Mother Nature threw me a softball to start. We hopped the fence to the river and immediately spotted three crows fighting over a Doritos bag on a telephone pole. Crows may be the only bird I know well. They're essentially tiny flying octopi; they're experts at solving puzzles, building tools, and developing multilateral approaches to the situation in Ukraine. Science had no idea just how intelligent they were until recently, when an ornithologist caught them in the wild memorizing our faces. Overnight, a species that used to only be a harbinger of death in fiction suddenly became the spirit animal of pop culture. But as stunningly intelligent as crows can be, they're also kind of dicks.
Crows frequently orchestrate cat fights for no other reason than the thrill of secondhand violence. Crows know that even a neutered domesticated animal is only a hairsbreadth away from falling back on some instinctual savagery. The same weird satisfaction you feel watching nerds fistfight over the rules of Warhammer, crows feel while watching house cats clumsily try to tap into that atrophied beast within themselves so they can remember how a mauling is supposed to go.
(Add those videos of crows making cats fight. I think there are at least three, so these drinks are in good faith: ***)
They're also famous for stealing the windshield wipers off of cars. Not to use them as nesting material or to solve cold fusion or anything, just to be generally awful, and presumably to murder each of us while we're doing 70 on the highway and a storm hits.
As I took pictures of the crows, I told my wife they may be the only bird I actually like, and she suggested that maybe it's because I can relate to their enthusiasm for fucking up someone else's day. I'm taking an extra two drinks just to soothe that sick burn she laid on me.**