Over my long, lonely quarantine months, I’ve spent a lot of time birdwatching. There’s a bunch of trees surrounding my apartment balcony, and they attract all sorts of critters. It’s peaceful to sit outside with my cat and watch the assorted woodpeckers and cardinals and other ones that I don’t know the name of because I’m dumb.
But thank god I don’t have peacocks roaming my streets. They’re beautiful but have the most hellacious screams. Unfortunately, some Newcastle residents are having to do with that. From KFOR:
NEWCASTLE, Okla. (KFOR) – Neighbors, fed up with a growing pride of peacocks across the street, called In Your Corner hoping to apply pressure for change.
Barbara Kalkbrenner and Adonna Hudson have lived out on South Rockwell for around 45 years combined.
But around a decade-and-a-half back, their quiet cul-de-sac welcomed some new neighbors.
“Nobody wants to do anything to help,” noted Barbara.
They say they’re helpless against a pride of peacocks, reportedly 300 deep across the street.
The birds are owned by a man named Randall Schmidt.
“It started out small, and in the last year, I’d say, it’s just exploded,” said Adonna. “During the daytime, during the nighttime. It’s all you hear, sounds like cats crying.”
“When it rains, it smells horrible,” added Barbara.
Seriously, have you ever heard one of these motherfuckers scream? Back in my mallratting days, I’d ride to Crossroads Mall with my friend Ryan in his beat-up Ford sedan. We usually took the service road, and there was a house by the fire station where someone had a peacock in their yard. We yelled at it one time as a joke and it just SHRILLED at us so loud. It became a running joke to make the peacock yell at us every week.
I digress. This is an ‘In Your Corner’ story, so of course KFOR had to confront the peacock farmers.
We approached Mr. Schmidt outside his home, to get his side.
He was quick to point out a large number of chickens/roosters at his neighbors house, indicative again of the lack of ordinances.
But before we could press him further, he closed his garage door in our face.
This was a calm response given Schmidt’s history. This year alone he’s been arrested for allegedly trying to run over his neighbor in his own yard, and for brandishing a gun around a group of kids.
“He pulled a gun on my grandkids,” said Barbara. “Told them they would be dead.”
Well, THAT took a turn. I honestly thought the only people that would want to own peacocks would be hippies like Wayne Coyne, or shut-in Grey Gardens cat ladies. Apparently, some of them are violent gun-toting people who threaten to murder children.
I’ve got no problem with people in city limits having a couple of chickens, even though they can get loud. But 300 weird shrill exotic birds in your backyard is a bit much.