Meeting of the Avian Advancement League

This is a little “literary humor” piece I wrote for the Barnes and Nobel Review. It’s about birds having a committee meeting. It’s very silly.

Minutes from a Meeting of the Avian Advancement League

Canary sings opening anthem. Members take their branches.

Image courtesy of panuruangjan at

Image courtesy of panuruangjan at

Old Business:

Reports of Invisible Wall killings continue to mount.   Blue Jay retells harrowing tale of repeatedly striking an Invisible Wall just before the meeting. Claims it was cleverly posing as another angry Blue Jay. African Grey tries to explain the Invisible Walls are called “widows” but Blue Jay repeats his story four times before Starling ushers him out of the meeting.

Cats remain public enemy #1, followed by Humans, Dogs and Ceiling Fans.

New Business:

Owl asks “Whoooo has new business.”  (Any members betting less than “23” as the number of times in a row Owl will use that joke are officially out of the pool and must pay 10 additional sunflower seeds to reenter.)

Concerns are raised that Birds are losing ground to Sharks as most frightening creatures on the planet. Canadian Geese point out that they brought down one of the Human’s metal birds as recently as 2009. American Bald Eagle comments that the metal bird crash was due more to the Canadian Geese’s dopey trusting nature than any well-planned assault. Canadian Geese insist there is nothing dopey about a “V” formation that reduces flying drag by up to 65%. Eagles accuse Geese of planting “V” statistic on Wikipedia. Argument ensues.

Cardinal mentions she overheard Bears bragging that their recent spate of maulings stole the fire from Shark Week and was the most brilliant Bear PR move since their movie, Grizzly ManThrush says Grizzly Man shouldn’t count because Timothy Treadwell was a bona fide loon. Loons offended. Argument ensues.

African Grey Parrot points out that Hippos, Crocodiles, Snake, Bugs, Cows, Horses, Dogs, Ants, Bees and even Jellyfish kill more people each year than Birds, and that as a species, considering ourselves “killing machines” is irrational at best. Everyone stares at her, and, realizing she’s made her point in English, she repeats her observation in Birdish. In response, Crow throws a Blu-Ray copy of Hitchcock’s The Birds at African Grey. Geese begin singing “O Canada.”  American Eagle flips table. Fight erupts. Owl slams Woodpecker’s head into the podium and regains order.

Emu suggests putting a Cassowary in charge of a new “Most Dangerous Birds” subcommittee, but in the end, all present are too terrified to find a Cassowary and ask.

Falcon offers to rip a Human’s eyes out sometime in the coming week.  A vote is taken and the Eyes have it. After the vote everyone notices both the snacks and the Sea Gulls have gone missing.

Red-Footed Boobie offers an idea, but laughter is so loud following his introduction that his remarks go unrecorded.

In the middle of scheduling the next meeting, Magpie imitates a dog barking and everyone scatters. During the panic, Blue Jay hits another invisible wall. A vote is taken, and Magpie is ousted for the day with a 125 to 3 vote, the three Nays cast by Mockingbirds, who argue the prank was all in good fun and then imitate a car alarm. Everyone returns to the meeting, except the Chickens who aren’t seen for the rest of the day.

Vulture asks for it to be noted that we’re all going to die.

Penguin finally shows up just as meeting ends, citing lack of flight as his excuse. Again.

Swans sing closing anthem.

Meeting adjourned.

Amy Vansant
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6 Responses

  1. Nancy Goldberg Levine

    So funny–one of my heroes is named after the Blue Jay (and he does tell a good story).



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