Robert Tamayo


The Time a Seagull Ate My Sandwich

Point Loma Seafood makes a really great tuna sandwich. My wife and I decided to go to the beach last summer and have a picnic. The seagulls were circling overhead, but they didn't dare come near us. The day was sunny, and the breeze was pleasant. I was eating my sandwich when I turned my head toward my wife to say something, and at that exact moment someone's football hit the sandwich out of my hand.

Only, it wasn't a football.

The force of the seagull was so great that I couldn't believe it was one of the gentle sea birds circling in the salty breeze above that had knocked the sandwich from my hands. He had taken advantage of the half second where I wasn't facing my sandwich to come flapping down as a bolt of lightning and viciously paddle the sandwich out of my hand with his webbed feet. He was accurate enough to not strike me with his claws, yet powerful enough to surprise me with his capacity for violence.

As the sandwich landed in the sand in front of me, the whole flock came roaring to the arena. What was once a sandwich was now the prized loot of the fallen Patroclus, and the seagulls had become the Trojans who battled furiously for the right of Achilles' armor. The war waged on over the scraps of the sandwich for longer than five seconds, but shorter than six. The sandwich, once the subject of my summertime afternoon and the source of both my enjoyment and nourishment, had been torn to pieces and devoured in a frenzy of no less than a dozen barbarous seagulls, each one devoted to his own gluttonous agenda, caring neither for his fellow fowl berserker nor his hapless human benefactor.

The lesson I learned that day was that the cute, cuddly creatures known as Seagulls are in fact a new sort of Viking plague on our lands. Their greed knows no bounds; they are uncivilized, rapacious gluttons driven only to feed. They know neither peace nor wisdom, and they will heed no council. Keep a watchful eye to the sea when you dine, for if you slacken your guard for just a moment, your lunch may become theirs.

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