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Aflockalypse: I Haven't A Flocking Clue

Honey, quick. Hand me the umbrella.

I’ve been on the road all day, and as such, I’ve been listening to talk radio to help pass the miles away. And today, my ears told me something that my eyes have long known thanks to reading countless articles.

We’re officially obsessed with the “Aflcokalypse.” And, I’m sorry, y’all. But I’m flocking over it. In fact, in my humble opinion, the aflockalypse proves one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt. Adults have more in common with their children than they realize.

But before I get to that, please let me assure you that I’m not trying to come off holier than though. I, too, have been freaked and tweaked by the various reports of birds dropping from the sky like large, feathered sleet. And the fish that started washing up left and right in different parts of the country / world? Sure. I was curious.

So I did what everyone else did. Googled and read. Googled and read. Googled and read. We’ve written about the phenomenon plenty here at Strollerderby. Danielle got the ball rolling by first reporting the dead birds. Carolyn pointed out the following day that she thought our obsession with dead animals was essentially an obsession with the end of time.

Madeline opined that the dead fish in Maryland still didn’t translate to an apocalypse. And Heather offered up scientific answers for the mass animal deaths according to science.

And today, everyone on the radio was offering up their theory, essentially regurgitating and or combining various elements of what I’d read on Strollerderby and elsewhere.

My take? I kinda buy the cold-water theory for the fish, but the “acute physical trauma” (perhaps caused by New Year’s Eve fireworks?) the birds suffered? Sorry, y’all. Don’t believe it. Not for a second. But you know what I do think is behind it all?

I haven’t a flocking clue. And that’s exactly what I told my daughter when she asked me about it. Well, except the flocking part.

“What do you mean you don’t know?” she repeated.

“Just what I said, honey. I don’t know.” I explained the various theories, but also expressed my skepticism in their ability to explain it all away.

A look of disappointment came across her face. I’m one of the ones she turns to when she can’t figure this world out. I’m one of the ones who gives her the answers, who helps her make sense of the unknown. The knowledge I provide takes the spookiness out of many a thing. That’s why my daughter asks me so many questions. That’s why all kids ask all parents so many questions.

And that’s why a world of grown ups are asking so many questions about birds falling from the sky and fish washing upon the various shores. That’s why we keep googling and reading, googling and reading, googling and reading.

Because we’re just like our kids. We want to know the answer. The one that explains it all beyond a shadow of a doubt. The one that makes us feel safe at night. So we turn to the experts. And they tell us the answers. What we do with them from there is up to us.

And I’m not buying them all. At least not 100%. Instead, I think that there are some things we simply aren’t meant to understand.

Image: stock.xchng

John Cave Osborne’s personal blog.
John Cave Osborne’s book website.

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