In the first inning of the 3,543rd regular season baseball game of the 2014 season, two of the three billion birds on earth settled onto the infield grass at Comerica Park.
“Everybody’s acting like this is normal,” muses the announcer as men in brightly colored clothes and high socks stand watching a man throw a ball at another man, while another man holds a stick and swats at it.
Vance Worley and Miguel Cabrera, the involuntary actors in this little play, smile uncomfortably and try to continue their pantomime, to no avail. They wave their arms feebly, embarrassed to interrupt these mindless creatures. We smile with the birds, amused by their birdness. We record them on video and upload it to the Internet. You spend two minutes watching it. I spend forty-five minutes writing about it.
The birds wander aimlessly under the eyes of tens of thousands of people, toddling, pecking futilely at the manicured earth. They cannot comprehend the cavalcade, at the importance of the real world around them. They are ignorant of the records of thousands of singles and strikeouts, victories and losses, the desperation of failure and the pride of accomplishment, all of which have brought them to this very moment. They are pointless.
Eventually the birds are caught, gathered in towels, and taken away, because they have to be. The game has to go on.
But I am glad for the birds.
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