Lame Adventure 466: Testing My Limits

It is no secret that I am fond of pigeons. When they perch on the sill while I’m at The Grind, I welcome their visits.

Hello there!

Hello there!

I envy their freedom, their swagger and their ability to fly. The irony that they are on the outside of the bars while I’m on the inside is not lost on me. Every so often, mourning doves come around, too, like this pair that visited last month.

Mourning doves hanging out.

Mourning doves that dropped by.

Following a Sunday outing with my friend, Milton, I returned home, entered my abode and noticed that I had a guest perched on my bookshelf.

Guest inside my sanctum sanctorum.

Guest inside my sanctum sanctorum: “If I stay very, very still, I’m sure I’ll be invisible to her.”

I have been under a tremendous amount of stress in recent months. Nothing bad is going on, but I have been extremely preoccupied both at The Grind and on my own time. Two days earlier, on Friday before heading to the subway to go to The Grind, I heard a rustling sound inside my non-working fireplace.

It didn’t faze me.

As I was looking at the guest perched on my bookshelf, my first thought was:

Me: Huh. When did I get a stuffed pigeon?

Then, my guest blinked. I thought:

Me: Holy shit!

Next, I called Building Management. They were home in Brooklyn. They were unfazed, too. They told me to open the window.

Building Management: It’ll find its way out.

Me: How long might that take?

Building Management: Hit it with a broom.

Me (thinking): No way am I hitting it with a broom and risk literally scaring the crap out of it all over the place!

Me (saying): I don’t have a broom.

I have a vacuum cleaner and a whisk broom with a plastic frog handle.

Frog broom.

Frog broom.

Next, I called Milton. He laughed for five minutes straight, then advised:

Milton: Put on your rubber gloves, pick it up and throw it out the window!

Me: Are you insane? I have to climb up to it, it’s going to see me approaching, that should freak it out and then it might fly right at me. I’ll have a heart attack!

Milton: Hit it with a broom!

What is this about people wanting me to hit this poor creature with a broom? I’m not a violent person, I don’t own a broom and I would never hit it with a vacuum cleaner. It occurred to me that it had been in my apartment for three days, probably perched on that shelf the entire time, traumatized in these strange surroundings. It might have watched me ride my spin bike. Seeing me huff and puff in spandex could have traumatized it further. Had it flown around then, I would have certainly had a seizure. It is perverse to think that I had been completely oblivious to a pigeon perched inside my apartment for 72 hours.

It also occurred to me that it had not had anything to eat or drink since it flew out of the fireplace. Because I was not anticipating its visit, I didn’t have any appropriate provisions on hand: birdseed, bagel or pizza. Therefore, I was forced to improvise. I poured pellets of organic kamut, an ancient grain, and some water in a bowl. I placed the meal on a magazine outside the open window, hoping that my guest would chow down, then take the hint and fly away.

My guest didn’t stir.

So, I whistled.

My guest didn’t stir.

I clapped my hands.

My guest didn’t stir.

I shouted:

Me: Hey Birdy, look over here! Food, water, an open window!

Food, water and a Stella Artois ad to crap on, if nature calls.

Food, water and a Stella Artois ad to crap on if nature calls.

My guest didn’t stir.

I took a roll of wrapping paper and tapped it lightly on the talon.

My guest stirred big time, perched briefly on my spin bike’s handlebars and then flew behind a stack of sneaker boxes in an attempt to hide. I cleared the barricade. It was terrified and tried to press itself deeper against the wall. I felt so sorry for it. Then, a piece of a metal fan stand I have been meaning to throw out for the past two years, fell on its wing.

I nearly suffered a stroke and feared that the wing had been broken. Quickly I lifted off the fan stand. Luckily, the wing seemed okay. I was so grateful that stand did not hit it on its head.

I swooped down with gloved hands and picked it up. Pigeons are rather light. Its wings were flapping frantically. I extended my arms out the window, opened my hands and as it started to fly away, a breeze blew the cord from my blinds out the window and the pigeon got caught in the cord. I feared that the cord was strangling it, but only its wing was caught in the cord. It freed itself and flew straight to a tree across the courtyard.

Out this wide open window Birdy flew!

Out this wide open window Birdy flew! Eventually.

We both breathed an epic sigh of relief.

