Here’s the latest addition to the Archie McPhee Library: The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds [Buy on Amazon], written and illustrated by Matt Adrian, aka naturalist The Mincing Mockingbird.
In a journal entry Kurt Cobain once wrote, “Birds…scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth. They know the truth. Screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears, but sadly we don’t speak bird.”
That is, no one spoke bird until The Mincing Mockingbird took a swing at it and made some truly startling discoveries. Looking like a damaged library book (which was no doubt damaged by a deranged bird) The Mincing Mockingbird Guide to Troubled Birds is a beautifully illustrated “pocket field guide that enables anyone to quickly identify psychotic, violent or mentally unstable bird species. Written in non-technical language for the layman, the guide describes where to find—or where to avoid—the most disturbed North American birds.”
Throw out your other bird guides. The world is full of hilariously demented birds and, short of going outside and putting yourself and your corn chips in danger, this is the only true resource.
"Throughout the book the reader will discover tales of murder, assault, mental breakdowns, obesity, drug abuse and infidelity among the birds. This guide is used and recommended by law enforcement agencies and ignored by leading ornithologists."
Many of illustrations are paired with brief stories told by the birds themselves. The back of the book contains bird attack statistics from 1970 and a list of study questions to make sure you’ve really absorbed the material - for the good of us all.
"Reviews of the guide have ranged from "hilarious" and "classic" to "these should be burned along with ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Lolita,’ you bad, bad, bad, bad man." Most libraries will not protest the banning of this book, and several librarians have called it a "nasty bit of business." There’s nothing too horrible in these, but all the same there may be a word or two that may be inappropriate for "wee people." Meaning kids. But if you consider yourself one of those "cool" parents, hey, go ahead. Hopefully your kids will pass along their therapy bills to you later on."
Read this book and you’ll laugh, yes, but you’ll also learn. You’ll learn that birds aren’t out there to look pretty, sing sweet songs and flit along the fingertips of blushing princesses. They’re living their lives, man. And once you’ve learned the truth, you’ll never look at birds the same way again. (Just try not to laugh when the birds can see you. It only upsets them more.)
[Images from the Guide to Troubled Birds via Flavorwire]