will you be my albatross?

albatross in culture

current references to the albatross in culture include a metaphor, a rare golf outcome & a musical instrument \ their mating habits could add yet another

someone with an albatross around the neck carries a burden or obstacle / in “the rime of the ancient mariner” <1798> by samuel taylor coleridge, the mariner of the poem kills with a crossbow an albatross <generally considered an omen of good luck> that was following his ship  \ the killing of the albatross was believed to curse the ship / as punishment, the mariner was made to wear the dead albatross around his neck <for an indefinite period of time>

in golf, to score three under par <-3> means scoring an albatross <or double eagle> \ a hole-in-one on par-four holes is also an albatross / albatrosses in golf are extremely rare \ fewer than three per year were recorded between 1970 and 2003 on the pga tour \ why the allusion to the albatross? hopefully not because they will soon become rare / 19 of 21 albatross species are threatened with extinction \ other bird references in golf are birdie, eagle & condor \ indeed, my favorite golfer tells me that the rarity of a -3 is why it was named after the albatross <birdie is small, the albatross is one of the largest flying birds; thus too -3 is a “double eagle”>

the maori carved flutes out of the bones of the albatross whose wingspan can be as much as 12 feet! \ and they are highly efficient in the air / instead of flying they glide| they use a special flying technique called dynamic soaring \whereby they use the up-draft of the wind above the waves to provide lifts for extended periods of time / they can glide for hours without rest or flapping their wings

now a recent report on npr about “divorce rates” among birds cited the albatross as sustaining <or enduring, depending on how one views it> the longest monogamous relationship \ albatrosses can live up to 50 years on average & the rate at which they leave their mate is… 0% | yup, they are 100% faithful / will you be my albatross? could make a compelling hallmark card

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