Thursday, June 02, 2005

News You Can Use

Today’s lesson, pigeons. Being that I work in an urban area, I know a lot about pigeons. Pigeons are ubiquitous downtown and I’ve always been an observer of things. Therefore, I’ve watched a lot of pigeons in my day. Heck, one summer I was even able to train some attack pigeons. Those were some mean pigeons. And if there were pretzels around, you didn’t want to fuck with them; they’ll cut you. But anyway, that’s beside the point. Here are some key things I’ve learned about pigeons:

  • Pigeons are birds, it’s true. But pigeons, just like television’s legendary B. A. Baracus, hate to fly. It’s an odd quality considering they are birds with wings and feathers and the ability to fly and all, but hey, it wasn’t very convenient for Mr. T to drive that conversion van to Ecuador for some pay-for-hire vigilante mission, but he did what his nature dictated, just like pigeons. If you approach a pigeon leisurely (caution! see above about attack pigeons), he will invariably start WALKING away from you. He will not fly away unless you make noise or start running at him yelling, “I am the pigeon king!” Unlike most other wild animals, pigeons require very little personal space. In this way, you could probably follow a pigeon for the rest of its life. (Assuming you would be able to snack on the same foodstuffs the pigeon happened upon.)
  • When forced to fly, pigeons overfly their destination and then walk back. It takes a while to notice this. I trained my attack pigeons by enticing them with pretzel bits. I’d throw out a few bits on the ground and eventually a pigeon would catch on to what was happening. (Don’t ask me how. Pigeon intuition I guess.) Here comes the pigeon; there goes the pigeon; goodbye pigeon! Why did you fly 10 yards past your destination? You wanted to stretch out your legs? Not sure what this is all about. A guess – my eyes aren’t on the side of my head, but I gotta imagine that messes with your depth perception. Fly past, walk back – that’s how pigeons roll.
  • Pigeons don’t know how to bite. Pigeons have beaks which would seem like an ideal biting apparatuses. Pigeons disagree. Pigeons swallow things whole. And anything they can’t swallow whole, they don’t eat. But man, will they try to choke it down.
  • Pigeons are greasy. How do you think they keep their stylish, slicked-back hair?
  • Pigeons are mostly gray. But there seem to be a lot of brown pigeons around lately. The browns must be better at foraging or something. Or maybe they learned how to chew or they get it on more than gray pigeons.
  • Pigeons walk like Egyptians.
Well, there you go. I’ve distilled a lifetime of pigeon research into 6 bullet points. You’re welcome.


Post a Comment

<< Home