I've been jogging for a long time, maybe 45 years.
I've had close calls with falling acorns.
I've gone eyeball-to-yellow-eyeball with a wolf-sized coyote.
Once, in the dark, I'm pretty sure I stepped on a raccoon. But the animal screamed and I screamed, and I set a personal record for the hundred meter dash in the dark, so I can't be sure.
But in all those decades of running, I've never been crapped upon by a bird.
Until this morning.
It had to be studying me, up in that tree on Chicago Avenue, watching me get closer, judging my speed (or lack thereof), factoring in a light breeze, distance to the ground and gravitational acceleration, the expected shape and aerodynamic qualities of the payload. Then, at that perfect moment, it opened up. Bombs away.
It caught me on the right temple and the corner of my sunglasses, splattering a little into my hair, down my right arm as far as my hand and down the right side of my shirt. In short, it was a birdshit-and-a-half.
I was still more than a mile away from home. I wonder if any of the passing motorists noticed I was covered in bird crap?
People can debate what anthropomorphic qualities might properly be attributed to animals, but I can assure you: Birds have a sense of humor. Its head had to be bobbing and its beak had to be shaking and its tail feathers had to be rocking.
Birds have had plenty of time. They evolved from the dinosaurs. And you can't tell me that whenever T-Rex had its back turned, the other dinosaurs weren't laughing at those ridiculous little hands. Everybody knows there's something funny about a tiny hand.
I have no doubt the birds have been laughing for millions of years. And if you've only got one really good joke, you'll tend to keep using it. When next you see me jogging, I may be the guy wearing the sombrero.