During a stroll along the beach while vacationing in Naples, Florida, I stumbled upon a melodramatic scene of what appeared to be intense marital strife.
A group of terns were gathered quietly on the sand while one tern proceeded to “rant” at another poor tern for a good fifteen minutes straight. Whenever the recipient attempted to turn away, the noisy one would follow and get right up in its face. The other terns just sort of sidled away and kept their distance. It was hilarious. So hilarious, in fact, that several other beachgoers ambled over to watch.
It was a no-brainer that the one ranting just had to be the wife and the one being ranted at was the husband, who had obviously done something heinous enough to warrant the degree of beak-lashing that ensued.
So here’s how it all went down:
That’s tern-wife in the middle of the group, screaming at the back of tern-husband’s head.
Tern-wife: “You old crow! How DARE you look at HER that way in front of all of our tern-friends?”
Tern-wife: “I demand an apology right now, you old buzzard!”
A heavy silence looms between the crashing of the waves as she waits for a response. No response is forthcoming.
Tern-wife: “You yellow-bellied sapsucker! Did you not hear what I just chirped? YOU OWE ME AN APOLOGY!”
Dead silence. Tern-husband looks around for an escape route.
There is no escape! Tern-husband prays for the tide to roll in and wash his tern-wife out to sea.
Tern-wife: “Have you no thoughts whatsoever in that birdbrain of yours? You look me in the eye when I’m talking to you…you SCUMSUCKING SEAGULL!”
Hubby takes a deep breath and makes a run for it.
Tern-wife: “WTF! You CHICKENSHIT! You DARE to tern away from me? Isn’t it just like you to run from our problems!” (Notice the tern-friend nearby covering his ears with his wings.)
Tern-wife: “You get your tailfeathers back here and face the birdsong!”
Tern-wife: “I am at the end of my pier with you. You are nothing but a lame duck!”
Tern-husband peers out to sea longingly. He wonders if he has the strength left to hold his body underwater long enough to get the job done.
Tern-wife: “I have a mind to rope you to a conch shell and toss you out to sea!”
Tern-wife: “No response to that either, huh? Ok. I’ve had enough! I’m done! We’re over!”
Tern-wife: “You’ll be hearing from my tern-lawyer by sundown.”
It was at this point that I “reterned” to my lounge chair with the full realization that all men have an innate aptitude for tuning out their women, no matter what species they belong to.
Going to the beach can be such an educational experience.