Tag Archives: pigeon

Lame Adventure 389: Did It Fly or Did It Die?

It is not a secret that I envy the pigeons that perch on the sill outside my window at The Grind. They fly wherever they want to go which sure beats riding the subway at rush hour. Here in New York, they always look well fed with all the free eats lying around. Often, I hear them cooing their birdbrains out indicating to me that they’re feeling pretty content. When they want privacy, they slip away to the air conditioner on the west side of the building and engage in pigeon-style tantric relations. This entails much wing flapping and flying feathers. I have also seen them lock beaks — pigeon-style kissing, which is an aspect of the mating ritual called billing here in the US and nebbing in the UK — for those of you inclined to read this site for its vast educational component.

On a recent Thursday, I noticed a pigeon huddled under the air conditioner in the building across from my office. My colleague, Godsend, is very aware of my bird watching.

Godsend: Are you looking at a pigeon?

Me: Yes, it doesn’t look good.

Sleeping or dead?

Sleeping or sick?

Godsend strained her neck for a look.

Godsend: I’m sure it’s sleeping.

Me: I think it’s sick.

Godsend: I think it’s fine.

For hours, that pigeon was perched in that same spot, immobile. Every so often I’d check on it. My glutton for punishment pal would ask for a report.

Godsend: Is it still there?

Me: It’s still there and it’s still not moving. It might be dead and we might be spending the next three weeks watching it decay.

Godsend: Don’t say that. I’m sure it’s sleeping.

Later, I returned and it appeared to be gone.

Godsend: Do you see it?

Me: No, it’s gone!

Godsend (genuinely relieved): See, it flew away!

Me: Wait a minute; it’s still there. The light was playing a trick on me.

The downbeat was audible from Godsend’s desk. It remained tucked under the air conditioner that entire day. The next day when we came in, it was actually gone. Godsend was massively relieved.

Missing or dead?

Dead gone?

Godsend: See, it did fly away!

Me: I think it was dead all along and it fell off the ledge.

Godsend: Don’t say that! Let’s think happy thoughts.

Me: Okay. Even if it did drop dead and fell off the ledge, at least we don’t have to watch it rot away for weeks on end.

Godsend remains convinced that it flew away. I am sure that it died. We cannot open our barred windows to stick our heads out to determine its fate, so fellow Lame Adventurers, as proven creative thinkers, what do you think happened to it?

Lame Adventure 366: Birds of a Feather

I thought it was an interesting coincidence that on a day when I found myself nodding out at my desk at The Grind, a pigeon that perched outside my window had the same idea.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Where we diverged was that after it completed its snooze, the reinvigorated avian extravagantly stretched its wings and took flight. I remained in groggy land-locked captivity on the other side of the bars. It’s possible that I drooled.

The Boss had ordered me to work on a Very Important Assignment, the kind of mission with no margin for error. If it’s screwed up she’ll likely have her head handed to her on a plate. Therefore, I am under pressure to be perfect. Even if nothing is screwed up, I can foresee someone down the line getting cranky about some aspect of this project and blaming her. This brings to mind that I have a tendency to philosophically reflect on my fellow man, or on the woman that announced to me, just as an off-Broadway  play that I was volunteer ushering was about to start:

Woman (whispering): You’re sitting in my husband’s seat.

I nearly suffered a heart attack. The House Manager had assigned me that sixth row dead center seat. He’s always on top of his game. I thought:

Me (thinking): The play’s starting RIGHT THIS SECOND. What am I going to do?

Lightning fast, I spring to my feet and apologize profusely for this snafu. I envisioned her husband bolting out of the bathroom, bursting through the house’s closed doors and hotfooting down the aisle at that very moment.

The woman reveals:

Woman: I turned his ticket into the box office. He’s not here. Sit!

She finds my heart stopping terror hilarious. As a volunteer with an obligation to represent this theater in the best possible light at all times, I press my personal mute button hard to silence what I am thinking:

Me (thinking): Are you a psychotic crazy person?  Was that really necessary to say to me right at curtain?

I suffered shallow breathing well into the first act. When an ominous looking bread knife was brandished on stage, I realized that there just might be a little Norman Bates in me, too, but I digress. As I tend to philosophically reflect on my fellow man and woman, factoring in my own experiences with members of the human race, I have concluded that many people are assholes.

Other people at my company are basically treating this project that my boss is spearheading like a hot potato. No one wants to touch it. Therefore, the potato has been handed to me. Maybe when it’s finished I should ask for a title upgrade to Minister of Potato. If I were Elsbeth, my superior, I would have dumped it on me, too. I’m excellent with detail, over-educated and underpaid. What a bargain until …

Oops.

Oops.

I lose consciousness and key in 83,338 of a product that costs $1,416. The line item calculates to $118,007,080. Fortunately, I came to before hitting the ‘enter’ key and reduced the quantity to the intended amount: two.

In my next life, I hope I return as a New York City pigeon. I’d be free. I’d never be bored. I could fly, mate at will, stuff myself with street food, but best of all, I could crap on annoying theater patrons and get away with it. Hey, I’m just a doity boid.

Lame Adventure 174: Rough Sex

Since I am not inclined to conduct a poll, but I have a very fertile imagination, possibly the last fertile aspect of my being, I will guess that most New Yorkers, and by most New Yorkers, I am zeroing in on the five boroughs, because I frequent upstate about as often as I do the Arctic, and until recently I would have gladly excluded Staten Island, until one of my subscribers, Beckyyk, a rather promising blogger, happens to hail from that locale forcing me to expand my narrow mind, would have skeptically assumed that the Empire state bird is the pigeon.   I suggest, “skeptically assumed” because New Yorkers might be thinking in the backs of their heads:

New Yorkers thinking en masse:  Can that possibly be right?

