Our reputation as the biggest assholes of the animal kingdom is in peril. Gone are the days when a single wing-beating parted the waters of the Kennebunkport Home Depot parking lot. Once confident that 100% of humans would feel “judged, threatened, and unsafe” in our presence by 2022, we have been forced to lower that standard to “mildly annoyed and slightly uncomfortable.”
But geese have always been a resilient bunch. We will not retreat until humans are so humbled in our presence that they hand us the entire loaf of bread, kiss the ground we stand upon, and back away trembling.
Like mean Chelsea from high school who now sells salt water in a pyramid scheme on Facebook, we are rebranding.
At H.O.N.K., we believe in equality. A bold vision of a future in which all humans are equally terrified of geese. Where geese hold our rightful place at the top of the New Jersey Merrill Lynch corporate headquarters artificial pond food-chain. We are facilitating a 360-degree rebrand on the whole goose and nothing but the goose.
While our ancestors slashed tires and snatched wallets in mall parking lots by day and flew to Florida by night, the younger generations believe that pecking to near-death or permanent deformity is “rude,” and complain that they are tired before they’ve hit Pennsylvania.
With a generous donation from the estate of Henry Kissinger, we’ve developed a comprehensive assertiveness training program designed to empower geese to unlock their mildly-horrifying selves. The program will be distributed through unwilling participant branches of PNC Bank, Hyundai dealerships, and nursing homes. We will conduct rigorous bootcamps at these locations from 4 a.m. through whenever it’s most inconvenient to have 6,000 Canadian geese marching in formation on your lawn.
Assertiveness training also includes strenuous wing-beating exercises that promote growth in the wing, neck, and ego. Voice lessons are designed to increase honk volume and screech. We
conduct flying drills in the vague formation of hate symbols, practice target shatting on Merrill Lynch broker bros, and participants live on a steady diet of protein powder and dynamite. No ducks allowed.
You know you aren’t as intimidating as you used to be when humans use the phrase “take a gander” to describe going to galleries to look at art they don’t understand and can’t afford just because they want a Dixie cup of free champagne. There is no question that geese have lost the ferocious cultural image they once held from 240 AD until everyone stopped eating gluten.
Grouped crows are a murder but we are a gaggle? We have dedicated a crack team to renaming a group of geese from “gaggle” to “armed bank robbery.” H.O.N.K. has released insurgents into top-secret positions within the FBI, CIA, and that park by your cousin’s house to replace “Silly Goose” with “Bow Before Your Goose Overlord.”
The use of the term “goose egg” to refer to a large hematoma on someone’s head is fine because it implies a goose hit them over the head with a pocketbook. We are actively working to make “Duck, Duck, Goose” a much more violent game.
The media has done us no favors in our quest to return to our rightful place unloading dump trucks worth of bird excrement into the most exclusive empty swimming pools. Ask a simple-minded human child to name the most impactful piece of bird-centric film, and they’ll likely say Rio and Rio 2. No offense, but we need to be associated with something more intimidating than a domesticated macaw who sings pretty. This is war.
Ideally, by 2025 every Hollywood production will be a reboot of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds but with geese. To spur this effort, we are launching our most ambitious initiative throughout Los Angeles, New York, and Vancouver: thousands of freelance pigeons who will fly through TV and film productions just as the director says “action,” dressed as geese. Wonder why the only thing you could think about after watching Black Widow were all the geese in the background of every fight scene? It’s already working.
Together, we can strike geese terror into the fabric of this nation. But ducks, birds of a feather do not flock together. Get the hell away from us.
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Bobbie Armstrong is a former child, current writer and student. Her work has appeared on McSweeney’s, Slackjaw, Belladonna Comedy, Little Old Lady, and her parents’ fridge. Follow her existential crisis @bobbien_