I have not found a single dropping. It was a considerate guest.

But I really prefer you guys perched outside.

But I really prefer you guys perched outside.

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79 responses to “Lame Adventure 466: Testing My Limits

  1. Great pigeon escapade … but (for me) the whisk broom with the frog handle is a winner. … An idea: Imagine this story from the pigeon’s point of view!

    FYI: The banner is still intact.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So glad you were able to send her on her way unharmed, V. And I’m with you about the broom. What would that do but scare it and make it poop!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As always, I loved feeling right there with you. Were I that pigeon, I’d be back. That was quite a tasty pigeon-like buffet you offered … and you didn’t even consider whacking said birdy. In fact, I sensed somewhat of a bonding through this escapade. It’s obviously house-trained. C’est possible?

    Liked by 1 person

    • It certainly was a considerate guest, Patricia. I have a theory that animals instinctively know who they can trust. On more than one occasion, I have walked on the sidewalk with a pigeon walking nonchalantly alongside me. I love it when they do that! To me, they’re cool critters.

      Like

  4. Awww…all he wanted was some tea and good conversation! I told him to look you up! Oops…my bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is right out of a classic Warner Brothers Cartoon from the 40’s! All you needed was some sound effects and Mel Blanc’s voice comin out of that boid!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The pigeons here are horrid guests. If they roost, they never leave and poop everywhere. I’m glad to read that your city pigeons are more civilized or maybe it was extremely constipated from dehydration.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so glad you were able to remove it from your Sanctum Sanctorum without calling in the heavy artillery. We haven’t had pigeons inside but we did have bats a couple of times (not in our belfry). I’m such a sucker for critters that I capture the little tiny spiders that get in the corners of the bathroom and take them outside. I guess I read too much “Charlotte’s Web” when I was a kid.

    It’s great you’re posting again! This one had my heart leaping up into my throat a couple of times before the satisfying denouement. Or maybe it was my acid reflux. Still, hope your stress lessens soon. A day without Lame Adventures is a day without chills, spills and thrills. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The poor bird must have thought it had gone through a blackhole tunnel into a new dimension of space and time.

    My brother used to live in a trailer home. One day he and his wife returned and went to their bedroom to change clothes. She pulled open a drawer and found a possum lying there in her clothes. Screams and exclamations were followed by a successful removal back to nature of the intruder.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That possum was seriously playing, Jim! I think I’d freak out if I had one of those in here. Actually, I would definitely freak out. My bird-guest was seriously bewildered. It knew that it had entered another world, but didn’t know how to get back out to the great outdoors. Luckily it entered an abode occupied by a pigeon sympathizer.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The most amazing thing in this whole story is the lack of poop. I’ve always heard that birds poop frequently, like every 10 or 15 minutes or something. Then again you hear a lot of things and who knows what all is true.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that they’re very regular, too, Lois, but I didn’t see any evidence of that in here. Possibly, in that bird’s quest to appear invisible, it had a lock on its bowels? It wasn’t cooing, either. I was completely clueless that it had been in here for three days. Had it been flapping its wings and flying around, I think I would have noticed.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Poor little pigeon! I applaud you, V, for keeping your wits about you. I get freaked out if some furry, fuzzy, or feathery creature (besides hubby and the pups, sans any feathers) is in my personal domain. You are so sweet the way you set out a little feeding and poopy station for birdie. All his/her bird friends will want to find solace in your serene spot now. Better board up that fireplace.

    I dig your frog broom.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve had that frog broom for close to 30 years. I bought int at a long gone store on Columbus Avenue called Mythology, along with a dust pan with handle shaped like a little alligator. I still use that dustpan, too. Products that were built to last, Brig!

      I am cool with pigeons, but if it was in here, flying around like it was on speed, I wouldn’t be so cool with it. Milton thinks that when it finally flew home and told its mate where it had been, it didn’t buy it and no one in the flock believed it. At least I have photographic proof!

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  11. After three days, the least your feathered guest could have done was offered to pay some of the rent.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Another super-escapade fortuitously resolved, LA! That pigeon certainly seems to have had its fair share of good fortune. When you were throwing it out of the window, were you not tempted to rub it for luck or anything?
    I must also say I now have the theme to ‘Stop the Pigeon’ reverberating around my head! Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Great story! And the first thing I thought when I read that a pigeon had invaded your home (but BEFORE I read any further) was “Get yourself a broom, V!” I see I’m not the first person to offer sage advice.