Since Lame Adventures is an unreliable source of educational spewing, no, it’s not.  New York actually has two things in common with Missouri.  The first is good help.  In early 2010, my boss, Elsbeth, at my urging, imported my sidekick, Greg, from St. Louis.  We had interviewed him the previous summer, so when we had a vacancy in February 2010, he immediately came to my mind.  The fact that I had a scintilla of recollection of a straight young guy at all, much less more than six months after meeting him, so stunned Elsbeth, she said:

Elsbeth:  Call him.  Hire him.  Declare a holiday.

Coincidentally, Greg’s birth-state bird happens to be the same as New York’s, the bluebird.   Over the weekend, I saw a bluebird in the garden near my building, and I thought:

Me (thinking):  Hello, little first bluebird of spring!

I then took this photograph.

I get my spots from my father, too.

And had a sudden hankering for squab.

Recently, late in the day while at work, Greg entered the office from his warehouse.  He interrupted my favorite pastime, clock watching, when he announced:

Greg:  Two pigeons are really going at it on the air conditioner!  It’s like a rape.

In response I grabbed my camera and entered the warehouse where indeed nature was taking a very loud, ferocious, feather-flapping course right outside the window atop the AC.  I highly regretted not having my Flip video at the ready and equally regretted being too burned out at that hour to recall I can also shoot video on my Canon digital camera.

I've got you cornered, now!

Get back over here!

Does my wing span excite you, baby?

You'll like this position, I dive off this wire into you.

Do you have a cigarette?

This week, Greg announced that George and Martha have resumed their romance in their boudoir atop our turd-encrusted AC.  He reported to me that they appear to have worked out their differences, or maybe George saw daylight and realized that poking Martha repeatedly in the head with his beak is not the foreplay technique that revs her engine.  Take it away, Otis!

Lame Adventure 128: Uninvited Guests

I am not a fan of killing living things.  I suppose if I had to fend for myself in a strange environment, I might be able to find my inner Bear Grylls, or maybe not.   For ultra urban me a strange environment is not the woods, since I am more likely to find myself on planet Neptune than in a place full of dirt and packed with trees that prohibit cell phone use.  For me, a strange environment is a suburban shopping mall without a multiplex, if there is such a thing.  I am sure I could find something to eat in any mall, and maybe even a restaurant serving a decent Pinot Noir.  Therefore, I would not need to chow down insects or drink my own urine in an effort to survive while vomiting.

Occasionally, a waterbug comes up through my bathroom’s drain, and I do kill those, but if I encounter a spider or a ladybug, I would capture them and put them out the window.  Mosquitoes and flies would be subject to the same harsh fate as the waterbug, so I admit when I have a bug visitor, I do not treat all insects equally.

From time to time sparrows or pigeons perch on the sill outside my window.  They don’t disturb me at all, but if one were to make it’s way into my apartment, I’d likely lose every ounce of cool, and toss such a fit, I might need sedation.

What would disturb me just as much as a bird flying in my sanctum sanctorum would be a lurking rodent.  Years ago, when I was a student at Not Yet Useful, I heard rustling in my roommate’s half of our dorm room.  She was out so the lights were off.  I was in my room reading.  I got up to investigate when I saw a rat’s two shiny black eyes making contact with mine.  We both stood frozen for what seemed like four days, but it was probably closer to four tenths of a second.  Then, the rat darted one way back into her room, and I ran out the door, which closed behind me.  Brilliantly I locked myself out.

Recently, while in the bathroom at work, I had an encounter with a centipede on the wall.  Centipedes are safe with me.  While I was peeing, it appeared to be sleeping.  After completing my visit, I went to my desk, retrieved my camera, and returned to the bathroom where I photographed the slumbering crawler.  I took several shots with and without flash.  All were lousy, but it never flinched.  Obviously, it was a sound sleeper – just like me.  I returned to my desk thinking:

Me:  Huh.  Who knew I have something in common with a centipede?

My centipede alter ego.

A few hours later, I was feeling bored.  Greg, my sidekick, was sitting at his desk fighting a coma while typing tile labels.  I approached him with my camera.

Me:  Want to see some crummy pictures I shot?

Greg (regaining consciousness):  Sure!

I flipped through my photos of our department’s centipede.

Greg:  Hey, I killed that.

Me (horrified):  Why?

Greg:  Under Ling asked me to.

Me:  How’d you do it?

Greg:  With a piece of toilet paper, and then my foot after it fell.

Hitman hands at rest.

It disturbed me to think that my very own 21C (Evelyn Waugh-speak for second-in-command) had been enlisted to perform this execution of my kindred spirit as it slept so peacefully against the bathroom wall.   There it was, possibly having a lovely dream when suddenly, it was bludgeoned, squished, stomped and then the final humiliation, flushed.

I glanced at Ling’s sidekick, Under Ling, sitting at her desk, working in a fog of boredom.  Under Ling’s a sweet soul, and I reasoned that centipedes are simply on her creepy crawly death wish list.   Next time I encounter a centipede in the bathroom, I’ll make sure to chuck it out the window … where it will probably be promptly eaten by a pigeon.

Burp!