still travelling overhead and I have to admit that I was a little concerned about the amount of geese and the higher potential for me to get a soft green gift from the skies above. But, you know, it might never happen, right?
Except it did! A dollop hit me heavily on my shoulder and I let out a gasp. Bloody hell! I looked over my left shoulder where the missile had hit and was surprised that there was nothing there. I had chosen to wear a top today of a synthetic fabric so my thinking, and I thought this was quite logical, was that the said deposit had simply ricocheted off, having had no natural fibres to adhere to, and I had been given a reprieve from walking around with excrement on my clothing, which is fortunate indeed. I continued on my walk, happy in the knowledge that whilst I hadn’t avoided being sh*t upon from a great height that at least it hadn’t stuck. There are many celebrities who would wish themselves in a similar position.
Later that day, I was sat, occupying myself with some flag/sign painting when I flicked my hair, which would normally be draped over my left shoulder, only to discover that it was less covering my shoulder and more hanging there in a clump; it was definitely not like my usual silky locks and for a moment, just a moment, I searched through my day’s experiences to try and hazard a guess at what it could be.
It didn’t take long to realise what it was. It would appear that the goose’s poo had found a natural fibre on which to adhere after all.
This is not the first time this has happened to me. I have been pooed on a total of three times in my lifetime. The second time it was a mild incident, easily wiped off, nothing really to report. Today’s incident was not the worst, however; that accolade belongs to the first time it ever happened.
I was 9, maybe 10 years old at junior school in Wales and was happily playing in the sand pit which was the landing pad for the long jump event on Sports’ Day and the play area for young children and the local cats’ toilet for the rest of the year. I remember that I was enjoying myself, building something, minding my own business in my own little world when I felt something land on my nose and reaching up to check what it was, was surprised to find that it was wet. The smell suddenly hit me and I started to retch. Having nothing with me to wipe it off, I had to run into the school building with the “gift” still on my nose. I never knew the culprit but I have a feeling that it was a rather big and disgruntled gull which had been circling for lunch scraps earlier.
And so, going back to my original title, how exactly can this be considered lucky? I felt luckier today when I thought that the poo had flown off me rather than on to me. I certainly didn’t feel lucky as a young kid. It was smelly, I was almost sick and there were lots, and I mean, lots of other kids who witnessed it, none of whom came up to me, patted me on the back and said “Hey, Rachel! How do you get to be so lucky?” It is the singular most humiliating thing, being pooed on infront of your peers. Except maybe having to have splinters removed from your bottom by your teacher whilst standing on a chair so that she can get a better look in better light at where to put her tweezers.
But, it is generally thought of as being lucky and I put this down to the unlikelihood of it happening, like a lottery win or being struck by lightning – actually, scrap that last one. I mean, it might have been more likely today because there were a lot of geese, like a flying formation of bombers in wartime intent on a target. They were bound to hit something. I just happened to be the “lucky” recipient. But my childhood incident? It was embarrassing and revolting and I can’t see anything lucky about that at all. And only now am I able to share it due to its emotional impact on my young self, which is not high melodrama at all.
Anyway, I didn’t feel particularly lucky at the age of 10 and I didn’t feel particularly lucky today. In fact, the only way I will feel lucky tomorrow is if I have a day out in the open where I don’t get pooed on by flying creatures. That seems decidedly fortunate to me. However, if by some chance, something astoundingly lucky happens to me as a result of what happened today, I will be sure to share it with you all, my readers.
Don’t hold your breath.