Here we see Jonathan Selwood wake up from a one-night stand in the middle of a three ring circus.
I jolt awake to find myself brutally hungover and completely surrounded by clowns. Clown wallpaper, a clown headboard, and an entire bookshelf dedicated to porcelain clown figurines. My horror is only slightly reduced when I recall that Campbell (at least I think that’s her name) mentioned something about training to be a trapeze artist. I turn my head to find her naked and asleep beside me cuddling a stuffed giraffe (at least it’s not a clown).
Over in the kitchen, I can see that her pet Rottweiler has somehow managed to rip the crisper out of the refrigerator and is eating what looks like raw bacon.
Do dogs get trichinosis?
The rest of the apartment is littered with caramel corn. I’m not really sure how that happened, but I have a suspicion it was my fault. Actually, I have a suspicion that just about everything is my fault.
My head pounding, I sneak out of bed and make my way to the bathroom to check her medicine cabinet for something Advil-esque. To my dismay, I find it filled almost exclusively with traditional Chinese medicine stuff in little unlabeled boxes.
I close the cabinet, only to be startled when something flutters past my ear. At first I think it’s a bat, but when I look down, I see a pigeon calmly strolling across the linoleum floor and out into the main room. As if this isn’t disturbing enough, a moment later a second pigeon squeezes in through the partially open window and hops to the floor. I’ve never seen a pigeon brazen enough to actually enter an apartment (much less two), and am too stunned to immediately react. Taking advantage of this hesitation, a third pigeon squeezes in through what can’t be more than three inches of open window. I consider grabbing it, but then reconsider and just try to shut the window.
It won’t shut.
It seems obvious that I should wake up Campbell and apprise her of the situation, but the last time I woke up a one night stand, she didn’t recognize me and screamed so loud that her roommate came running in with a stun gun. Not that Campbell has a roommate, but…
Two more pigeons squeeze in and jump to the floor.
I grab a couple hand towels and stuff them into the window crack. The fit is far from airtight, but it seems snug enough to at least temporarily block the avian onslaught. Sneaking back into the main room, I start searching for the pigeons that already got past me. With the curtains drawn, the main room is darker than the bathroom, and it takes a few minutes before I spot movement on the credenza next to the bed. I take a step towards it, but then spot more movement on the floor near the closet… at the foot of the bed… at least two in the kitchen with the seemingly oblivious Rottweiler… six… ten… fourteen… three more over by the door…
This is not good. Not good at all.
Coming around the bed, I see that they’re after the caramel corn which, as I noticed earlier, is strewn everywhere (how I could have noticed the caramel corn and not the flock of twenty some-odd pigeons feeding on it, is beyond me). Potential screaming or not, I’m going to need Campbell’s help with this.
She’d have to be dead not to hear that one. Only I can see she’s still breathing.
Naked and breathing.
Did I mention this is the first hook-up I’ve had in months?
Okay, now is not the time to get excited.
Stay focused. Remember the pigeons.
Of course, it’s hard to focus when your head feels like it’s stuck in a freakin’ trash compactor.
It occurs to me that a little hair of the dog might help.
The Rottweiler has moved on from the raw bacon to a wilted head of purple cabbage, and ignores me as I scout out the kitchen. A thorough inventory of all the cabinets produces only an empty bottle of cooking mirin, but I discover two unopened bottles of Veuve Clicquot in the fridge. I realize it’s repulsive to steal fine champagne from a trapeze artist who just a few hours ago was kind enough to demonstrate the erotic advantages of pretzel-like flexibility, but desperate hangovers call for desperate measures.
I grab one of the bottles, start to open it, and then promptly slip in the puddle of dog slobber and bacon fat that the Rottweiler’s left in front of the refrigerator. The bottle bangs hard against the linoleum floor, and the pressurized cork goes off like a shot—leaving me to watch helplessly as it ricochets off the ceiling, knocks the light fixture askew, banks off the clown headboard, and pegs Campbell in the head. She sits bolt upright and locks eyes on me in instant recognition before I can hide the bottle.
“Is that my Veuve Clicquot?”
The popping cork must have startled the pigeons, because before I can answer, several flap their way up off the floor and onto the bed.
“Ahh!!!” Campbell jumps naked out of bed swatting and screaming.
Her panic excites the rest of the pigeons and they rise up off the bed and start to circle the room in a flock.
“AHHH!!!” Campbell screams even louder.
My attempts to calm her down and deal with the situation are hindered by the sight of her naked body bounding about the room.
“Where the fuck did they come from?” She pauses in her hysteria.
“The window.” I point to the bathroom.
“Well, help me get them out of here!”
Campbell’s stumped by this for a moment, then runs to the closet and pulls out one of those mini souvenir baseball bats.
“Campbell, I don’t think—”
The mini bat misses a fluttering pigeon and drives two inches deep into the sheet rock. Somebody in the apartment next door pounds back on the wall and yells at us in a language that I’ve never heard before (Finnish?).
Campbell ignores the neighbors, and starts swinging like crazy—knocking over one of the bedside lamps and breaking the bulb. A snow of filthy white and gray feathers begins to choke the room.
I look at Campbell.
I look at the bacon and cabbage-eating Rottweiler.
I look at the circling pigeons.
I look at the bookshelf full of clown figurines.
And I run.