Freudian Slips: For The Birds!

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

September 27, 2005

For The Birds!

I definitively ruminated about a blog comment by a Google-happy representative over at in response to my August 28th post Quote the Raven Nevermore. My story followed the plight of birds accidentally flying into the windows of my home. I don’t want to cry fowl but believe I should be doing more with my home to protect birds than my token bird feeder chock full of imported sunflower seeds.
While sliding down a creamy strawberry banana yogurt, my mindset focused on bird safety. I got to admit it was the first time I thought in these terms. My bulging eyes shifted to labeling on the side of the yogurt container. I read the warning label:
I didn't even know birds liked yogurt. The day my life is less ironic is the day after I am not here.
Psychologists might call it overcompensation for the past, but I sat at my desk trying to crush the plastic yogurt container to do my part to protect birds. Alas, the non-cooperative yogurt container was made of a virtually crinkle resistant plastic material that kept returning to its original shape and size. A trash compactor or a vice would have been needed to dispose of it properly. I barely have enough time to pack my lunch for work let alone haul the heavy equipment necessary to dispose of an 8 ounce yogurt container.
In keeping with taking everything to its most logical or illogical conclusion, I telephoned General Mills and spoke with an attentive customer service representative. It’s for the birds I told myself. I read the UPC code, the expiration date, gave my name, address, and even answered a short survey about favorite yogurt flavors all before I had opportunity to expound on the situation. I explained that was circling overhead like vultures. I explained the indestructible yogurt container that had not an ounce of biodegradability to it. She took my concerns so seriously that she patched me through to the Save Lids to Save Lives program. Wow! General Mills even has a department for it. I explained my quandary again but wound up facing an additional barrier.
I lamented, “I’m having an impossible time crushing the yogurt container and you’re telling me that I’m suppose to save the lid in the process?”
“Save Lids to Save Lives donates money for a cure for breast cancer.”
In this crazy mixed-up world, I wanted to make sure I had been connected to the wrong department. “I didn’t even know….I pray you’re talking about research on human beings.”
“Of course, sir, you didn’t think that….?”
My voice trailed into submission. “But what about all the birds wearing yogurt containers on their beaks?”
I believe in active yogurt cultures but the labeling had me swearing by this culture. Maybe the concerned people at http://www.birdsandbuildings/.org can get me in touch with the fine people over at Like I said, it’s for the birds!

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Blogger Rob Seifert said...

Ya can't please all the people all the time or even all the birds for that matter. You now have a clearer understanding why so many people give up the idea of trying to protect the environment - it's horribly inconvenient. Still, keep up the good fight!


9:47 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Eferybody's a critic.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh good lord! Can you tell I was typing while holding a sick 8 month old?


eVerybody's a critic

Good grief!

11:14 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

I must commend you for the effort you put into solving your little dilema...I probably would have dropped it in the recycle bin and left it at that!! What an environmentally insensitive clod I am! All those poor birds with yogurt cups stuck on their beaks! I deserve a flogging with the PC stick!

2:03 AM  
Anonymous et said...

Joe, I'll try to get in touch with old Alfred, maybe he can advise you on how to handle "The Birds"

7:25 AM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

nice of you to (s)beak up.

I haven't seen you comment in awhile. An infant is a perfect excuse.

i doubt i'll ever see a pigeon eating a lowfat yogurt.

That's a lot of yogurt cups.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

I may not comment ... but I still read! ;)

11:50 PM  
Blogger Weary Hag said...

Now see? That's what I like about you. Environmentally conscious. People used to complain about all the things we wouldn't allow them to bring into the aquarium when I worked there (balloons, styrofoam cups, etc). I used to think "how stupid ... do they even KNOW what styrofoam does to the inside of a sealion? Or what a piece of balloon does to the windpipe of a penguin?"

You make a great point here in this post... and it's not something the average person thinks about. Good job!

2:07 PM  

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