This makes me weirdly homesick.

My sister and her kids are at my parents’ house and we were supposed to be there too but this hernia bullshit made traveling impossible so I’m living vicariously through my sister’s texts: geese

Turns out that they are not swans but are baby geese.  I know from experience that they grow up into real bastards and can draw blood when angry, so I reminded Lisa to get tetanus shots but then she reminded me that she had already learned her lesson because daddy had given her husband tetanus a few years ago.  Accidentally, that is.  Not as a gift.  That would be a terrible gift.  Not as bad as indoor geese probably.  But close.

Bumble protecting the kids from predatory geese.  I don't know if he has his tetanus shot yet.  He's new to the family.
Bumble protecting the kids from predatory geese with his “I’M WATCHIN’ YOU FUCKERS” stare. I don’t know if he has his tetanus shot yet. He’s new to the family.

This all makes me terribly homesick.

How weird.

118 thoughts on “This makes me weirdly homesick.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. You are wonderful and I love your love for your family. I hope the hernia heals as fast as a tailless lizard.

  2. I had a pet goose once. You’re right about them. Rottweilers chased by a cloud of hornets are less viscious. Bumble is a good dog.

    Continued healing . . .

  3. The things we miss. I was just telling someone this morning about my incident running into a dead animal – literally, much like in your book- and it made me miss my dad.

  4. I’ve got some geese living next door. They are incredibly loud. Also, I think that one is psychotic. It laughs like a crazed clown for a couple of hours a day.

  5. The U.S. military replaced guard dogs with geese at some bases because they are more relentless and louder.

  6. It looks like Bumble has it under control. He’d totally have been able to protect your brother-in-law from tetnus which is probably why they got him.

  7. don’t worry. you’ll be back on your feet in no time, and then you’ll be attacked by not-as-baby-geese-as-they-were-when-you-were-recovering, and then you’ll be back on your back, but at least you won’t be homesick!

  8. Yes, homesick because weird you are used to is better than normal that you are not used to. Plus, really, live geese in the house and you are not there!

  9. Yeah, I know how you feel, first you get sick of home, then you get homesick. Problem is, the progression follows you for the rest of your life.

  10. I’m guessing you chose NOT to use the word “gosling” to avoid getting all that Ryan Gosling web traffic that the cool people don’t want anything to do with. 🙂

  11. “Run. Run quickly.” Sage advice. And, you’re right, tetanus would be a terrible gift.

    I once removed a maggot-infested carcass from under my mom’s house, but I’m not homesick. Sorry about your homesickness though.

  12. All geese hate my oldest son. He didn’t believe me when I told him to leave them alone. Now they passed around his picture and hunt him down. He is doomed.. I am not going to save him. No way am I going on that most wanted wall. Poor kid. Good thing I have a spare.

  13. Geese have teeth. On their tongue.I hate those godforsaken Birds. It’s funny the stuff that will make you homesick. Wishing you quick healing.

  14. They look like Chinese Goslings. If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to box up a couple of ours (the least aggressive ones, of course) and send them to you for a week or so. Ya know, just to make sure your family doesn’t miss out on the memories.
    Besides, your sister will be jealous, cause yours will be bigger! (and louder, and poop more…)

  15. Wait, geese like, to keep? Or did he borrow them for entertainment? And Hailey could have used the duck call she made!

  16. My uncle gave my 87 year old grandpa a baby potbellied pig 2 years ago. This year it was 8 live lobsters….I kind of wish it was a pig again!

  17. Do you think there will come a day when your father will just bring home flowers for your mom and not something that needs shots and can draw blood?

  18. Ren and Stimpy shirt! Y’all should make your family reunions a public affair. You could charge admission.

  19. My Nana said that geese make better watch dogs than dogs. And are way more vicious. I’ve had a healthy respect for them ever since.

  20. I so get you. There was a time my brother had a pig living in his kitchen, which believe it or not was immensely less messy than the ducks or goats. I’m thankful for my non-ordinary family. It makes get-togethers more colorful.

    Hope your now-fixed-hernia feels better soon. Your insides are really pissed- that’s what’s causing the pain. Body insides can be vindictive little fuckers.

  21. Love that the dog is named Bumble! After the Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer movie, of course.
    Hope you’re feeling all better very soon!

  22. There is only one Gosling I’d like in my house.

    And you know someone is making a fortune selling diseases as presents. “As seen on TV! Tetanus in a box! Call now and we’ll throw in rabies for free!”

