Lezzz-be honest, I don’t have the faintest idea of when the first documented Bald Eagle took flight. This story has nothing to do with Bald Eagle flight patterns, migration patterns, or the first documented fly over. If that’s really why you’re here, now’s your chance…leave now or forever laugh in peace.
Alright, let’s get into this…
One of the first questions I often get asked as an author is, “When did you realize you wanted to write a book?” OR “What’s the story behind you becoming an author?”
Rather than tell you the answer directly (because, well…that’s boring and where’s the fun in that?), I’m going to take you on a journey of sorts that led me down the path of authorship. The Bald Eagle took flight…on a Thursday !
IT happened on the most ordinary, typical Thursday. I was working on a project for Big Bird Connections, spearheaded by my colleague Fredrick Procrastinate, lead architect at Rock Heap, Inc.
Every year, my company (Rock Heap, Inc.), provides Big Bird Connections with a pricey sculpture of a legendary creature. This year, Big Bird Connections decided on a towering sculpture of a Bald Eagle. And, they’ve just recently received delivery of the fowl beast.
On Thursday, that bastard of a day, I received a call from my contact at Big Bird Connections, Anita Comply. She initiated her review of the sculpted Bald Eagle and discovered a SERIOUS mother-flippin’ problem!
“This Bald Eagle is a tasteless, deceitful, duplicitous piece of garbage!!”
I’ll never forget those words nor the manner in which they were hurled in my direction.
Anita Comply ferociously raises the alarm that something is amiss.
“Gerry, this Bald Eagle sucks! I don’t know how else to say it.
How could this happen?!
I was crystal clear about this year’s expectations AND the potential ramifications of any unnecessary delays. In preparation for our largest Big Bird Connections fundraiser, we adjusted our timelines forward to ensure there wasn’t any tomfoolery.
And yet, here we are…This damn bird looks eerily similar. Like, I’ve seen it before!
The beak is slightly downtrodden in the same halfcocked, south-easterly direction. The luminescence of the bill is that same golden amber sandy yellow. The wings are spread out at the same 172 degree angle, and there are exactly the same number of feathers…473 to be exact.
I know because I counted.
To be honest, I had to stop reviewing this foul, filthy mockery of a bird.
Not on my watch…I WON’T HAVE IT!”
*Shit!* (That’s what I said out loud, in my head anyway.)
Please tell me this can’t be true.
A forgerized Bald Eagle ? I’ve never even heard of anything like that !
Big Bird Connections expeditiously sends back the sculpture to Rock Heap, Inc. w/ vexed looks of displeasure splattered across their faces.
Upon notification of the Bald Eagle’s ill-fated return, I begin my descent of madness down the stairs leading to the warehouse,
and stumble upon IT.
I can’t believe my eyes!
There’s a giant mother-effing Bald Eagle, camouflaged in a mountain of sticky notes, staring right at me!
Mr. Procrastinate has got some ‘splaining to do!
I go back up the stairs to my office, dial his number and give Fredrick a call. It goes exactly how you’d think…
“Naw man, no way. I only used the previous sculptures for ‘inspiration’ as I crafted this marvelous balded creature!
You see, what had happened was…”
Fredrick Procrastinate continues monologuing for several, several, sev-er-al minutes.
I listen to his excuses, ugh-hum reasoning, for the predicament we find ourselves in.
“Alright Fredrick, I hear you.
Let me do some investigating and figure out a way forward.”
I collect my thoughts, take everything in, and mosey on over to Fredrick’s sculpting station.
I begin inspecting his tinkering station, his tools, and the contractual specifications for the Bald Eagle. I see indications at his workstation that ‘something’ was done…but I can’t shake the eerie suspicion that something is off. There is enough of a mess to avoid questions about Fredrick’s work effort, but not enough mess for a fully completed job.
Yeah, this is super f*@$ ed up!”, I think to myself.
The sinking feeling deep in my gut implores me to do some further analysis. So, I take another stroll down to the bowels of the warehouse, and begin searching for the doppelgangers we keep on hand for all completed Rock Heap, Inc. deliverables.
Any time Rock Heap, Inc. crafts a sculpture, they are always crafted in pairs. The original sculpture and an exact replica. The customer receives the original and Rock Heap, Inc. houses the replica in the warehouse. We do this under strict C.Y.O.A. (Cover Your Own Ass) requirements.
The hunt for replica October leads me down a corridor of wooden shipping containers, reserved for the deepest recesses of the warehouse. As I conduct my wooden container examination, nothing seems out of sorts or abnormal. I scan container after container after container, until-
I stumble upon one that reads,
“Bald Eagle, Big Bird Connection – year 35”
Creeeek, yank, pull,
The door to the container pops off and falls face down on the floor, resulting in a deafening C-R-A-S-H.
“Eureka…it’s empty! Ugh,
Where the f did it go?”
Let the interrogations of Mr. Fredrick Procrastinate commence.
You can hear the grimace on his smudge little face, the sheer horror and slight quiver in his voice as I bring this startling revelation to his attention.
“Anything to say for yourself, Fredrick?”
