Owl’s Well That Ends Well

I have a confession to make: I am obsessed with hooters.

Have been, ever since I was a boy growing up in the 70s. I found them exotic, big and beautiful, something I thought about but never glimpsed. When they came out, they usually did so at night, long after I was asleep. I took to filling notebooks with drawings of them, page after page. Oh, how I longed to see them in person, up close and real. Maybe I could touch one. Pet it. Caress it.

I’m talking about owls, people!! Jesus. Get your minds out of the gutter.

Boobs are nice, too…

But I digress. For some reason, as a kid, I liked owls. I thought, as far as birds go, owls were pretty cool. Large and powerful nocturnal hunters that could scoop up an unsuspecting mouse in their talons and devour it mid-flight…how badass is that? Plus, they can swivel their heads as much as 270 degrees. That’s a pretty awesome parlor trick, you have to admit.

One of several recent owl-themed purchases, now proudly displayed in our living room.
One of several recent owl-themed purchases, now proudly displayed in our living room.

I guess my fascination with owls as a child is simply a sign of the times. The 70s were definitely the decade of the owl, a symbol of the environmental movement of the 60s. They became cultural icons thanks to Mr. Owl (“How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?”) and Woodsy The Owl (“Give a hoot, don’t pollute”), both popular cartoon characters of the 1970s. Owls were everywhere back then, icons of fashion and home decor. Their color combinations – brown, orange, and gold – were wildly popular, giving avocado green a run for its money. It’s no wonder I liked them so much: I couldn’t escape them!

Given my penchant for all things retro, it should come as no surprise that I’ve rediscovered the owl. Every time we stop by the vintage stores on Hawthorne Boulevard, I come back with something owl-related, it seems. Salt and pepper shakers. Wall hangings. You name it, I’ve bought it. Some people might think this is a silly little retro craze, but I don’t give a hoot. I like owls, and I like the 70s. It all fits in with my lava lamps and beaded curtains and record albums and peace signs. I am very much a child of the 70s, and it shows.

Thank god Tara likes that stuff, too. You might say she and I are birds of a feather.

Quit groaning. I never met a pun I didn’t like.

So, when my parents announced recently that there isn’t a bat in the belfry, but an owl, I was understandably excited. Only, they aren’t so much. This owl has taken up residence near their house, and awakens them in the dead of night with its plaintive hooting. I say they’re lucky, they say, “we’re calling an exterminator.” Clearly, they do not share my enthusiasm for the wisest of creatures.

Salt and pepper here...
Salt and pepper here…

In other news, spring has definitely sprung here, after a very disappointing (in my opinion, because there was no snow) winter. Tara marvels over our lack of temperature swings (low of 45, high of 53 is common this time of year) and buds on the trees already, while Ely is gearing up for a snowstorm this weekend. Not us. It’ll be sunny and close to 60, perfect weather for a weekend jaunt to Seattle. We’ve averaged a trip north every 4-6 weeks, but everybody has been busy lately with work and other obligations, so it’s actually been a couple of months since we’ve gotten up there. We’ll rectify that wrong tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing the family, and equally excited over a trip to Pike Place Market tomorrow evening. I love the hustle and bustle of that place, not to mention the excellent seafood. It’ll be the perfect way to celebrate National Crabmeat Day.

Just four more hours ’til we fly the coop!


Published by Mark Petruska

I'm a professional writer and editor living my best life in south central Wisconsin.

19 thoughts on “Owl’s Well That Ends Well

  1. You wont think owls are so great when he is on the roof right outside your bedroom window at 2 am! hoot hooting away!


  2. National Crabmeat Day? Seriously?
    I’m not sure why, but owls are very popular right now. I sent our daughter an owl cookie jar for Christmas because she LOVES owls…(and cookies) She has a collection. (of owls, not cookies) Hope your weekend is a real HOOT!


    1. National Crabmeat Day is nothing. Wait until we celebrate National Chocolate Covered Insects Day! At least we won’t have to make a special trip to Pike Place Market for that.


  3. You should be thrilled bc owls are crazy en vogue right now. If I go to Ross or TJ Maxx, owls are EVERYWHERE–on journals, coffee mugs, aprons, art prints next to Van Gogh. This is clearly your time to shine.


  4. “I’m talking about owls, people!! Jesus. Get your minds out of the gutter.”

    HAHAHAHHAHAHAA! Mark, you SLAY me, man!!!!

    And I’m with you, I love owls too!

    “Large and powerful nocturnal hunters”

    Anything nocturnal I adore because I’m nocturnal myself. LOVE the night! And it’s odd, but I actually find their ‘hooting’ very calming and relaxing, so it doesn’t bother me.

    And I agree, this winter was such a let-down. It was cold and snowy here today, but then tomorrow and through the weekend the temps go into the high 60’s and humid 😦

    Have a super time in Seattle!


    1. “It was cold and snowy here today.”

      Well, that is one more cold and snowy day than we had this winter, my friend. Or should I say, my lucky bastard of a friend. 😉


    1. I know mourning doves well. Used to hear them all the time growing up…and even now, to this day. They sound so plaintive, I swear, just hearing them makes me want to sip cyanide-laced Kool Aid.

      (Not really, mom). (If you come back and read this).


    1. Thanks for telling me the story. That is so random and bizarre, but considering their talons are strong enough to crush rodents in, I’m not surprised he ended up bloody!


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