Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My favorite bird

The Great Potoo,  ball-yeller extrordinaire

A few days ago the kids and I went over to my in-laws for a visit.  Mitch's mom and I were chatting and Kira found a bird book on their shelf that had an audio player on it that played the calls of the birds.  It was really neat so she played us some of the calls.  One of the birds is called the Great Potoo bird and it is native to Southern Mexico and Belize.  It says, "BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL...." in a really gravely voice.  Here, listen to it by clicking on this link.  (The audio isn't that great, but it is the best I could find online and he makes the call quite a few times.  Stick with it.)  It cracked us all up.  Then Kira played it again and this time it didn't make Julie laugh, but I was still laughing, and then Kira played a few other ones and Julie and I kept talking.  I could tell that the constant bird calls were getting on Julie's nerves so she did what she always does when kids get annoying: she ignores the behavior and eventually they stop.  I tried to also ignore the behavior because it was super obnoxious but everytime I heard that "BAAAAAAAAAAAAALL" I couldn't help but laugh.  She was making me look immature and foolish and she knew it, and she was enjoying it, so I told her to go somewhere and play.  She took the book with her and continued to periodically play the sound and everytime I heard even the faintest haunting "BAAAAAAAAAALLLL" from upstairs or from the basement, I laughed.  Julie was watching me try to stifle my laughs and eventually said, "Oh for goodness sakes!" which can be roughly translated to "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

 I don't know why, but hearing anyone yell out BAAAAAAALLLLLL, especially a weirdo bird, cracks me up.  I think it's because birdsong is supposed to be beautiful and delightful and yelling out "BAAAAAAAAAAALLLL" is neither beautiful nor delightful.  It's obnoxious and hilarious.


  1. HiLARious. Sounds like an old man trying to get a popcorn hull out of his throat. I'm afraid that could keep me laughing for a pitifully long time.

  2. OK thats just weird......I think it sounds kind of haunted house scary.....

    And from now on I am so using the phase

    " neither beautiful or delightful"

  3. i find that when i think someone thinks i'm being dumb i laugh EVEN MORE, because i laugh a lot when i get nervous. so that would have been a very bad situation for me.
    i also worry a lot about how i will keep myself from laughing at the kids i may or may not have, when they do something naughty yet hilarious. WHAT AM I GOING TO DO?! :P

  4. That bird is the UGLIEST creature EVER! What a creepy thing and the noise it makes made it even more ugly if that is possible. Ish! Ish! Ish!

  5. I did not know of this bird's existence. I like it!


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