Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When you’re reading a book and… August 23, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Book cover source: Goodreads

MY APOLOGIES TO ANYONE who checks out When We Were Young by Richard Roper from Buckham Memorial Library. I’m sorry about the smears at the top of page 309 in chapter forty-eight, the chapter wherein main characters Joel and Theo get some really good news. I did not intentionally smear the page with an unknown-to-the-next-reader substance.

Near shore, a seagull wings across Mille Lacs Lake in central Minnesota. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted file photo September 2017)

Here’s my story, summarized in a family text I sent Sunday evening:

I just had the most disgusting thing happen. I’m sitting on the patio reading & I feel something wet hit the side of my face. A bird pooped on my face, my glasses & my book! Yuck! Dad looked up to see a bunch of gulls flying around. This is NOT Duluth or anywhere near water.

It should be noted here that, before texting anyone, I wiped the bird poop from below my eye and from the book and that Randy washed my glasses. A bit later I also splashed water into my eye, which was feeling a tad odd.

A gull landed by Randy and me as we ate a picnic lunch near Serpent Lake in Crosby earlier this summer. (Minnesota Prairie Roots copyrighted photo July 2022)

I should have anticipated that my family would have a bit of fun with this unfortunate incident. The granddaughter hoped for a photo. Randy said he could have taken one. He observed that the gulls had a pretty good aim for being 200 feet high. Gee, thanks, dear husband. He also wondered whether our actuary son-in-law could determine the chances of this happening again. That’s OK. I don’t need to know those odds.

But the other son-in-law shared that being pooped on by a bird means good luck in England, where he lived as a child and was also pooped upon once. I confirmed that in an online search—the poop-luck correlation. Now luck I’ll take, even though I didn’t feel one bit lucky when I felt a splat upon my face and then realized what had happened.

Yet, the poop did land on that page in a fictional book when two friends get double good news. Now what are the odds of that?

TELL ME: Do you have a similar story to share?

© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “When you’re reading a book and…”

  1. beth Says:

    this happened to me when I was visiting Mackinac island, here in Michigan. I was told it was good luck and I went with it! ) interesting coincidence about the page it landed on –

  2. How awful! I’m glad you had your glasses on! ❤

  3. Eugene Bertrand Says:

    Yes, my wife was writing a to do list for me sitting outside the car when blackbirds clean their nest they carry this gob of you know what from the
    Little ones and drop it out side the nest, we’ll it hit the pencil the paper and her hand all over, never laughed so much

  4. Oh yes—definitely have been pooped on by a bird before. I guess it was bound to happen. And I see seagulls in our Walmart parking lot all of the time so I guess they don’t need a body of water. Don’t let the poop get you down!

  5. Valerie Says:

    Funny story…hope it brings you good luck! 😉

  6. 😂🤣😂🤣 Really?! That sorta sucks but my first thought was “she is going to be lucky if it was a seagull!” Then I read it was! I would go buy a lottery ticket!
    I have often wondered about marks in books I have gotten either from other people or the library as there is always a story behind them.

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