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I may have spoken too soon about finding no unexpected appliances or bird intruders in my house. I came home from work one day this week to find a very dead Steller’s Jay lying on the floor and a huge box nearby.

The events did not seem to be related. I also don’t suspect the cats of avian murder this time. My theory is that he flew in through the balcony door and thought the window above the sliding glass doors was open when it wasn’t. I have seen this happen before, though I will never get used to seeing dead birds or disposing of their bodies. The only wound I could see on him was the side of his head, and he must have been lying where I found him for quite a while, since the floor still holds a print of his head and beak. It may be there forever. Lady Macbeth and I have similar cleaning results.

As for the box, it did not contain a phantom tollbooth, but it did contain a swamp cooler, my long-ago birthday/Junapalooza gift which had finally arrived.

I plugged it in and used the hose for the straggly balcony roses to fill its water tank. The instructions said to put it by an open window or door, but due to the oddities of my house, this is not possible. I tried it one evening, but didn’t notice it was really more efficacious than the box fan I usually have perched on a little stool by my bed. I turned it off and wondered if perhaps my house’s eccentricity will make it impossible for it to work properly. I will see if Rob can come up with some clever solution to make it work better.

A YEAR AGO: More from the local message boards.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A little trip to San Francisco.

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1 Comment


  1. Sorry to hear of another dead bird you found on the floor. they seem to want to live in your house, unfortunately none of the last few have found a way to get in without injury or hitting their heads. As for your gift, I’m sure if there’s anyone who can fix it, it will be Rob, he will find a solution.

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