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Some Poor Sap(s) Had a Bizarrely Morbid Inventory Count Late on Friday

As you are no doubt aware, landing an emergency inventory count on New Year’s Eve is about as an unlucky event that can befall an auditor. Typically, you don’t miss any of the booze or scrambling for a midnight kiss but seriously, who wants to work on New Year’s Eve?

As bad as the 12/31 count may be, when you get a call to count birds that fell out of the sky for no apparent reason at 10 pm on December 31st, you can safely assume that your new year will be far, far luckier.

About 10 p.m. Friday, thousands of red-winged blackbirds began falling out of the sky over this town about 35 miles northeast of Little Rock. They landed on roofs, roads, front lawns and backyards, turning the ground nearly black and scaring anyone who happened to be outside.

“One of them almost hit my best friend in the head,” said Christy Stephens, who was standing outside among the smoking crowd at a New Year’s Eve party. “We went inside after that.”

The cause is still being determined, said Keith Stephens, a spokesman for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Of the more than 4,000 birds that fell on Beebe, 65 samples have been sent to labs, one in Arkansas, the other in Wisconsin. Some results may be available as soon as Monday, Mr. Stephens said.

It’s doubtful that auditors in these counts but the skills involved are no less than of the classic opiner. This just happens to be a far creepier count than you would normally be assigned.