Blocked Gutter Birds

‘Now those,’ my brother nodded next to me, ‘are some cute baby birds.’

         ‘Is there really nothing you can do?’ I sighed, craning my neck to look up. ‘Nothing?’

         ‘Sorry, sis,’ he shook his head. ‘If you’ve got baby birds living in your gutter, you’ve got baby birds staying in your warehouse gutter.’

         ‘Great,’ I sighed, slumping down on my patio chair. ‘What about if I hire a company that does commercial gutter cleaning?’

         ‘What, I’m not commercial enough for you?’ my brother frowned, crossing his arms.

         ‘Gary, you’re literally wearing your pyjamas right now.’

         ‘They’re tracksuit pants!’ he protested.

         I arched an eyebrow at him.

         ‘Tracksuit pants that happen to also be my pyjamas.’

         ‘Thank you.’

         ‘Look, it doesn’t matter who you call, nobody is going to shift out some baby birds, no matter where the nest is.’

         ‘It’s clogging my gutter!’

         ‘Or,’ he asked, wistfully, ‘is your gutter clogging their home?’

         ‘They’re definitely the clog in this situation.’

         ‘Have a heart!’

         ‘Screw my heart, I’m worried about my drain collapsing.’

         He shook his head slowly, taking a step back and shielding his eyes so he could look at the birds again.

         ‘Look,’ he finally said. ‘I get it – it’s frustrating. But where would our great city be without its blocked drains? Melbourne was built on compassion, Laura. Be a part of the change.’

         I blinked at him, slowly. Ever so softly, my dazed confusion settled into a frown.

         ‘So I haven’t convinced you then?’ he took a guess.

         ‘You have not.’


         ‘Is that even a thing?’

         ‘Is what even a thing?’

         ‘The whole “nobody will get rid of the birds” thing.’

         ‘Well…’ he couldn’t meet my eyes. ‘Anyone with a conscience…’

         ‘Dammit Gary!’

         ‘Just leave the birds alone!’

         I stood up and stormed back towards my house.

         ‘Where are you going?’ he called after me.

         ‘To get a broom! I’ll do it myself.’