Monday, October 13, 2008

Sometimes my bird brain just needs a break

Bento box or bird box?

As a confirmed workaholic, others usually notice I need time off from animal rescue before I do.

That happened today. I sat eating lunch with a friend at an excellent Seattle Japanese restaurant called Red Fin when I noticed something sitting on the next table.

One woman had ordered a bento box for lunch, and was courteously leaving it closed and uneaten while she waited for her lunch-mate’s meal to be served. A bento box, a shellacked plastic box with a series of square compartments, separates rice from vegetables from seafood.

I’ve only seen them in a square shape before. This one looked like only one thing to me, and it wasn’t a food receptacle. Before I could stop myself, the words that formed my thoughts had slipped out of my mouth.

“Is that a bird coffin?” I inquired.

As an animal rescuer, I thought they had brought their dearly departed pet to lunch. The women responded by wrinkling their faces -- half in laughter, half in disgust.

Trying to explain myself only made matters worse.

“It’s the perfect size and shape, isn’t it? Maybe for a macaw, or a parrot…?”

Usually I proclaim that taking a break is for the birds. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate.

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