The crows and I have a routine down, now: They wake me up at 6 or 7 in the ungodly AM. Perhaps even earlier. I then spend five minutes listening to their caucawphonic racquett and do my best to ruin it. To zippit. zip! zzz. Then the crows leave, and I sleep until perhaps 9 or 10. Then the crows return. If I need more sleep, I ruin their fun for another few minutes, and then we're good until 1pm. I wish they'd sort out that they can caw all they want at 6am, but, please, not in the tree next to my window? I didn't think crows were clever enough for that, but I may be wrong.
Today was a 1pm day. I spent a third slice of five minutes ruining cawdom and got up. The crows are reliably irritating when I'm trying to sleep, but by the time i'm smoking a zig out on the elevated wooden on the back of the house thing, I am essentially "over it" and "whatever mang."
Da crows can hear me through a closed plate-glass window from down the street, so I imagine my irritating noises come through crystal-clear when I'm actually outside. and over it, and actually awake, and feeling more mischevious than crabby.
A single crow was cawing. The others had not returned; perhaps this one never left. As far. No, the other left... CAW! cawcaw.
Pressurize your mouth so the area behind your upper-lip visibly bulges. Use your lower lip to hold your upper lip steady -- by the edges. The center of your upper lip begins to form an arc under these conditions, as as escapes out. The lower lip is used to control the size of the arc. The size of the arc determines the pitch of the resulting obnoxious lip-fart noise. It is one of these things I've always done, but never sat down and really sorted out properly. I had no reason to. It was a stupid mouth noise. Now that it's my go-to crow irritant, though, it's gotten real dialed in. My enveloping abilities are incredibly snappy.
This has, oddly enough, elevated the dialogue. I was on the porch, today. Caw caw caw caPPPPPPpppprtTTT! silience. Caw CAW CPPPpppttt. ttt. t. silence. CAW CAW pppt.
Do you see what he did there? He figured out I was going to zippinate him on the third caw and so stopped at two caws. this allows all the other crows to be sure that my irritating noise and his irritating noise are entirely separate events. He is victorious. They often are victorious, in fact, but they're sore losers, and you usually only have to win a few times to drive them nuts. Usually.
Crows will start off at five CAWs, zippit. then three caws, zippit. two, zippit, and about half the crows get annoyed and flap off at this point.
The game changes when you get down to a single CAW. If the crow has stuck around, it's one of the more dominant, aggressive ones. In crow poker, all the nervous nellys have folded and this crow is calling my bluff. The cawing goes from uniary CAW (Attack-Decay envelope) to CAAAaaaaawwwww Cawwwww cawww (ADSR envelope). As the crow has gone from sharp little pulses of noise to long bursts, quick little lip fart noises become rather ineffective. The only way to make it work is to interrupt them just-so: two thirds of the way through their final caw. A microsecond after their first caw starts -- they cut off, startled. you have to know precisely when the caw is coming to do that one -- it's like nailing the drop in NIN's "march of the pigs." i have to concentrate on the CAWs thoroughly to manage it, and most of the time i can't.
Annoying an ADSR-stage crow produces a few types of results.
One is a rhythmic clicking noise. I'm not sure what it means exactly, but if I had to take a stab in the dark, it's the crow equivalent of cussing someone out under their breath... but, yes, just loud enough so they can hear you, and yes, i am talking about you buddy, you fukin' guy. It's like an arpeggiated rhythmic clicking, though, and perhaps its a rhythmic kernel. The crow hears my rhythms are jarring into his and is attempting to beat match me to his tempo by providing a kernel of crow metronome...
The second is a single CAaaAAAaaWWWwww. Deeply nuanced. Vaguely reminiscent of someone going STaaaahhHHppp! in many ways... but, angrier. Get off my lawn. I'm cawWWWwAaaawwing here. A handful of crows are just astoundingly into it -- and, yes, it's exactly like that "Staahhhp!" thing that people will do. It makes me giggle.
Today, though, this crow was very cawnsistant. insistant. Smarter than usual. I got him down from five discrete AD-env CAWs to four. Usually crows will go down to three, but he tricked me and did two; My lip fart noise landed entirely outside of the crow-annoyance zone. I got him the next time on two, then he switched to ADSR-env. We dueled for a while. I actually struggle to think of how the crow could have played his hand any better, which is pretty impressively smart for a bird.
Then my zig was almost smoek. No more messing around. I switch over from discrete lip-fart noises to singing loudly. It dawns on the crow that all the shit I just did was my AD-env-game, and my ADSR-env-game is something awful and terrifying and totally un-understandable by crows. The crow leaves. Tomorrow, I think I'll try using the Benny Hill theme for this situation, should it arise
Posted by Reverend Tedward Q. Porktanker