Swan Dive! Ch. 9: Ready, Aim, Poop!

Gazing into the newly carved gulls’ glass eyes with all the affection a loving father bestows on a newborn babe, Sam Bennet spoke reassuringly to his wonderful secret weapons.

“Today is your maiden flight,” he said. “Please don’t be nervous.”

One dozen perfectly sculptured gull drones stared back, red eyes blazing in the morning light.

Carefully positioning a mechanically-inclined bird on its back and adjusting the clamping vice on his workbench, Sam gently used a pocket knife blade to pry open the two hinged bomb bay doors on the drone decoy’s white painted stomach, making sure the thin red, green and blue wires connected properly before snapping the pieces firmly back into place.

Sam methodically checked each bird for flaws.

As expected, all was well.

After wrapping up his Navy career as a crack electronics technician, Sam knew everything he needed to know about maintaining, repairing and calibrating electronic equipment used to detect, track and identify the enemy. Radar, sonar, communications and navigation equipment came easy. Compared to his ET duties in high seas, tight quarters and inclement weather, creating drone gulls was as simple as peeling potatoes.

Next Sam checked the handheld drone controller box to make sure he could send the radio signal from the remote control to the drone gulls so he could tell the birds what to do. Pricking his thumb and drawing a drop of blood as he poked into the mechanism, Sam couldn’t keep from cursing.

“Shit,” he said.

His ironic expletive made him laugh, a snorting guffaw that sent spit from both sides of his mouth. A sense of humor dry as a martini without vermouth helped Sam entertain himself, finding hilarity in somber moments during which most people wouldn’t even think to laugh. Snickering Sam thought he was a riot, funny as a Tootsie Roll floating in a public swimming pool.

The gulls were ready to dump.

Sam had packed with poop one dozen gull-shaped drones that looked just like the real deal, enough poop to land like a pie-in-the-face clown gag at the circus. Sam knew he and like-minded anti-real-estate-development community anarchists would cherish this feculent shenanigan.

Gull poop is normally icky enough when a glop drops from the sky onto your head or shoulder, but Sam needed industrial-strength stools to accomplish this manure mission, poo with heft and substance to its excremental load. Great Dane waste more so fit the bill, scooped from feces mountains Sam’s bongo-playing neighbor’s dog deposited daily in the backyard and the hipster cleaned up once a week with a wheelbarrow and shovel.

For the first airborne bombing run, spring-loaded to fire poop projectiles speeding with a velocity that would unleash doo-doo destruction on its marks, Sam cut the crap with eco-friendly, water-based liquid glue so the fecal matter stuck to your body when it landed. When these great gull drones locked on their targets, Sam would flip the switch.

Bombs away?

How about bowels away?

Russian oligarch billionaire Boris Popov had scheduled the press conference and ribbon cutting celebrating the new super condo tower for Saturday morning at noon. Billed as “The Biggest Beach Party Ever,” the VIP guest list included well connected invitees ranging from the dull golf-playing mayor to shit-for-brains Chamber of Commerce executives to the loony governor himself who would showcase the future of Clearwater Beach in all its storied glory. The event would make all the Florida papers, television news shows and even numbskull talk radio programs – maybe national news coverage, too.

What better place for the bananas Republican governor to announce his bid for the presidency? The site of the 100-story condo tower, an even more pointed erectile symbol of power than the Washington Monument, would show the governor’s willingness to stand up to swarms of woke liberals trying to run him out of office and ruin the nation. With Boris Popov’s backing even a dipshit despot politician like the governor had nowhere to go but up.

Despite their riches, these pompous tanned beach patron country clubbers in their white linen suits, pink pastel shirts and seersucker shorts had no idea they’d wind up shit out of luck when the shit finally hit the fan. Always taking what they wanted whenever they wanted, these bloated plutocrats never thought about humble peasants whose lives they adversely impacted.

But the gulls – the gulls mattered most.

Although Florida gulls are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which makes it “unlawful at any time, by any means or in any manner, to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture, or kill … any migratory bird,” humans shoot them with BB guns and government snipers sometimes even execute them for predatory behavior against vulnerable birds more threatened than gulls. But even killing a gull by accident can bring down the heavy arm of the law. Violating the Act constitutes a federal misdemeanor that can result in fines up to $15,000 and imprisonment up to six months.

As far as Sam was concerned, gulls’ lives mattered. Are gulls predators? Of course. Gulls eat endangered least tern eggs and sometimes even turn on each other. But humans comprise far worse danger to themselves and other beasts. And what about the gullible birds of a feather that congregate in poisoned landfills and filthy dumpsters to get sick with disease and infect humans?

Real estate developers don’t want to consider looking out for gulls.  Developers don’t think about caring for the planet. Developers do not care a lick about this good earth. Sam Bennett, a good and decent man, thought relentlessly about morality, evolution and the future, knowing he couldn’t save the world.

But he could do his best to protect his gulls.

Holding the drone controls, Sam said, “Roll.”  

In this mental practice run the bird moved left and right, literally “rolling” in the air.

“Pitch,” Sam said.

The bird tilted forward then backward.

“Yaw,” he said, using his favorite drone term.

The bird drone rotated clockwise then counterclockwise, allowing Sam to make circles and patterns in the air.

Pushing and maneuvering the left stick then the right stick on the control box, Sam finally held in his hands the power to control destiny for the evil in-crowd that chewed up and spit out people like him and his friends.

Sam said, “Throttle.”

In his mind he saw the birds dive at full speed as he commanded the amount of power he sent to the gull drones, making his attack squadron go faster and faster before throwing the switch with the zeal of the electric chair executioner at the Florida State Prison in Starke firing up “Old Sparky.”

Yes, the heavens would soon open.

One real shit-storm was about to begin.