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The most pitiful folk song never written

September 25th, 2010 · 35 comments

Monica in Iowa City, do-gooder that she is, volunteers with a friendly visiting program at the local senior living center. And while Monica’s no stranger to old folks and their antics, even she was struck by the sight of this heartbreakingly despondent note on one resident’s door.

Why did you Take my Humming Bird? Why did you crumple up my map of Mother Earth?

I couldn’t help but think of poor Snowman, the ill-fated pony from the German petting zoo (and as I see it, kindred spirit to this old lady in Iowa). I picture them kvetching together in heaven someday, asking “Why? Why? Why?” for all eternity.

Why did you feed me to death?

related: The zen koan of a Jewish grandmother

FILED UNDER: animal welfare · Iowa · old folks

35 responses so far ↓

  • #1   havingfitz

    I’d like to say that the humming bird was fucking delicious, but it was actually rather bland.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #2   dixiechick

    I wish I had something snarky to say here. But this is so genuinely sad, havingfitz is welcome to the Unitard.

    We can’t even make fun of the font, because the handwriting is so painstaking, like someone practicing calligraphy, trying to get all the downstrokes just right.

    Sorry. Passive-aggressive FAIL.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

  • #3   TippingCows

    Why oh Why
    By Old Man Snow

    “Why oh why?” the horse did speak
    his tone somber, dull and bleak
    “I loved my map, I loved my bird,
    I love the sound of this word:
    Why.” And so the horse grew large
    as equines do when they eat
    french fries and Mountain Dew.
    His last words rang sweet and true:
    “Why … why … why?”

    Sep 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #4   se

    I am curious.
    If Monica says “she was struck by the sight of this heartbreakingly despondent note on one resident’s door.”, why did she send the note here to be mocked?
    Is it possible that she volunteers just so she can tell her friends what a good person she is, while she makes fun of the old folks she is “helping”? What a piece of crap she is.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 2:59 pm   rating: 33  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   jadefirefly

      I am curious.

      Do you actually understand what this site is for? Is it possible you just come here so you can tell your friends how much better you all are than everyone else, while in reality you don’t have a clue what’s going on here?

      Come on, that one was too easy.

      Sep 25, 2010 at 4:37 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   se

      Well, maybe I don’t actually understand what this site is for. I actually commented on the note and the submitter of the note. And people comment on these things to show that they are actually better than everyone else.
      So, why don’t you, in all your wisdom, actually explain to me and everyone else what this site is for?
      I am still curious.

      Sep 25, 2010 at 8:40 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   TippingCows

      The purpose of this site is to catch people like you trying to be clever and/or relevant, an endeavor in which you will fail miserably. Then others will use you to make fun of and put down. Then you will banter back and forth, making the exchanges between the two of you often more amusing than the notes submitted.
      It’s all a clever ruse, you see.

      Sep 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #4.4   eslinger bang

      Where the hell is CB or claw to swoop in and mock you both? That’s my favorite part of this site. I admit, when I come here, I get perverse enjoyment from watching the regulars do what they do.

      So yeah, what TippingCows said. :)

      Sep 26, 2010 at 2:41 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #4.5   Woman on the Verge bang

      Team Se. Just sayin’.

      Sep 26, 2010 at 3:44 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

    • #4.6   park rose

      Se has been a regular for a long time. Jadefirefly, too, and tipping cows, eslinger, , but I think Se was here before both. Before I started posting, anyway.

      PS: There is a HBO sign over this edit box, so sorry if it doesn’t make sense.

      Sep 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #4.7   aaa bang

      Um, I can mock everyone in one go if you’d like. Actually, I’d like it too, because I’m a bad ass motherfucker like that.


      Sep 27, 2010 at 12:45 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #4.8   TippingCows

      You’re right, I suck. Being on this site a shorter period of time than Se makes me invalid. (I’ve changed names about three times but been coming to this site for … wow. A really long time. Years. I feel old now. Even more reason for suckdom). Team Suck.

      Sep 27, 2010 at 1:36 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.9   anglophile bang

      I like the over-the-top pathos of 4.8, TippingCows. It fits in nicely with the note.

      Who were you before? Are we friends or enemies?

      Sep 27, 2010 at 9:58 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.10   park rose bang

      Well, at least I didn’t delete my comment. That’s my usual M.O.
      I suck more. Hmm. No, I don’t mean it that way.