Cricket, cricket…cricket, cricket
I have to remove Fredrick from the project. There’s just no way around it. We have an empty Eagle container, a missing doppelganger, and an accusation of forgery. There’s too many coincidences, suspicions and issues boiling to the surface all at once.
To understand the sheer magnitude of the situation, I do what has to be done…and take matters into my own hands.
The ‘NO’s’ begin to fill my head as I start to unravel the giant mess of Sticky McNoterson. (A pet name I affectionately bestowed upon my Eagle feathered friend)
With each peel of the sticky note, my hopes of an easy fix grow smaller, and smaller, and smaller.
I realize this damn Procrastinating fool has not ONLY duplicatized the Bald Eagle…He literally gave Big Bird Connections the exact Bald Eagle from the shipping container, labelled ‘Year 35!
Down to the last feather!
This was NO accident. This, was an on purpose.
Ol’ dingbat Dale attempted to pass the doppelganger off as his own work…WTF!
There’s no time for delays. I’ve got to lace up my boots and put my big boy pants on. (this is why they pay me the big rocks)
get my head right, saunter down to the sculpting station, gather the sculpting gear, and get to work.
*Ting ting, bing bring, tink ting*
“Damn, why’s it so hot today”
*Tink ting, bink brink, bing tink ting bing*
For hours, and hours, and h-o-u-r-s, I tink and tink with all my might. Crafting a brand new Bald Eagle with a more handsome demeanor.
Until finally, after a week and then some…it is finito. A magnificent rock of art !
I race down to the warehouse and have the Bald Eagle shipped to Anita Comply and Big Bird Connections promptly.
A few hours pass by, and Anita calls me up. I’m about to get a big thanks and pat on the back for all my efforts! Right?!
There’s not even an exchange of pleasantries, Anita just lays right in,
“Gerry, are you *beepin’* serious? What the hell is going on over there?
This is heart breaking.
You’re killing me smalls! Please tell me, this isn’t true…
The first sculpture was an absolute travesty. This one, is laughable!
While I can tell you’ve made some improvements, this is nowhere near the level of quality we’ve come to admire and expect from Rock Heap, Inc.
For instance, the wretched Eagle talons are haphazardly pointed the exact same direction. The Bald Eagle is scrunching his talon-toes in the same dilapidated upwards trajectory as the first one.
His color scheme isn’t even unique. There is a lot to hate about this bird!
I’m just flabbergasted!
This cannot fly!”
Yeah, no shit it can’t fly. It’s a sculpture of a bald Eagle, N O T a real one. It is by definition, a flightless bird.
Naturally, I have to sooth Mrs. Comply down with the calming tones emanating from my voice.
“Rest assured, we WILL get this corrected. I promise to leave no stone unturned.”
Big Bird Connections ships back the Bald Eagle to the Rock Heap, Inc. warehouse with extreme prejudice…
Aand, wouldn’t you know it!
More savage sticky notes attached to Sticky McNoterson like it’s his favorite outfit. Only, this time…Anita has been so kind as to include visual aids on each one of the sticky notes.
Even an idiot w/ a pea sized brain can’t mess this up.
So, back to the grind I go…
*Tink Tink, zzzz, brink bink, BANG*
“Ouch, my effing thumb!” (Rock sculpting is a dangerous game and I just smashed the piss out of my futher-mucking thumb with Thor’s hammer. )
Tinking and binking with the greatest of haste until, finally-
It’s the end of this maddening charade.
After hours and hours, and days, and weeks of transforming this carbon copy into the quintessential majestic masterpiece, I personally present the Bald Eagle to Anita Comply in all its glory…
Anita’s poker face is intense.
No smiles, zero pleasantries, only serious expressions allowed. Let the scrutiny begin!
Anita Comply inspects every microscopic inch of the Bald Eagle, but never reveals her tell. She lets out an occasional *hmmm* or *ahhh*; however, it’s never followed by a question or accompanied with even the faintest grin.
She doesn’t seem pleased, BUT she also hasn’t cursed me out yet. So, fingers crossed.
Finally, without warning, the first semblance of distinguishable words are uttered. Anita Comply sheepishly grins,
“It’s not how you start…it’s how you finish.”
And, without further ado, Big Bird Connections formally accepted their final deliverable and flew off into the sunset.
In totality, it took several painstaking weeks to overhaul this sculptured Bald Eagle. It feels like I just completed a marathon at breakneck speed, with zero water, in scorching desert-like conditions, wearing a sweat suit.
The Bald Eagle transformation is complete! No longer categorized as a tasteless, deceitful, duplicitous piece of garbage; but rather, an improved, imposing, creative triumph.
Sticky McNoterson went from a modest 6 foot wingspan to a reimagined, monstrous spread of 8 feet 9 inches. Complete with 780 distinct hand-sculpted feathers. A marked increase of 307 feathers from ALL previous efforts! The color scheme is now flawless, nearly indistinguishable from a true soaring Eagle.
Even the talons feel graphically realistic, with the added bonus of a small rodent trapped inside the Eagle’s talon-toed clutches.
I think to myself,
“What a crazy few weeks it’s been, and its only Thursday. It feels like I just sculpted a novel!”
And thus, the Bald Eagle officially took flight…on a Thursday.