  23. My aunt and uncle have a pair of geese that visit their creek every year. My uncle was just telling us how another invader couple tried to encroach…he said it was the most horrific fight he’d ever witnessed…in real life or on the screen. Geese are the swans of Satan.

  24. OMG. I’m sitting here giggling, because I think your family might be as frakked up as mine is.

    “Last time I was home, dad made us sit down before dinner and watch Santa Barbara.”

    “Wait. Dad watches soaps?”

    “And makes the whole entire family stop everything they’re doing and watch it with him. You can’t do anything else. No phone calls. No nothing.”

    Okay. It’s not baby geese, but…

  25. Reading this reminded me of the squirrel story from your first book. I don’t know why, but that one made me crack up so much! It’s probably something my grandfather would have pulled if he thought he could get away with it. Just think, these kids will have amazing stories to tell when they get older too….the cycle will be perpetuated!

  26. My parents once had a hawk accidentally drop a headless grouse into their backyard. They were like well, free food has fallen from the sky. So they cooked it up for dinner. The hawk was probably pissed. They told my sister and she was like, “You don’t know what it died from! It could be diseased!” And they responded with, “IT DOESN’T HAVE A HEAD. We’re pretty sure we know how it died. And also we cooked it really well.” That’s Montanans for you.

  27. I grew up in a house on a river with a huge back yard. Geese were everywhere. One time I tried to chase them. They turned around and chased me back, and I think it was the most scared I’ve ever been in my life. To this day if I go to that house, I don’t even have to look at them before they start charging toward me.

    I highly doubt they’re the same geese from 15-20 years ago. They must have turned me into some kind of folklore among their flock.

  28. It’s funny, all I could think of was “her poor carpet”. Goose poop is nasty.

  29. Geese are excellent watchdogs. And yes, swans are far crankier! Thank you to Don A in Pennsyltucky for pointing that out – swans are bigger and nastier than geese.

  30. My father use to bring my mother “gifts” (2 pigs, 2 ducks, 1 skunk) and NONE of these things made good pets when you lived in the suburbs!
    But do make for great stories!

  31. Geese are dicks. I lived next to a man-made lake when I was in the UK for grad school and got hissed at every single morning on my way to class. The university even had a special “poo man” come around each week riding on some sort of guano Zamboni to clear the droppings off the walkways.

  32. If I got tetanus, my husband would start calling the CDC for help in calculating how long he could enjoy the lock-jaw induced quiet without completely killing me. I know where I stand – I’ve got his number!

  33. “because daddy had given her husband tetanus a few years ago”
    This reminds me just a bit of being in college – Medical Microbiology. A big part of our grade and most of the quarter was spent trying to identify a bacteria that had been assigned to each of us. We got making puzzled/worried looks when one of us would shout out (while in the cafeteria), “I got gonorrhea!”. Such nerds. 🙂

  34. I take my daughter to a music class, and when we’re finished, we go to the pond to feed bread to the ducks. It’s so adorable, all these little baby ducklings milling around together, then BOOM!! Two Canada Geese come flying over and scare all the little ones into the reeds so they can eat. And they have babies!! Those Motherfuckers are setting a poor example, I’m telling you…

  35. We had some goslings this Spring at the little lake behind our house. They were all named Ryan, of course, and they were floofy and adorable. Now they’re just about grown and are indistinguishable from the fat, waddling, bad-tempered adult goose bastards they came from. Geese suck, is what I’m saying.

  36. Tetanus would be the worst gift ever.

    Also, Canadian Geese in particular are the worst of the worst. Those fuckers decide to set up nests anywhere: middle of your driveway, the parking lot at Costco, etc. And don’t even bother trying to encourage them to move. They are vicious. Bastards.

  37. This is why I am worried about what Ryan Gosling will be like when he gets older. Oh sure, right now he’s cute and cuddly but in 30 years he’s going to be mean and cranky, attacking people for no reason, and leaving poop on golf courses across America.

  38. “Merry Christmas! Have some herpes!” Just nearly choked to death.

    Side note: Geese are assholes. Local park has a shitton of them and one in particular hates me. Every time I go there the little bastard makes a beeline for me. Hissing, spitting and flapping its wings. It seriously needs to wind up I’m someone’s oven.

