A Fish of a Different Feather
I’m sort of oblivious to the latest fashion trends. Which sometimes gets me in a lot of trouble. For example:
Recently, in my local tavern, I was talking with some people, when a woman joined our group. I immediately noticed she had a bird feather tangled in her hair. No one else in the group made mention of it, but I figured they were too timid to bring it up, for fear they’d offend her by pointing out such a flagrant disregard for personal hygiene. So, I took it upon myself to remedy the situation.
“You’ve got a filthy bird feather stuck in your untidy hairdo,” I said politely. “It’s incredibly gross.”
I thought for sure the woman would be grateful. I was wrong.
She informed me that she had just spent a lot of money to “get feathered,” which is the term for having a hairdresser entwine discarded bird parts in one’s tresses. She also told me that I was an idiot, a boor, a clod and several other descriptive terms that aren’t listed in Down East.com’s style book. Then, to add insult to injury, she pointed at my hat and said I had bird poop (although that’s not the exact word she used) on it.
No good deed goes unpunished.
Actually, I was well aware of the bird poop. It had been there for several weeks and is scarcely the most disgusting thing on my hat, which is a vintage 2002 Portland Sea Dogs model, complete with Boston Red Sox logo showing three players drinking beer and eating fried chicken during a game, while playing video games.
It’s hard to tell because the cap is a little faded, but they also may be kicking cute puppy dogs, being unkind to their mothers and disrespecting their elders.
Anyway, back to feathers in hair. In the wake of this embarrassing incident, I discovered that getting feathered had nothing to do with hot tar and being run out of town on a rail. But it was, nevertheless, controversial.
That’s because the practice is disrupting the lives of many Maine fly fishermen.
In the days before feathering became the rage, women used to wear more conventional objects in their coiffures: tiaras, ribbons, scrunchies or brook trout. This created friction between the fashion and fishing factions over who had first dibs on freshly caught brookies. In an effort to resolve the problem, a federal mediator suggested both sides relax, have a beer and watch an NBA game. Unfortunately, the NBA was still shut down, and even if it hadn’t been, everyone but federal mediators knows that women don’t watch regular season NBA games because they’re so incredibly boring until the final two minutes.
“OK,” said the frustrated mediator, “watch whatever you want.”
Which turned out to be “American Idol.” One of the judges on that show is Steven Tyler, the lead singer for Aerosmith and the father of former Mainer Liv Tyler, although that has nothing to do with today’s topic, but I just thought I’d throw it in because this posting is supposed to be about Maine, and so far, it’s a little light on that sort of thing.
Anyway, Tyler – Steven, not Liv – had feathers in his hair because one of the contestants had just thrown a chicken at him. Although the perpetrator of that deed was later arrested for assault, a judge threw the case out, ruling that attacks on “Idol” judges were always justifiable under Article Eight, Section Twelve, Subsection Three-A, Paragraph Eleven, Seat Nine of the U.S. Constitution, which states, “Nothing in this document should ever be interpreted as meaning that, when confronted with an arrogant jerk, one is not legally and morally justified in cleaning his or her clock.”
Whatever Tyler’s other shortcomings, the women were enchanted with the feathered look. In no time they had abandoned trout hair accouterments and switched to getting feathered. The mediator was pleased because this appeared to solve the conflict with the fly fishermen.
He was wrong. The new ornament only made the situation worse.
It seems that the same feathers, which come from roosters, that are used to tie dry flies (defined as flies that don’t drink alcohol) are also the perfect ones to transform a dull cootie-infested head into a vibrant reminder of why people thrown chickens at Steven Tyler. The fad quickly spread, and soon women everywhere were plucking prime chickens for the sake of fashion and paying cosmetologists as much as $25 to weave them into stunning hairdos designed to attract chickens seeking vengeance for their murdered relatives.
This left fly fishermen high and dry (defined as fly fishermen who don’t drink alcohol, but do smoke pot).
To date, no solution has been found to this conflict, although a federal mediator has suggested that the feathered women and the featherless fly fishermen get together in a neutral setting to see if they can find some common ground.
“How about the Lowe’s in Biddeford,” the mediator said. “Or maybe the one in Ellsworth.”
Oops. The national home improvement retailer announced this week that it was closing both those stores because it was unable to stock them with sufficient feathers to attract either fly fishermen or fashionable women. Also, because it couldn’t compete with Home Depot. A couple of hundred people will lose their jobs, but most of them said they aren’t worried because they’re planning to become chicken farmers and tap into the lucrative feather market.
Apparently, they missed the “X Factor” episode that shows the judges wearing moose antlers on their heads, prompting a new national craze for horns of any sort. Cuckolds everywhere were said to be rejoicing.
Myself, I’m going with a car horn.
Al Diamon promises that next week, he’ll pay more attention to what’s going on. If you notice anything important happening, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.