Profiles of Nature 55

* Hold on a second. While the last post was the 2,500th, there was one in there that wasn’t actually written by me, which means the accomplishment is a little hollow, like celebrating two millennia of something on New Year’s Day 2000 even though it had been only 1999 years – New Year’s Day was the start of the 2,000th year. Can’t have that…

black-crowned night heron 'Uzma' peering warily from some kind of cedar I think
This week we get to meet Uzma, or at least we would if we saw something more of her than a fleeting glimpse as she ducked back behind her drapes. Uzma likes to ‘keep an eye on things’ in her neighborhood, meaning that she’s constantly trying to watch everything her neighbors do in case they’re as degenerate and creepy as she suspects. That this has yet to be confirmed doesn’t impinge on her consciousness, because it can always happen tomorrow, nor does she recognize that constantly spying on her neighbors is pretty damn creepy in itself. Worse, if she ever does see something unsavory, she won’t know what to do about it since the last person she had to gossip with died because he didn’t trust EMS not to go through his stuff while he was unconscious. We’d like to provide more fascinating facts about Uzma here, but she wouldn’t answer her phone even when we knew she was right there, so we’re going to do a first for these Profiles and simply make stuff up. Uzma probably used to work in HR, denying medical leave when she couldn’t fully interpret the doctors’ signatures, and was the kind to draw her feet up in the restroom stalls so no one knew she was there, hoping this would encourage people to talk freely. Alas, all she ever heard was desperately-relieved flatulence. She doesn’t actually have a beak; those are just seriously pursed lips. And no, there’s isn’t a weird blank space between her eyes and the top of those lips. Uzma (likely) spends too much time in the children’s section of the local library making a list of unsafe books, like those that show kids playing outside, and writes angry letters to TV stations when someone uses the word, “cherry” – the baking shows are really tired of her shit. She never misses a church service, but it’s mostly because she’s always trying to figure out just what kind of impudent undergarments people are wearing under their clothes; if it’s not visibly bulky and lumpy, it must have some kind of animal pattern on it. She doesn’t even put lace doilies on the arms of her furniture because that’s too provocative. We bet, anyway. Uzma used to subsist on a strict diet of prunes and plain shredded wheat, but had to give that up when she realized she was spending too much time in the bathroom, and you know what they say about that. Uzma’s favorite adjective (we imagine) is, “astringent.”

Given that there were, what, 36? American Pie movies, you can be sure that the Profiles are not dead yet. Take heart in the fact that they’re no longer weekly, but then realize in horror that this means they could appear anytime.

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