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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Pickup Artist


There seems to be a mysterious pickup artist in our neighborhood. I have evidence. We discovered the signs this morning.

Now before you start thinking I’m talking about a pickup artist in the sense of Casanova, let me clarify: I’m talking pickup trucks. While we were away, Hubby’s truck became pickup art (created by pickup artists, naturally). Are you confused? Allow me to explain.

We got back from our trip late last night. Although it was dark we saw that the lid covering the pickup’s bed was quite different from how we left it nearly a week ago. This morning we examined the truck in the light of day and saw that it had been transformed by an artist—or more likely, a team of artists in collaboration. The lid was spattered such that it looked like a Jackson Pollock canvas. (I’m assuming you know Pollock for the drip paintings he became famous for in the 1940s and 50s. Pollock laid canvas on the floor and moved around it, dripping paint from above.)

Apparently the birds in our neighborhood decided to create a surprise painting on the lid of Hubby’s pickup while we were away. (I would have accompanied this post with a photo, as I usually do, but I figured you would prefer to imagine the poop rather than see it.) The birds worked in partnership with Mother Nature, who scattered thousands and thousands of tiny green dots of pollen in such a fine mist it looked like she’d used spray paint. Next, it was the birds’ turn. Channeling Pollock, they dribbled large, irregularly-edged white splotches onto the truck’s lid. The birds added long splashy drips of white. Others contributed brown flecks, sometimes on top of the white splatters, sometimes not. There were flecks on the windshield and orange dots on the hood. There were spatters and dribbles on the side mirrors, bumpers and roof. We found splats and streaks high and low. In the 6+ years we’ve owned the truck I’d never seen it that dirty. Restoring it to its pre-trip state would be a big job, something for the whole family.

Out came the rags and bucket. Out came the soap made for such messes. The disco tune “At the carwash” played through my head as I scrubbed and scoured the truck. We wiped, rubbed and swiped at bird poo and sap. At last the truck looked as good as new better, and all signs of the birds’ tribute to Pollock had flown away.

I’m sure the birds will return before long to punish me for washing away their spatter art. They’ll leave their nests at a coordinated time, flying straight for the zone above the truck, and will stage a poop-in, in protest to our carwash. And I’ll have to pick up their parting gifts.

I’ve been an artist since I was a young child, but I’ve never painted a truck. Yet it seems as though the pickup artist around here is ME!

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