Why DO birds suddenly appear? And why are they a hassle?

Life’s a hassle.

I don’t know who said that, first at least. But I am saying it now. From flying to driving to going to the doctor to going to work to renewing your library book. “Enough! Enough!” I say.

But tis fortunate that at least I am not a dog in El Paso.

When one is in a completely different geography, topology, physiography and dingology — study of dingoes perhaps? — for a few days and can sit in the back yard and smell the oleanders, it is then that life begins to look differently even though that is a debatable statement.

Sitting in my friend’s back yard, just able to see the top of the Franklin Mountains over the house in back of the back yard, I was intrigued by what I thought were owls hooting at 6 or 7 in the afternoon. It turned out, said my friend Rene (his work friends call him “Louie” as a nickname for his middle name of Luis), that the avian sounds originated from white-winged doves.

Louie’s neighborhood is full of doves. They are perhaps more overbearing than beautiful and they drive my friend’s dogs absolutely bonkers. The doves actually taunt the dogs. The doves even taunt my friend.

Rene and Martha have five dogs and five cats. The five dogs range in size from beast to little s**t. There are three male dogs in the bunch with a small dog trying to be Alpha although the beast seems best not to jack with when it comes to the first familiar face it sees after a long while. Number Three male is kind of past its prime, but then, aren’t we all just a bit?

Little Alpha dog stares with intensity at the doves when they are anywhere near my friend’s property, or anywhere near Texas it seems. Then the dog barks, loudly and with a sharp, grating sound sort of like a large sledgehammer striking steel. The doves will get close to the dogs, within a few feet as long as the canine hordes are behind a gate. Brave those doves will be while the dogs are fenced in and kept away.

Rene tires of the dog and dove freak show and decides to get rid of the troublemaker. The perpetrator is a dove sitting smugly on the rock wall.

“Ha, ha, you are powerless against my dove wits,” the dove seems to silently say.

“Whap,” goes a faded, green tennis ball Rene throws about a foot too low below the rock fence-perched dove.

“Damn. They’re not even scared of me!” says Louie. (The same guy as in the above sentence)

The lesson to be learned is that even when sitting in a beautiful desert oasis surrounded by the mountains and white oleanders and the pretty doves, life can also be a hassle, especially if you are a dog bullied by the taunting doves.

As for the late Karen Carpenter reference? I haven’t a clue.