Tag Archives: Wildwood

Seagulls, AKA Sky Rats

4 Apr

Animals are Assholes, Example Three: Seagulls. All of them.

This will likely come as no surprise to most people, but seagulls are jerks. However, they are impressive jerks. Summers spent on the Jersey Shore while growing up provided me with ample seagull-watching time, and I came to the conclusion at a young age that seagulls were basically these evil-genius, thieving, Sky Ninjas, expertly swooping and dive-bombing out of nowhere, stealing poor, unsuspecting grilled cheeses out of the chubby hands of Canadian tourists who wore knee socks with sandals.

Innocent woman. Thieving seagull.

I’m going to ruin the ending here, but let’s just get this out of the way right here and now: When I was a little, weird looking, huge-eyed girl, I was attacked by a flock of lunatic, flesh-eating seagulls, and you’re just lucky I’ve lived to tell the tale. But before we get there, let’s talk about a few other seagull experiences I’ve had. We will go backwards in time.

One summer, we arrived at my grandmother’s beach apartment to find that a seagull had made her nest on our balcony, complete with two eggs. My father threatened to drop the whole thing off the seventh floor balcony, but he succumbed to the pleas my friend and I screamed at him. Soon enough, they hatched, and we had two teeny, fuzzy seagull babies bopping  around on the other side of the sliding glass door. We loved them. And named them Beavis and Butthead. Actually, if I am going for accuracy here, my father named them Beavis and Butthead. Unfortunately, the mama seagull did not understand that we were giving up a prime beach-front and pool-front balcony for her little brood, and she would swoop and scream and attack if you so much as cracked the sliding door open. I understand she was doing her mama bear thing, but seriously, lady bird, you took over our spot. After avoiding being killed by mom bird for a week, we left them there on the bird crap covered balcony and headed home. I like to imagine that perhaps B & B grew up to be the only non-asshole seagulls in Wildwood, but I doubt it.

Baby seagulls: Misleadingly cute.

The previous summer, I had taken three friends with me to the shore.  We were thirteen and we were super cool, hanging out on the boardwalk in our tie-dyes and jelly shoes. One innocent afternoon, the four of us were on the boardwalk when one of us had the great idea to get funnel cake. If you don’t know what funnel cake is, you need to reevaluate your life. It’s fried dough! Covered in powdered sugar! Leave it to the Italians to create something so miraculous. Anyway, we acquired the delicious funnel cake and we walked and ate it as we headed back to my grandmom’s apartment.

Funnel cake = heaven.

Suddenly, we felt a breeze on our heads. I distinctly remember my friend, holding the plate full of goodness, look up slowly. She literally did a triple take, and I looked up to see what she was gawking at. That’s when I saw them: approximately one million seagulls were silently hovering above our heads, flapping their demon wings, waiting for the right time to attack. My friend made her move; she started a slow jog, still bravely defending the fried delicacy. The birds called her bluff though and swooped, fanning up her perfectly 90’s hair sprayed hair. They would not be daunted. I’m not sure if this part is true or not but I distinctly remember screaming “Ruuuuunnnnn!!!!! Save yourself!!!!!!” with the same intensity used by Mel Gibison to yell “Freedom!” in Braveheart. And run she did, after she launched the paper plate up into the air at the birds. As she took off screaming down the boardwalk, the three of us left behind found ourselves covered in powdered sugar and funnel cake bits. We threw up our arms to protect our heads from the attacking birds as cake rained down on us like debris from a bomb blast. People stood and pointed, laughing hysterically, obviously not knowing the grave danger we were all in. We took off after our friend, slipping and sliding in our plastic shoes, and funnel cake was ruined for all of us for years to come.

The scene of the bird crime.

I could go on and on about these sky rodents, but let’s get to the party, shall we? When I was a wee thing, my parents decided it would be fun to sit on the beach after dinner and feed the birds. How sweet, how fun, how picturesque. What should we feed them? Doritos sounded like the logical choice. Who doesn’t love Doritos? Well, I’ll tell you who does love Doritos: seagulls. So there I was, happily sitting on the beach with my boy’s haircut and awesomely ugly bathing suit, innocently tossing the tasty finger-staining chips into the wind and into my mouth. One seagull arrived, and then another. I started to get a little bit nervous as the numbers started doubling and quadrupling, but my father egged me on.

“Keep throwing them! Toss them away from you. Higher into the air!” Alas, I could barely hear him over the wing flapping and ungodly sqwaking emanating from the now hundreds of birds. They were everywhere. And they were attacking me, hurling their heavier-then-you-expect-bodies into me, trying to take the whole bag out of my hands. It was like The Birds, but with more sand and processed fake cheese. I was surrounded, I was terrified, and I was bloody. I’m not sure if it was claws or a beak, but I ended up with my mouth and chin completely scraped up. Finally, my parents shooed the killer flock away from me before they picked all the meat off of me and just left behind a pile of Dorito-stained bones, but the gig was up. I now knew, and you can see it in the look of terror in my eyes, that seagulls were straight-up assholes.

Post attack.

Check out the look of fear. And the facial wound. And the killer hair cut.

Photos are borrowed from (in order): North News Pictures Ltd, montereydailyphoto.blogspot.com, columbiajobbing.com, doo-wopdiner.com, My dad.