    No broom? Are you kidding? What do you ride to work?

    Yes, I know–the subway. That was a witch joke, dammit!

    It hasn’t happened for a while, but I’ve gotten pretty good at being a “Broom Shepherd.” You don’t actually whack the thing with the broom, you just threaten the hell out of it, and direct it where you want it to go (OUT).

    I tried to use that method on a possum that got in my grandma’s house once, but they are so cowardly & stupid that it doesn’t work very well. Had to leave the door open all night, but the critter left.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I got the witch joke, Smak! Am I that mean? Unlike you, I could never be a broom shepherd. Not only because I lack a broom but because I’m not big on bossing creatures around. I think if I tried to shoo that bird with a broom, I would have pissed it off and it might have made a statement crap. A possum in my house would have freaked me out. Even a stupid one that didn’t know how to read a map.

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  14. I’m so glad it ended well! I was getting worried there toward the end that something awful was going to happen! Talk about suspense! You are hilarious as always and your posts are so entertaining. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. It probably saw your organic kamut and thought you were trying to poison him. Pigeons are free to poop everywhere and anywhere. That’s admirable. You’re lucky. When my wife lived on the UWS, she had a rat in her cupboard. I’m sure she’d have taken a dozen pigeons over a rat.

    Fish in the Dark tonight. It’s only the 2nd show I’ve seen in July. It’s nice to take a break. It makes you hungry for it again. Theater community jizzing all over themselves for Hamilton. Backlash starting in 3…2…1…

    I was about to ping you about not posting in a while. One per month?! Seriously?! That’s all we get? You are the antithesis of one-per-day posters in both frequency and quality. You hold out and make us wait. Smart. I love Raymond Carver but if he posted every day I probably wouldn’t read him, either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was waiting for someone to pounce on organic kamut! Even though I do eat it regularly, the flavor is distinctly reminiscent of packing pellets, or if you prefer, styrofoam. My pigeon guest just might have taken offense and thought, “Fuhgeddaboudit!” It is a New York boid.

      I thought Fish was floundering, but The Boss loved it. We saw it with LD. She and I love LD. Milton loathes LD.

      You know what I think of Hamilton. You’ve got to see it! Maybe you can score a $10 front row seat so you can save more shekels to treat the kids to see Taylor Swift again. That seemed to earn you some serious World’s Favorite Dad cred.

      You know what’s going on behind the scenes over here. I’ve been very discombobulated and haven’t been able to focus on my site or any writing which is very unusual for me. (Note:my theater going and ushering has been thoroughly uninterrupted; I recommend trying to catch King Liz at Second Stage Uptown where Karen Pittman rocks!) Normally, when I’m not writing, I’m still writing i.e., notes for future blogs, pithy turns of phrase or stories I intend to write later. But things haven’t been normal lately. A friend suggested that that pigeon flew into my abode with a message. I wondered, “What could it have been?” Milton said, “Write an LA!” As Homer (wish he’d run for office) Simpson would say, “D’oh!” When things settle down, I would like to resume my post a week schedule. Or every other week.

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      • I did something I rarely do. Less than a handful of times. I left at intermission. I was given a seat in a side box and the view was so obstructed that I never saw the play. Just heard it. I’d have marched into the box office and demanded a different seat if I hadn’t found the material so boring and mean spirited.

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        • Whoa! I just found it mediocre and completely forgettable. Milton’s intuition about it was spot on. A week ago Saturday we saw the musical It Shoulda Been You. I know that musicals aren’t your thing and this one sounded particularly “meh” to me, but he has seen so many shows I carry on about, since he was willing to get up at daybreak on a Saturday during a thunderstorm (talk about Lame Adventures!) to get us $35 rush seats, the least this aging butch princess could do was show up at curtain. What I didn’t expect was to like it more than him (but he did like it a lot). It was delightful. We had those type of box seats you had that were stamped “partial view” but our view was great. Even though I know you’re not a fan of musicals, I doubt you would have walked out on that one. Tyne Daly was terrific. Overall, it was a lot of fun. Sorry that your experience with Fish stunk.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I can’t believe “It Shoulda…” Is still open. What’s keeping it afloat? Or “Amazing Grace.” It did about $250K for the WEEK. “On the Town” should be on its way out of town any minute. I’m pretty pissed about Fish. I got a discount but the tix were by no means cheap. Plus, I wasted a night out. They’re precious and few. Bastards.