  39. We have a flock of turkeys living in our corporate complex. Some of them are big enough to be good eating! And one of my coworkers is afraid of them – she won’t go out the door into the parking lot if they are nearby. (Her story is that they don’t have turkeys in the ‘hood she grew up in.) 🙂

  40. OMG, Katren.

    I had a neighbor who had geese and peacocks. They both have challenging personalities, but I loved having peacocks around. They eat rattle snakes and this was Arizona. So, yay peacocks. Noisy, up in the middle of the night, tear apart the garden, wander in to the neighbors, messy, get very affronted if you try to send them home, cranky, and expensive. I still like them.

  41. The story about the geese and the mailman in your book had me laughing so hard I was peeing. Especially when the geese were carrying the mail around in their beaks…

  42. Oh, for heaven’s sake…just raise the babies like you would a dog or cat and the geese will be ok when they’re older. Spread your own arms wide if they get too close for comfort. Teeth (??)…they do have a bit of a jagged edge on their bills, but no teeth. Yes, I’m touched in the head and have some pet geese…nothing like having a sick goose in the bathtub that you’re desperately trying to not wake up in the middle of the night when you have to pee…that squawk echoing off of bathroom tile is reeaallllyyy something!

  43. I need to know how your father gave your bro-in-law tetanus now. Immediately, if possible.Thank you.

  44. We have two different “when geese attack” stories in our family and they both end with missing fingers.

  45. I found a great parking spot at work yesterday because our resident geese were LOUNGING in the cross walk, so I went the other direction. Some of my co-workers are scared of them, but if you hiss at them or come at them really fast you can get them to fly off the tops of the cars (where they like to hang out). Building a wetland into the parking area seemed like an earth-friendly thing to do but now we dodge goose poop and hope our cars don’t get fowled.

  46. We have a lot of geese living in our community. They stand in the middle of the path and hiss at me as I try to pass them. I have started hissing back at them. My boyfriend and I are convinced that when they are shouting at one another, what they are saying is “Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Goose! Hey! Hey!”

  47. This is doubly horrifying since I just re-read Allie Brosh’s story of the attack goose. Geese are frightening creatures. (Bear in mind birds are just cute feathered DINOSAURS.)

  48. My father’s passion in life is shooting Canada geese with a shotgun. I was never very impressed with him for it because I don’t like eating them. Their meat is dark, tough, and oily. We have local populations of them in the East Bay now, and they are so obnoxious that every time I see them I give my dad a retroactive cheer for all of the ones I can remember seeing him shoot. I have even slightly upgraded my memories of eating them.

  49. Is that child wearing a Ren and Stimpy shirt?! I can understand why you’re feeling homesick; who wouldn’t want to be with such a cool family AND baby geese?! I hope you feel better soon 🙂

  50. Geese are mean buggers, but goslings are still pretty cute. It’s the guinea hens I can’t stand (even though I know they’re good because they eat ticks). It’s the noise. Holy face-hugging-Chthulu, the NOISE. Their squawk is just like fingernails on a chalkboard, and you can’t eat them (because hello, they eat TICKS…blech).

  51. I feel like not a single being is relaxed in that photo AT ALL.

    Geese: Where the fuck am I?
    Dog: WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?
    Kids: I kinda want to touch them… but I also kinda don’t want to lose my hand…

  52. Well, our secret’s out. Canadians are so polite because the geese are so nasty. Busted!

  53. Based on all your family’s animal stories, Bumble looks a little too cute and fluffy to hang. He’d better have several attitude problems and a shiv.

  54. Pffft. That’s small potatoes compared to having a sloth and a wallaby. He’s has to up his game.

  55. Don’t worry y’all, Bumble ate both the geese a few minutes after this picture was taken, so no worries about adult geese running around. Just kidding. Actually, they are living in the taxidermy shop, the back part where they work on the animals. We’re letting them know from the start what’s going to happen to them if they stick one little goosey foot out of line. They’re probably going to need therapy.

  56. Wait — am I crazy or didn’t your dad bring you and your sister a box of ducklings when you were a kid? He must have a soft spot for baby fowl.

  57. This is so adorable and hilarious and also slightly dangerous. It really makes me want a second book. Sorry you’re still dealing with the hernia bullshit. Sending positive thoughts because maybe new age-y bullshit can counteract hernia bullshit. But also, because you’re awesome and I hope you have the speediest hernia recovery on record.

