Bizarro is brought to you today by Great Band Names.
If I was a shape-shifter, like "Sam" on HBO's Trueblood, I would choose to be a bird every time. Imagine being able to fly under your own power. Holy cow(bird). Of course, I'd want to be a bird with my mind, not a bird's mind. Not because birds don't have good minds (they have perfect minds for life as a bird) but I would want to protect myself from cats, hunters, traffic, the pet trade, all the sort of things birds fall prey to.
But shape-shifters have that ability, at least on Trueblood. They maintain their own consciousness, but take on the shape of a different animal for however long they want, then switch back. So cool.
The only downside to shape-shifting is the nudity. You lose your clothes when you change into another species – you could hardly imagine a pigeon flying around New York City wearing jeans and a hoodie – so when you change back, you're still naked. And you have to be careful where you leave your stuff when you first "shift" because your wallet will still be in your pants or whatever. It would be a drag to come back from your flight to find all of your stuff missing. How do you get back into your house without your keys? Naked people trying to jimmy windows are often frowned upon by neighbors.
Back to the things birds fall prey to, few things break my heart the way the sight of a bird in a cage does. I admire people who rescue parrots from "pet owners" and try to give them the best life possible given that their natural life has been ruined by captivity already, but I am dead set against people who buy birds to keep as pets. If I were a bird, I'd rather be set free than live the rest of my life in someone's kitchen window, regardless of how long I could survive in that environment. I'm always tempted to release birds I see in hotel lobbies and pet stores. Big parrots wouldn't have much of a chance, their wings are typically clipped anyway, but little finches and songbirds would probably be fine just flitting around the city eating what they can. When winter comes, they might not make it, but I can't help but believe that's a better life than prison. Some cities do, in fact, have large populations of escaped birds. Good for them.
Before my animal rights friends come down on me for encouraging behavior that might endanger innocent birds, let me say I'm just thinking out loud. I don't really know what is best for a given species in a given climate. I just know what I'd want. I'd be the Patrick Henry of birds: Give me liberty or give me death. But not in a creepy, backwoods middle America way with stockpiles of guns and a fear of socialized medicine.
I'll post a cartoon contest tomorrow at 6pm NYC time. Watch for it, play it, enjoy it. First person to post the correct answers in the comment section wins!