Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The New Pigeon Police

Much has been going on, so I have been kept busy, off the streets and out of trouble (mostly). I didn't sleep too well last night, primarily because our local volunteer fire department responded to a call from the house next door at about 2:00 AM. Nothing major; the firefighters were gone in less than an hour, and the neighbors got out safely on their own accord, and are back at home after the fire. I have no further details yet (and they really don't seem to be that important). But the sirens and the bright lights woke me up and kept me up. I don't like losing whatever precious little sleep I am able to achieve, but at least I know that our firefighters show up when they are needed. I can live with that!

In the Big Apple, Councilman Simcha Felder has announced legislation proscribing the feeding of pigeons, under penalty of $1,000 fines for violations. The bill (which, as of this writing, has not yet shown up on the NYC City Council website) would create the position of pigeon czar to deal with all pigeon problems.

Having kept pigeons as pets during my preteen years, I have developed some opinions and attitudes regarding the birds. First and foremost, there are just too damn many of them in New York City (and, for that matter, in the covered parking lot where I teach). Secondly, as pointed out by Don Jenner, we have ourselves to blame for bringing pigeons to America. They are descended from the Rock Doves of the Old World, but we brought them here. Think of them as illegal aliens!

I agree that we do need to do something about the pigeons. About 3 or 4 years ago, my wife and I went to a wedding in Brooklyn. The valet parking people parked our minivan right under the El tracks, and when they returned the car there were several very large blobs of pigeon poop on the windshield. Turning on the wipers would have smeared the poop all over, and rendered the entire windshield opaque. And so, as the valet people (I wouldn't bet that they all had green cards) were honking their horns behind our van to try to get me to drive it away, I climbed upon the front of the van, with a spritzer of Windex and lots of paper towels, and cleaned off my windshield. A very significant part of me regrets (A) not wiping the poop in the face of the valet parking captain, who was standing there 20 feet away watching me wipe the poop from my windshield; and/or (B) not mailing a sample of the poop to the mother & father of the bride (we were guests on the groom's side).

Pigeons are edible (and, if slaughtered according to the Torah dictates, kosher). They can be used to alleviate much of the hunger problem in the New York metropolitan area, except that the animal rights sob sisters would all be up in arms.

And speaking of the animal rights sob sisters, their big thing of late has been the feral cats at Idlewyld (I refuse to call it JFK) Airport.

Why not just bus the feral cats from Idlewyld in to Manhattan, and dispense with Councilman Felder's additional layer of bureaucracy?

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