  58. I was chased away from my own front door by a pair of semi-feral muscovy ducks (which are kind of geese, really) which had decided to eat some plants at the front of my unit. Luckily a small dog similar to Bumble chased them away for me. I am sure Bumble will do a great job!

  59. I just love the fact that one of your sisters children is wearing a Ren and Stimpy shirt!!! 🙂

  60. I remember being at Niagara Falls and visiting the Canadian side when I was younger, and watching the geese roam all over the flat area. And I remember trying to see how close they’d let me get, and subsequently running the fuck away because they’re total dicks who will chase you.

    When I said younger, I meant 20.

  61. Get them out of the house. Nearly all baby animals are cute in some way, but those geese grow up to be right bastards who will terrorize the house and shit for England. We have some on our pond here, and it’s like the Bloods and the Crips.

    (They’re outside geese. He just brought them in to make the grandkids giggle and tick off my mom. I’m sure they’ll live outside with the ducks, doves, pigeons, chickens and peacocks. It’s bird-flu menagerie. ~ Jenny)

  62. i am sorry you are feeling homesick.
    it is just these kinds of random weird things in our families that make us want to be with them isn’t it?
    here’s to hoping that next time a noisy box is opened up at your dad’s house, you are there to have to run away from whatever is inside it!

  63. Leaves me full of questions. Are these loaner geese or permanent residents? If permanent, was there some money exchanged at a pet store or farm or was this a straight kidnapping and there is a mama and papa goose out there hunting your father down? Are geese trick (e.g., roll over and play dead) educable? If a poodle and a baby goose are trapped in a room, who comes out alive?

  64. We had geese when I was growing up. Mrs MaGee, was the most aggressive, she kept everyone out, even people we wanted to see. Friends, family. OK friends, Jehovah’s witnesses. One afternoon I was bringing in firewood, she rushed me and grabbed me by the croch and flogged me with her wings. I screemed like a girl ( mostly because I am one) (and it hurt)and dropped the wood on her head. After milking it for all it was worth, and then some with my parents, my mother said “go out and do something with that goose. Bury it I guess”. When I got out there, the goose is gone. Figured the dogs got it, good riddence! So I bend down to pick up the wood… And there is a goose in my face, scratching! Biting my neck and flogging me with her wings. Much screening honking, hissing,and wailing ensued. My mom rescued me by swinging the goose against the shed several times MY HERO!!!

  65. Dear Bloggess’ Dad,
    Please don’t EVER change. Thank you.
    Sincerely, Your Adoring Fans

  66. Every year around this time there are baby-geese “parades”. All the babies are walked across the main road up here (Route 22 in Brewster, NY) by their adults, stopping traffic at least twice a day. There’s usually one adult in front, one in the rear and one or two in the middle of the line of babies. Annoying as F*CK, but kind of adorable once you realize why you’ve been sitting in a hot car in traffic for 15 minutes while trying to get to work.

  67. Whoah! That looks exactly like my grandparent’s living room! The green carpet, couch with picture above it near the window with lace curtains–even the fancy-ish lamp! But they don’t have baby geese.

  68. Ah, there’s nothing quite as loving as the gift of young winged serpents. All of my goose experiences have been horrific…being chased by groups of them that would swarm out of nowhere. Evil, evil creatures. I don’t fear them, but I give them their props. And your Pops, brave as he is, gifting them to those he loves, is beyond awesome. It’s like a choose your own adventure gift: survive it if you can.

  69. Love the goose in the text looking like, “Well, helloooo there!” I am jealous. I have never had a baby goose in my house. 🙁

  70. I think the proper description of adult geese is “right bastards.” Or perhaps “right fucking bastards.”

  71. I can totally understand why you’re homesick – a home that isn’t full of weird animals, isn’t a home at all. (Sadly we’re in a one bedroom flat so no animals allowed… we have bird feeders and borrow our neighbour’s cats when possible).

  72. That is one well-behaved dog. If it were my dog (looks to be about the same size) the living room would have been a mess of blood and baby down, and he’d by trying to share his kill with the kids. Everyone has something weird in their life.

  73. When my boys were about that age we took a trip to Maine. Visited Portland, ME. It is a beautiful seaport. Not overly crowded. There is a Lobster cruise where she can where the outfit and learn to catch lobsters. Nice restaurants. It is also quite close to Kennebunkport. Not too hot… not too cold. Lighthouses and parks to visit.

  74. Giving someone tetanus as a gift is indeed a terrible gift. My question though, how would you wrap it?

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