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            • Did you see On the Town? The leading man, Tony Yazbeck, was terrific, but we found it so dull and dated. Don’t bother. The musical that blew us away was An American in Paris. I know that’s not a revival and Craig Lucas has been maligned (unfairly) about opening the book from the film for the stage. We thought what he did added depth. (My boss thought so, too.) Milton wanted to marry that leading man, Robert Fairchild. He’s a phenom. (Actually, Milton was rather smitten with Tony Yazbeck, too: I’d be on board to see whatever he’s in next.) I’m sorry you felt ripped off. Whenever I see a show that sucks I remind myself that those shows prove how hard it is to do good theater. Fortunately, most of the shows I see have merit, even if they’re not all out of the park home runs. I don’t walk out often, either, but if something stinks to high heaven, why waste your time? It Shoulda, on the other hand has merit, something I wasn’t expecting at all.

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  16. Happy ending; what a relief! 🙂

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  17. First of all, kudos on “mourning” not “morning”.

    Secondly (or is it second of all? Never sure what the protocol is there,) congrats on the no droppings. Whatever you do, do not, DO NOT look behind the pile of sneaker boxes.

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    • I can assure you that the space behind the pile of sneaker boxes was indeed dropping-free, not to imply that I’d eat off that space, but I was anticipating finding a souvenir turd somewhere in here and that would have seemed to be a perfect spot. It didn’t even leave behind a feather. It was such a considerate doity boid! I will always think of it fondly.

      Like

  18. Poor pigeon. It must have been terrified. Glad you showed it some compassion with easy access to freedom. Who knows, maybe you will find a tiny broom outside your window one morning with a note, “A gift from a friend. Do not use! Ever!”

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  19. I’m glad that you did not respond with the broom. Whenever my wife uses the broom on me, I always poop.

    Like

  20. Thanks for taking the time from your busy, hectic life to entertain your loyal readers. It was a funny story, as usual. I can not imagine dealing with any kind of animal in my home. I wonder how this LA would of been if you had a cat? Good luck with the house hunting and business relocation work. Sounds like a long hot summer.

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  21. You get pigeons, I wouldn’t mind pigeons. I wouldn’t have hit the pigeon with a broom either, good for you. Poor thing, likely didn’t know where it was and only wanted to find its way out.

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    • Val, I think it knew it was someplace that pigeons don’t normally go, but finding a way out was too much for its bird brain. So, it perched and waited patiently. Had I been more tuned into my surroundings that strategy would have worked a helluva lot faster.

      Like

  22. I can’t wait for the movie, “Bird Woman of Manhattan.” Let’s cast Christina Ricci in the title role and throw in Melissa McCarthy as her stunt double in the spin bike scene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen Christina Ricci on stage. She had no presence whatsoever which was further magnified by the fact that she weighs about as much as one of Melissa McCarthy’s toenail clippings. I’d pay full price to see MM on stage, and no cracks about her being full figured are allowed here! I’d nominate her for a Best Actress Academy Award, she was so terrific in Spy, easily the best comedy I’ve seen in years. (It was highly Milton approved, too.) Her timing is impeccable.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m a Melissa McCarthy fan too.
        I forgot to mention earlier, but the easiest way to catch a bird indoors is with a towel or t-shirt. Toss it over the fowl and you can handle it without injuring either party or getting poop on yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. That is an excellent frog-handled mini broom thing. And, hahahaahaaaa … what an amazing lame adventure. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  24. As much as I love birdwatching in their wild environs, I would not know what to do if I found one in my house. Never a pet owner, never wanted to be one, even if I had a broom. Your compassion is exemplary.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Just checking to see if you are still in the blogoshpere.

    Like

    • I will be back, but life’s been very busy. The Grind is moving from Manhattan to Queens so I’m working very long hours during this transition. Once things settle, I’ll resume my regular routine. Thanks for noticing!

      Like

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