I WANT TO OWN AN AVIARY
by Count Langenhoffen (originally posted February 2006)
An Aviary (capitalized because I would own it, and everything I own instantly accords capitalization) is a large enclosure filled with trees and such for the purpose of enclosing birds. You've seen aviaries in such blockbuster classics as Jurassic Park 3 (dazzlingly directed by Joe Johnston, between October Sky and Hidalgo) and The Haunting (which features a pre-celebrity Owen Wilson decapitated by a haunted fireplace[seriously]). So essentially the birds think they can fly through the webbed steel forming the aviary, but it turns out that steel reacts to birds the same way it does to everything else; they hit it, fall, and usually die. BUT, as Darwin taught us, the next generation of birds will know how the system works, and shall obey it unflaggingly, and so they become the living attraction of said Aviary.
Now, my Aviary will be different. First of all, it'll be fucking enormous; not because the birds need room to fly, but because I'm a big guy. In fact, my Aviary will be devoid of those dirty ornithological rats, and if birds end up in my Aviary, it's entirely coincidental. And as soon as you walk into my Aviary you'll be confronted by some kind of spike or boulder trap; notice I use "you," since I would never fall victim to one of my own traps. If you make it past the trap(s?), you'll notice the air is pungent with a tenebrous pall, due in large part to the still black pond to your right and the cobwebbed man-sized iron cages squeaking longingly towards the floor which are numerous and hanging from the roof on long, ancient chains. Spiders are rampant, of course, though not so many so as to draw your attention too much from an omnidirectional moan permeating the wispy white fog. There's some wilting shrubbery that's not been clipped for years, but its plainly obvious they were shorn to resemble souls writhing in the fires of Hell. Twisted trunks of half-dead trees litter the place haphazardly, and there's an exhausted cherry blossom, too (for contrast by juxtaposition). This is obviously just to create the mood for my Aviary, so that the next door neighbor's kids feel compelled to explore it. Then, once inside, they'd be trapped and thusly forced to serve me (not sexually) until their premature death or they embark as a group on a dangerous quest for a pirate ship full of gold hidden in a secret cave within the sewers of the town. If none of the kid's are Asian, then they won't have the quest option, since no one can convincingly yell, "Booby traps!"
Now, being a business-minded person, the logistics of maintaining such an aviary requires some serious rumination. First, there's manpower. Simple solution here: Pay some poor Polish countrymen to immigrate over and maintain my Aviary (I wouldn't use "Aviary" in the Warsaw newspaper ad so as not to stir suspicion). Their rudimentary belief in the spirits of the Old Country would surely remain lit as they torment and toil in my hellish Aviary. And while they toil and cry out at spirits nonexistent, they'd come to me begging to allow their indenture to end. I, of course, would grow to twice my size and cackle ghoulishly at their simple beliefs and hilarious terror. I might allow them put a bird in my Aviary if they agree to stop being fed, but the odds that they learn conversationl English are slim to none since the grand expenditures needed for the Aviary would prevent me from being able to afford Rosetta Stone.
Another important logistical consideration is making sure the Poles and trapped children remain motivated to work, so once in awhile I'd release into the Aviary a pack of hounds or a swarm of locusts. I might also release one of those badass string-tripped swinging log traps that did in the Predator, and I think also may have taken care of Benicio's character in the cinematic feast that is The Hunted.
If the INS gets too hot on my Aviary, I'd just cover it with a tarp whenever they came by looking for missing children and Poles. If they ask what's under the tarp I'd probably just make the whole damn thing send itself into another dimension, and then flash back into our realm when no one's looking.
What's most important for an Aviary is, of course, having a secret room where you crossbreed various hapless animals via torture. There'd be bunny rabbits, little kittens, cuddly otters, happy dolphins, chatty parrots (since they can talk), and tasty chickens (in the form of buffalo wings in the freezer), and also for good measure there'd be a couple of random beating cows' hearts connected to more electrodes than seems necessary. In this room I'd also pay Edgar Allen Poe's great grandson to sit in a tall black chair and read aloud The Telltale Heart and The Raven at odd temporal intervals. Once the creatures I manifest are ready to unleash doom upon the world I'd make sure they go straight for the places of worship, just to fuck with everyone's psyche.
One last item, let's throw in some gargantuan pterodactyls with lasers attached to their shoulders like those Dinobots.
I feel that building from this simple Aviary template, I'll have countless hours of entertainment to tide me over until my battleship is complete.