By David Glenn Cox
When I was a young, brash and otherwise obnoxious teenager we, my buddies and I would ride around in my friend Charles’s 1967 Camaro. It was the 70’s and we were out burning things that were illegal to burn even today and after the fires had gone out we were up for some local entertainment. Remember now, we were sixteen seventeen years old kids and we knew shouldn’t have done this but we did it anyway.
In a little wooden framed house on the corner of a quiet street there was a man that we called the birdman. He was peaceable enough and caused no trouble to anyone in the neighborhood but what had originally brought him to our attention in the first place was the signage on his property. On a sign centrally located in his front yard that he had made from a gas station or grocery store sign he had painted his claim as the heir and the rightful king of Germany.
His sign was his centerpiece, he had crosses nailed into all the trees made with bicycle reflectors and Confederate flags on either side of the front door. Bizarre bird feeders hung down from the trees and lawn ornaments dotted the property in an abundant quantity as to make mowing it a nightmare.
But just to get a rise out of the birdman we would ride slowly past his house and blow the horn. Not a blast or prolonged note just a short tap like when you pick some one up and the birdman would respond with out fail by flipping us off. If he was in the yard he would stop what he was doing and flip us off. If he was in the house, in the summer time he would stick his arm out the window, in winter he would just hold it up in the window. He was a constant and completely predictable at all times.
I know today that we shouldn’t have done it that, this was a troubled man and we were picking on him but it was a guilty pleasure. No real harm done, it was like throwing a rock into the yard of a dog that liked to bark too much, you knew you shouldn’t do it but you did it anyway. We didn’t do it every day or even every week for as the heir to the German throne he wasn’t always home. But if he was home you knew what to expect and it became almost casual and obligatory and in no ways threatening. Some times in fact he would just rest his elbow on the window sill and just leave his bird flying for the whole world to see or would flip us off and continue cutting the grass almost like a friendly wave.
Eventually the game was over and the birdman moved on to were ever deposed crown heads usually go. Who knows, maybe he left for a villa in Saxony or a castle on the Rhine fulfilling his duties by flipping off his native subjects. But whenever I think back to the birdman my memories are immediately linked to Ann Coulter. Memories are funny that way; you smell cheap cologne and think of your Uncle Frank or Juju Bees remind you of Saturday movie matinees. Ann and the Birdman are both inseparable to me, both with that nutty psychotic thing going on, that make you think that maybe they’re dangerous but probably not.
When I read Ann’s columns in my mind I see the birdman’s sign proclaiming his royalty much like Ann’s claims to being an intellectual. This week in the adventures of Annie of Insultvannia she rambles around like a pinball rolling from talking point to talking point about the Immigration bill. I ask you, is it me? Or when you read Ann’s columns do you visualize a bottle of whiskey on the table next to her or am I just honking the horn in front of the birdman’s house again? It’s really all the same, the issues don’t matter King of Germany or immigration, Ann and the Birdman are going to flip their birds up. Ann tries this week to compare the Democrats of the 1860’s to modern Democrats and I don’t think even the birdman would go that far! But as the whiskey took hold she begins to go after everyone, someone apparently had honked the horn one to many times in front of Ann’s house!
I guess what ties them together in my mind is that both Ann and the Birdman are one trick ponies, Birdman had his finger and Ann the Democrats. But the Birdman was satisfied with his station, having lost out on his royal throne he could accept his position as local nut. Ann however having ridden to success on a black cocktail dress and mean spirited vindictiveness struggles to hold on by becoming more shrill and more vindictive. Not just at the Democrats but of everyone, suspected of blowing the horn outside her house, an almost certain sign of someone losing it.
Ann has had some bumps and jostles of late and is seldom asked on mainstream television any more and she’s developed an attendance record at speaking engagements to rival George Jones. She reminds me of the rookie baseball pitcher known for his fast ball who works the count to three and two when the manager yells, "Time." The manager goes out to the mound and the pitcher asks, "What do you want me to throw him?" The manager answers, "You throw anything you want except a fastball!"
"But that’s my best pitch! That’s the pitch that got me here!" The manager looks at him and says, "Kid then you won’t be here long, we got lots of hard throwers but what we need are pitchers." Ann’s just a hard thrower unable to develop a curve or a change up so she tries to just throw a little harder still which leads to a loss of control. And to painting the sign to put out on her front lawn proclaiming that she is in fact the rightful Queen of conservatism and flipping off anyone who drives by and blows the horn.