      Sep 27, 2010 at 12:26 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #4.11   aaa bang

      But I want you to mean it that way. I need you to mean it that way. D:

      Sep 27, 2010 at 12:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #4.12   sarjo

      It is always sad when, after you’ve been coming to a site for awhile, and you think people “know” you and really get your humor (unlike all those sad losers you have to see in person, daily, ad nauseum), to have people respond to your comment with something along the lines of “Gee, I guess you don’t really understand the point of this site…or the internet…or life, you pious, uptight loser!” This makes me sad like a hummingbird being gone, or a crumpled map, or the poor pony those fat ass Germans ate.

      Sep 30, 2010 at 12:24 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #5   LSK

    I did a double take at “Iowa City” because that’s where I go to school. Hooray for synchronicity!

    Sep 25, 2010 at 3:15 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #5.1   anglophile bang

      I’m not sure synchronicity means what you think it means…

      Sep 27, 2010 at 10:00 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #6   Diary of a Young Black Asshole

    I was trying to think of something clever to say here, but I couldn’t, but that feeding to death is pretty funny.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 3:34 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #7   Elorel

    Because that wasn’t a hummingbird. It was my pair of needle-nose pliers.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 8:02 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #8   Walker, "Tex" (a stranger)

    Maybe it’s the handwriting. When I read that first note my mind substitutes “Middle Earth.”

    I can’t think of anything clever to post either. But I love the superlative passive-aggressiveness of the Snowman sign.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 8:32 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Elorel

      Yes, I thought of Middle Earth, too.

      Then I imagined Frodo Baggins sailing off with the elves to the Undying Lands, which really turned out to be a nursing home in Iowa City.

      Frantic to return to Middle Earth, he stole what he thought to be a map of it from an elf down the hall.

      “But how shall I get there with no ship?” he thought.

      His aged mind wandered back to his escape from Mount Doom.

      “An eagle!” he cried. Alas, a glass hummingbird would have to do. Because it was the elf’s, he was certain it had magical properties he had yet to discover.

      He stocked up on Lembas bread from the vending machine, secured a wool blanket around himself like a cloak, and set off.

      His first hurdle on the way home to the Shire? The treacherous slopes of hallway 5 East.

      Sep 26, 2010 at 3:07 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #9   park rose bang

    Note One:
    A. I don’t know. Maybe Maya Angelou knows? Peter, Paul and Mary? Carly Simon?

    B. Because she was too square for we aging artificial hipsters.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 10:23 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #10   park rose bang

    Actually, I do think there is a strange kind of correlation. I think one was absconded and the other violated because they were both flat. An atonal hummingbird? Just because its owner was deaf doesn’t mean all the residents were. And just because the amateur cartographer did not believe in Copernicus or Galileo, doesn’t mean that all the other residents were still stuck in the dark ages.

    Sep 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #11   aaa bang

    Earth is male. Jeez, get it right people.

    (Gah, gigglebrax fail!)

    Sep 26, 2010 at 12:03 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #12   matt

    dear resident,
    your hummingbird is in a very safe place. I appreciate it every time it hums as it sends tingles up my spine.
    As for your map of mother earth – replace the toilet roll next time, you underdeveloped douche.

    Sep 26, 2010 at 3:07 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #13   matt

    hahaha. Pony “snowman” has a not so clean record after all. The local mafia fed him to death after he was caught on the streets selling bad “snow.” The zoo should have seen it coming with a name like that. Unfortunately, this highlights the need for further background checks, even in animal storage. You can never be too careful.

    Sep 26, 2010 at 3:15 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #14   Edwina the Defrocked Nun

    As usual, the subject PAN was not as engaging as the comments.

    I swear I’ve seen that horse before, is that a recycle from years back on PAN?

    Sep 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   Vindelanda

      I’m pretty sure I saw the horse too…It looked really familiar. I just thought I was going crazy, but maybe it is a recycled note.

      And the first one is kind of…Hilariously sad. That sounds bad but I don’t know how else to describe it.

      Sep 27, 2010 at 11:52 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #15   Clive dunn

    C’mon people.
    There was no humming bird, there was no map. She’s always wittering on about this shit. Just turn the tv up and take the pills.

    Sep 26, 2010 at 12:40 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #16   eslinger bang

    I must admit, I do enjoy hummingbirds. Both the animal and the vibrator (but not together).

    EDIT: I can understand why the old lady would be angry. If someone took my vibrator, and I was stuck in a nursing home, oooooohhh, there’d be hell to pay!

    Sep 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #17   UnclGhost

    saddest pan ever

    Sep 26, 2010 at 3:36 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #18   wheezeew

    I took your humming bird so I could feed it to a pony. I crumpled up your map of mother earth so I could use it to clog your toilet. Asked and answered.

    Sep 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   trouble

    I live in Iowa City!

    That is all.

    Oct 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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