Commingling with the Corvidae


Eight little duckies went swimming one day … Mother Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack, quack!”, but only five little ducks came back.

I promise that my dog has had nothing to do with any of it.

The tides are high at the moment, pulled in by a waxing moon. (I wrote that but I have absolutely no knowledge of how these things work. It certainly sounds authoritative and as I wrote it I felt a puff self-congratulation. But is it actually true?) Stuff gets washed down to the litter boom by the TAFE, bobs around there for a few days then gets brought back up on the tide. Erin Laffey’s foam plane was christened the “Epic Fail”. Bit harsh.

I don’t know what or who this is but my gut feeling is she’s a character from a Disney film, miniaturised and flogged off with Happy Meals.

And washed down with a can of Santa cola. Santa? Is this part of the stupidly early ramping up of Christmas spirit?

I’m not a fan of Corvidae; their steely gaze and fierce beaks give me the willies. I reckon they know that if they were just a wee bit bigger they’d be pulling babies out of strollers and generally making the lives of humans miserable. But I did feel for this juvenile crow. He’d stuck his head into a Subway carrier bag that someone had thrown over the bridge and into the creek and had managed to poke his neck through the handle; when he stood up the bag hung around his neck like a bib full of rubbish.

He stumbled into a tree, where he was mobbed by noisy miners. He looked absolutely miserable, but in his efforts to escape the miners the bag got caught on a branch and, after a bit flapping and shaking, he pulled his head free and got away.

Next stop was the TAFE, on the way to the dog park. This bin stopped me in my tracks. What are “commingled recyclables”? I haven’t heard of “commingled” before. Is it a verb? Can it be conjugated (I commingle, you commingle, he/she/it is commingling)?

Apparently it is a word, though I’d like to find out its etymology. My feeling (puffs up chest here, waxing moon style) is that it’s a stupid new word that’s evolved from a mis-hearing of “co-mingle”. (I once saw a sign in a newsagent saying “Photocopy: A4 20¢ per sheet, full scap 25¢.) But if anyone’s got a better theory …