Goldberg (A Love Story in 3 Parts)
by Jerry Guarino
Part 1 -
David, a computer science major in college, was
completing the setup of his new bird feeding
system. Instead of the usual tree house, painted
with bright colors, he had designed a more
elegant solution. Altruism aside, he wanted to do
more than just provide food for birds in the bad
weather; he wanted to see the birds enjoy their
treat while keeping squirrels from squandering
So, he set up a trough with three lids,
mechanically operated based on a computer program.
The first container had birdseeds and suet, the
second fruit and nuts and the third meat scraps
and insects. In front of the trough was a bar
that activated a 13 LCD screen when the
bird landed on it. On the screen was a picture of
the three food types, corresponding to the
placement of the trays. The bird would peck at
the screen and a touch sensor would open the
appropriate food tray. If the bird didnt
peck, a camera would snap a picture of him and
open the tray that species of bird prefers. To
complete the environment, video with the sounds
of like birds would play from the LCD.
But what about the bane of bird feeders,
squirrels? The locked trays prevented them from
eating. If a squirrel pressed the landing bar,
the camera would snap a picture of the offender,
then play a 3D video, complete with sounds of
foxes, coyotes, hawks, owls and snakes eating
squirrels. The longer the squirrel stayed there,
the more graphic the video progressed. Last but
not least, a small spray of that predators
scent would shoot onto the squirrels leg (dont
worry, it washed away in the next rain). Needless
to say, most squirrels never returned to the bird
No matter where David was, he could enjoy the
feeder. A second, wireless camera sent a signal
to the Internet so he could watch from any
computer. He even wrote an app so he could watch
the action from his cell phone. Why all the work
to feed birds? David discovered that this was 100%
effective in meeting women, especially when
showing it off at a coffee house or party.
Rube would have been proud!
Part 2 - David was talking to a
particularly cute young woman at his favorite
franchise coffee bar. But let me digress a moment.
As you know, David is that computer science major
who used his engineering skills to design an
automatic bird feeder that not only recognized
the bird, but also provided their preferred food
and kept squirrels out with a diabolical program
that guaranteed a squirrel would never return. To
be fair, David posted a warning in 300-point font
No squirrels allowed with an
accompanying 500 hundred-word disclaimer to avoid
any lawsuits that may occur.
Not that David needed any help getting dates. He
had the casual good looks of a surfer, perfect
teeth and a well-proportioned six-foot frame.
Although he was technically a geek, no one would
have guessed; he looked more like a graduate
student in literature. But being the precise,
analytical person that he was, the bird feeder
more or less guaranteed a subtle and inoffensive
way to have a conversation with the opposite sex.
Coeds would sidle up to him, looking over his
shoulder to the laptop screen with pictures and
sounds of blue jays, robins and nuthatches.
Inevitably, they would start the conversation
with a sound usually reserved when seeing puppies.
Oh, thats so cute. Is that a movie
clip? said the 59 brunette with
jeans, ugh boots and crème colored sweater.
David turned and smiled. No, its a
live feed from my place. Well, I wont
bore you with the details, but suffice it to say
that after about a half hour, the woman was
convinced she had found that all too rare quality
in a man, genuine innocence. David never divulged
his methodology to any friends or even family;
that might put an end to his understated
Ninety- four times out of a hundred (we saw the
statistics), the woman would want to visit the
apartment and see for herself, partly to confirm
Davids claim that he designed and built the
best bird feeder, but also to learn more about
her new love interest. Since birds feed mostly at
dawn and dusk, David had woman asking to spend
time at his home during sunrises and sunsets,
enhancing the romance. But you cant just
stand next to the feeder; birds wont come
close. No, you have to view from the second floor
of his bedroom, meticulously cleaned and fresh.
New age music and scented candles (unlit for the
moment) completed the ambiance.
Is that a blue jay? said Karen.
Yes, you see most of them in April, their
mating season replied David.
Look, two more birds. What are they?
David looked closely. Red breasted
nuthatches. They travel in small groups,
sometimes in pairs. See how the male preens the
female while shes eating. As the sun
disappeared over the hilltop, Karen put her arms
around David and kissed him.
Part 3 - Karen put her arms
around David and kissed him. David, I hear
the birds and she hopped out of bed and
went to the window. David, still waking up,
rubbed the sleepers out of his eyes. In panties
and a college t-shirt, her lovely figure
silhouetted in the window frame. Karen was
different; she was genuinely happy with him as he
was with her; no games here.
It wasnt love at first sight, but it was
Hi as he rubbed her shoulders and
kissed her on the neck.
Karen squeezed his hand. I think thats
David looked down at the feeder. No, its
a Stonechat, but they look the same.
Davids days of short affairs were over.
Even though he had manipulated Karen into his
arms, he had found an honest and wonderful
relationship. Over the next few weeks, he
realized that Karen was perfect for him. It
seemed like whenever he needed anything, Karen
was there. She knew when he needed to work and
when he needed to relax, what stressed him out
and all of his interests. She understood him
completely. Their lives had become complementary,
like puzzle pieces fitting just so. This
must be love, David thought. I guess
I wont be needing the bird-feeding program
Anna was looking through Karens social
networking program when she came in.
Hey Anna, youll never guess what.
David and I are going to a bed and breakfast up
the coast this weekend!
Anna looked up smiling. I knew you two
would hit it off. I had a feeling as soon as I
started entering the data.
Karen looked over her shoulder. So, who are
you looking for?
Anna replied, It says Jeff Olsen would be a
good match for me. Its printing out his
schedule, interests, love history and life goals
now. I cant believe how well this program
of yours works.
Karen gave her a little hug. Well it worked
Rube would have been proud!