Thursday, April 28, 2011

Where the Wild Things Are - Hell's Kitchen Edition

"From hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." – Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Call me nycityman.
Destiny may beckon us, at least once in our lifetimes, to embark into brutal battle with an oft-noble and fiercely formidable foe. Ahab had his great white whale, Michele Bachmann – truth, Glenn Beck – sanity. And like Melville’s good captain, even those of us residing in the most urban of arenas can find ourselves in occasional encounters with beasts of the wild. What the hyena is to Africa, what the remora is to the deep, what Donald Trump is to dignity - the pigeon is to New York City - a pest and a nuisance spreading disease and illness in its feathery wake – surely one of the foulest fowls to ever populate our planet. Some find this passerine objectionable as a matter of hygiene, cleanliness or because of the resulting bread crumb shortages among the elderly. For nycityman, it’s a far more personal predicament. They litter my air conditioner and windows. They frustrate my feline. They discuss my shortcomings behind my back. They ridicule my clothing choices. And they question my sexuality. In over half a century of existence, I’ve spent many an hour, nay many a day, nay many a week – even nayer (yes, I said nayer) - many a month, locked in corporeal combat with my feathery foes and despite my Darwinian advantage, my higher ranking on the evolutionary chain, my clearly superior SAT scores to any genus of bird, I have yet to emerge victorious.

Even less a desirous situation than the repeated rainstorms of bird droppings is the recurrent racket caused by the activities of amorous avian arousal. Perhaps I possess peculiar proclivities but pigeon porn? Please. (Sorry, the “p“ key got stuck) And when one, or rather two (no matter the species), live out the lustful lyrics of a Barry White tune, unforeseen results often arise - and so, I become a godfather. Blocking every inch of possible air intake on my living room Fedders are feathers, two farm fresh eggs and the stolidly protective mother. Imagine the potential damage inflicted by a pigeon family, thriving with infected disease life, on my air conditioner vents for an undermined amount of time. Is this, at long last, my Ahab moment? And is Kate Middleton … for the sake of the blog I topically named the pigeon Kate Middleton … and is Kate Middleton my personal Moby Dick? I live in a land rife with snooty, over-priced restaurants; surely I could find an establishment interested in fresh squab eggs. But... call me a wuss. Call me a wimp. Call me weak. Call me irresponsible. Call me unreliable (darn that Sammy Cahn and his infectious lyrics.) I could never become the Aileen Wuornos of the avian community. No one wishes to see “Most Wanted” posters of themselves plastered in every Audubon Society across this great land of ours. No one should want to be Sylvester to Tweety. And so, as a very un-Sarah Palin/un-Ted Nugent-type person (I’ll never understand the joy or thrill experienced from extinguishing the life of a defenseless, innocent creature - you're not Davy Crockett, we have A&Ps now) we anxiously await the birth of Martin and Lewis, the twins. Despite my tolerance and acceptance of Kate and Dean and Jerry, I do hope that they find their way out of my life as quickly and humanely as possible. May they depart to discover domicile on statues of only the most eminent dignitaries; and experience a life of joyful car and coat soiling and whatever else dirty diseased life-forms are want to do. The weather has already warmed and before spring turns to summer, I hope to once again enjoy conditioned air, free of feathers and fecal matter. Such are the dreams of man.

And for the sake of consistency - The Beatles, "And Your Bird Can Sing."


  1. Wow!! You are such a fantastic writer, Gothamman! Tell me tales of your wondrous isle of Manahatta.

  2. Is it more wondrous than the Bronx? I think not. Sincerely, thank you. I love hearing back, otherwise I don't know who's out there and what they're thinking? And when I write political stuff, I'd even welcome opposing viewpoints in response. Anyway, thank you again, and next up will probably be a guest blog and I extend a similar invitation to you if you have something you'd like to share.

  3. Instead of pigeons, in Utah we have the California Gull. Because of "the miracles of the gulls" who once saved the mormon pioneers from starvation and instiction, they are the state bird and cannot be destroyed (how long do we have to be grateful?) Like your pigeons they are a mess. They are also kind of big and bold and they will steal your picnic.
    I'm not as good as you. I took my nephew to the park and one of those muggers tried to steal my little nephew's one and only granola bar, without which we would have to go home. I was so frustrated I took my clog off and threw it at the bird (I can't hit the broad side of a barn) but this one time I nailed this bird in the air and it fell to the ground with a collective shocked gasp from all the moms and kids there feeding the ducks. Shame.
    I have mixed feelings about my act of violence. These birds are like gangs. They are driving nice people from public spaces. They aren't nice like the ducks. They don't share.
    Recently a Catholic artist was invited to show his work at the state capitol.. He used the Calif. gull to illustrate the 7 deadly sins. Vindication? :)
    Love your writing.

  4. Forget the gull, if you can nail a bird in flight with a clog, I think you underestimate you're ability. My Mets might be able to use you.
    Few things are more appreciated and satisfying to this blogger than receiving comments and feedback, so thanks, love.boxes. And making it even better is the fact that you shared a related tale, so thanks again for that and also for your kind words. I try my best to keep these posts entertaining and I hope you continue to check in and continue to contribute.
    Take care,
    nycityman (Jon)