Born Tweetsworth Herringbone Yellowhead in the Fall of 1993, he was, at first impression, simply a stuffed yellow "Tweety" bird given as a Christmas gift to a young girl. Since receiving this bird into her arms, Kristin has taken it to bed with her on 99.9% of nights. An unbreakable bond has been established between girl and bird, and as a result, anywhere she go, he goes.
So much more lay under his emotionless face and pillowed veneer of simplicity. His background remains a mystery. There have been whispers that he came from a small town Fair, sold by a crooked magician to cover dental expenses. Some speculate that he is not from this planet at all. I heard from an elder Rajasthani Shaman that he lost his arms in a cockfighting match gone horribly wrong on the busy streets of Kolkata. Regardless of where he came from and why, he quickly made a lasting impression on a blossoming Kristin Dushman. Boasting an immensely proportioned head, 1 frail leg (the other was gnawed off by a dog), and a complete lack of any features resembling arms, he had a quirkiness about him that belied his true intentions of becoming the biggest hanger-on travel freeloader that I have ever met.
Fast forward, and there I stood, at customs in a one room shack called an international airport. Limon Province, Costa Rica. We had just landed on a beach runway, and even the local fire department arrived to greet our harrowing descent. Dangerous vibes. These are always best experienced after the fact. I waited in a long line to have my bags inspected. Kristin and I had just met a few days prior in Panama, and I was about to be treated to my first bird sighting. Kristin was holding up the line with multiple bags. In these days, she traveled like mid-nineteenth century aristocracy, with large bags no fewer than three, taking with her blankets, pillows, curling irons, and all manner of unnecessary creature comfort. As the customs official pulled a large frumpy yellow bird out of her suitcase, a look of befuddled confusion creased across his sweaty Latin American brow. The act resembled a magician hesitantly pulling a dead rabbit out of his hat. He knew not what to make of this creature.
And neither did I. I was familiar with baggage, but this was my first experience meeting a girl that had a large yellow bird. And he was large, with a head size doubling that of a human being. The officials joked about it in Spanish, folding him back into his powder blue luggage home. I was awestruck.
Getting sun with Friends in Mexico
Within the next few weeks, Kristin and I begin falling for eachother, and as a result my fate became inexplicably linked with this yellow fellow. As we planned out first trip together, I remember asking her, "Really, we are bringing that huge thing with us?" So far, he has not missed a single trip.