Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Cities exist in a delicate balance.

Subways come along once every 3-5 minutes. People file in, people file out. Ebb. Flow.

Sometimes the equilibrium is perturbed. Like after a big concert at the Dome. Then people crowd onto the subway platform. People file in. People file in. People file in.

But such disturbances in the yin yang of traffic last for but a short time and then return to normal.

Such is not the case, however, with the city’s burgeoning pigeon problem caused by the chickadee-brained romantics who park themselves in public high-traffic places, armed with bags of moldy bread crumbs that they toss at their feet, causing frenetic, parasite-infested pigeons to swarm.

Pigeons are scavengers. Scavengers play an important part in this delicate equilibrium:

Eat a hot dog. Drop a crumb. Pigeon eats it. Pigeon flies away. Eat a sandwich. Drop the crust. Pigeon eats it. Pigeon flies away. Ebb. Flow.

See? It all works very nicely. Our streets stay clean of crumbs. Pigeons get enough food to provide them with enough energy to survive, maybe court another pigeon, and perhaps even make a baby pigeon. We all win.

But then along come these lonely, Mary Poppins watching, crumb hoarders. They get some sick pleasure by being surrounded by armies of diseased birds.

Look, I don’t mean to be callous. We all need love. We all need to feel like we matter. But if you want to feel like you are making a difference go read to children at the library, go hold an elderly man’s hand at the geriatric centre, go to the zoo and give a therapeutic massage to a lama if ‘giving back’ to the animal kingdom is what turns your crank.

But when these pigeons get fed, they become fat, lazy, and make lots of fat, lazy babies. As long as they keep being fed by these “angels” of bread, bird populations go up and up. Pretty soon, our sidewalks are covered in a whitish brown carpet of poo and we can’t walk through the courtyard to our office without a prudent head covering.

And furthermore: Now you eat a hot dog, drop a crumb, but no bird is there to swoop down and clean our street. The pigeons have become greedy. Why would they expend energy and fly over to that single crumb when they can loiter in our cherished public spaces and wait for a feast to be thrown at their ugly, bacteria-soaked, feet?

It is time for everyone to wake up and tap into the city zen. Stop feeding the pigeons and seek professional help.

8 Comments:

Blogger Andrew said...

You come across as a bitchy hypochondriac. The slaughterhouse would not be for you.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Nadine said...

"Bitchy"? Well, I wouldn't expect you to understand what it is like to be attacked by a flock of terrifying pigeons. You live in Oakville and Oakville doesn't have a pigeon problem. Oakville has poodles. And Oakville poodles get their semi-annual heart worm pill and are luxuriously parasite free.

2:50 PM  
Anonymous gayle said...

gI totally hear where you are coming from - people don't feel rats now do they...pigeons are rodents of the sky...they are dirty dirty evil birds.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous gayle said...

not sure why i had so many typos - i mean feed not feel rats...that would just be gross

5:37 PM  
Blogger scott. said...

feeding the birds should, DEFINITELY, be made a criminal offence. (nadine - i know i say this all the time, but i say it again for the people; for the people).

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I had a chemistry teacher in high school who hunted and killed pigeons and squirrels on a regular basis. I believe you left out an important factor to this 'pigeon equilibrium' you speak of. Let us all take a moment and recognize the honourable and brave individuals who take the time out of their busy schedules to hunt and kill pigeons. Individuals such as my old chemistry teacher.

1:17 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Once again you have accurately descibed a growing problem in this city. The key point you bring up is that these people aren't attracting these scary attacking birds to their own homes but rather to the most public of areas to terrorize the citizens (who pretend they didnt just dive to the ground as a bird came their way). I point to my walk to the subway station where I saw such a person decide to feed her 'friends' in the middle of the waiting area for the buses/streetcars. no wonder the next time i went to catch the subway there the vicious creatures were underground and roaming the platform.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Tracy said...

Once again you have accurately descibed a growing problem in this city. The key point you bring up is that these people aren't attracting these scary attacking birds to their own homes but rather to the most public of areas to terrorize the citizens (who pretend they didnt just dive to the ground as a bird came their way). I point to my walk to the subway station where I saw such a person decide to feed her 'friends' in the middle of the waiting area for the buses/streetcars. no wonder the next time i went to catch the subway there the vicious creatures were underground and roaming the platform.

1:58 PM  

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