Monday, July 03, 2006

Who's afraid of the big, bad goose?

I have had many the strange fears and phobias over my 37-plus years on this planet. Thankfully, I have overcome most with one glaring exception:

Canadian geese.

It was about 1994 when I was leaving my apartment in New Brighton one summer evening. I was walking to my car when I heard this shuffling noise in the grass. I turned around to see three Canadian geese sauntering towards me, hissing all the while. I was able to retreat into my car before the geese were able to reach me. All I could think about was Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “The Birds”, a film depicting our fine feathered friends (in that case, seagulls) running amok by attacking humans.

Over the next 10-plus years, I didn’t have many occasions where I encountered the long-necked creatures. That is, until 2004 when I began employment at a Maple Grove office building near a pond. Near this particular body of water dwells a plethora of these geese. Each morning upon my arrival to work I always keep a sharp eye out for these devilish creatures. I am usually able to arrive at a time where the geese are gathering at a safe distance away from the two entrances near where I park.

On Saturday I had to tend to a couple of things at my office. Since I never fancy working on weekends, I didn’t arrive until 11:00 am. By that time, two large flocks of Canadian geese “manned” each entrance that I was attempting to approach. As I started to pull into a parking spot nearest to one of the entrances, there were two geese that ran towards my vehicle. Oh, I recognized that look. They were indeed hissing with all the vigor I witnessed in 1994. I felt trapped. I couldn’t go in either of the back entrances which were closest to my office. I drove around to the front of the building, where I proceeded to use that entrance.

I completed my hour of work and was ready to leave. Since I was the only person in the building, I would have to set the alarm before leaving. The dilemma I faced was setting the alarm and exiting within 30 seconds. The alarm panel was on the back door which meant I had to arm the building and run out the front door all within the allotted half minute.

If I didn’t get out of the building in the time permitted, the Maple Grove police would have responded to a burglary call in our office building. I then would’ve had to explain to Maple Grove’s finest that I was an employee of the company occupying said building. That would have resulted in me calling someone in management at home on a Holiday weekend. In turn, management would have begrudgingly come to the office and vouched for me.

All of that due to my irrational fear of Canadian geese.

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