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Sandwiches, Hitchcock, and Sanibel Island

There’s nothing better than a spontaneous winter getaway to Florida. The sun is warm, not stifling, and the outside world just disappears. Nothing matters except the sound of the waves, my iPod, and getting tanner than everyone else stuck at home in the snow. Pure bliss. Little did I know that at the edge of my chair sat a winged lunatic waiting to kill me. Damn seagulls.

I’d never been afraid of birds. Granted, I did have one crap on my head twice in one day in second grade, but aside from that I never really had a problem with them.

This particular day, however, was different. It started out like every other day during that winter break. I slept until noon, ate breakfast and got ready to go to the beach with my mom. We changed into our swimsuits and grabbed the beach bags, making sure not to forget the SPF 30. It was absolutely gorgeous outside and in the lower 70s. Only a few clouds were scattered across the pale blue sky. Children were busy building elaborate sand castles, while elderly couples walked alongside the shore. It was so Nicholas Sparks, and I loved it.

I talked Mom into this last minute vacation only a week before. There is only so long a person can handle being holed up in Oklahoma without losing it. Since I completed my first semester of college without failing, getting fat, or “knocked up,” I deserved a week at the beach. Or at least that’s what I told myself, and, surprisingly, it made for a pretty convincing argument to the parental unit. She caved in.

After hours of sunbathing and seashell hunting that afternoon, my stomach started rumbling. Time for more food. Mom and I grabbed dinner to-go at the little tiki bar just at the edge of the beach. It sounded like a good idea at the time – just us girls eating sandwiches and watching the waves crash onto the shore. No sooner had I taken a bite out of my turkey panini than a deranged seagull landed on my head. I screamed and smacked the idiot off of me. Good move, Kylee, I thought. This only provoked him though, and he threw his head back and called in for reinforcements.

It happened so fast we didn’t have time to get away. Surrounding us was a swirling vortex of death. Hundreds of the nastiest seagulls you’ve ever seen were all trying to pry our sandwiches from our hands. They moved in unison like a tornado waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. I surrendered and ran off screaming toward the ocean. Mom, on the other hand, refused to accept defeat.

“Drop the stupid sandwich, Mom! They’re going to peck your eyes out. Are you insane?”

“I paid fifteen dollars for this thing, and I’m not going to let them have it!”

With that being said, she snatched her towel off the ground and started beating these hovering creatures in mid-air. One by one she smacked the seagulls away from her, and they slowly began to abort Mission Sandwich. A wave of relief rushed over me. Then I looked around and noticed that the entire beach full of people was staring at us. Awkward. I stared them down, thinking they would look away, but apparently no one on Sanibel Island understands that concept. Then one of the spectators decided to approach me.

“Dude, that was crazy! I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

Please stop talking, I thought.

“You ever see that Hitchcock movie The Birds? It looked just like that!”

About Kylee Gwartney

  • Ladybelle Fiske

    Yes, I have been through this too. But isn’t Sanibel beautiful! Any oil from the BP spill?

  • Kylee Gwartney

    Yes I loved it! Aside from this little incident of course. They had some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. We actually went in 2009 before the whole BP ordeal luckily!