Ever since my grandfather died 40 years ago of some mysterious “pigeon related” disease, I’ve reviled the dirty birds. In my book, no bird was more heinous. Disease-ridden rats of the sky. Worse, pigeons have absolutely no concept of space. I’ve had them literally fly into my face (after which I soaked my face in a bucket of Grey Goose Vodka and also took massive doses internally).
I’ve hated them, cursed them, stomped at them, yelled at them and run from them in some of the most picturesque places in the world. My pigeon prejudice ruined San Marco Square, Fontana de Trevi, the Tuilleries, Central Park, Sagreda Familia, Dam Square, and Brandenburg Gate to name a few. And you couldn’t get me within a 60 mile radius of the Duomo in Milan. Come to think of it, any Duomo. The bastards are everywhere, trying to stir up some new plague.
When I first moved to Antibes, I was thrilled that there aren’t very many pigeons here. Instead, there are lots of gulls which at the time I considered far superior because of their graceful gliding flight and their apparent cleanliness. They swoop into the sea and eat fish, right? It’s like they’re eating and bathing at the same time. And look how white they are! I used to love to hear a pack of them squawking at night. I’d run out to the balcony and see them looking like hundreds of fluttering white handkerchiefs in the sky.
But as it often happens in life, once you actually get to know a species, disillusionment sets in. First it was the way the gulls gather around every dumpster. Shouldn’t they be out at sea fishing? It’s like they’re too lazy to fish and are now just dining on what amounts to welfare. When it comes to birds, clearly I’m a republican.
And here’s another thing. I’ve got no problem seeing a gull eat a fish. Or a plant. Or even a steak, frites and a nice tarte aux fraises for dessert. But I’ve seen them ravaging the bodies of other birds, including pigeons. Now I’m sorry, but that appears to be an unforgiveable breech of bird etiquette. It’s just not done (falcons get a free pass). These birds are barbarians! I even read they swoop down and eat chunks of live whales! What’s to stop them from swooping down for a chunk of human? And how do I make myself unappealing to a hungry gull?
The final straw was in Morocco when I saw a f***ing gull dragging a baby kitten across the sand. Oh my god. Oh my god. I still have PTSS from it. I’m sorry f***ing gulls, but I will never be able to look you in the eye again. You’re dead to me.
Here I’ve been excoriating pigeons all these years and the true villains are f***ing gulls.
I started researching gulls and pigeons and as it turns out, pigeons have a long and noble history. They were couriers during the war and many have worked with magicians. A dutch racing pigeon was recently sold for about $300,000. That’s more than a poodle! Hell, it’s more than a Ferrarri.
The f***ing gull on the other hand, hasn’t done much to distinguish itself despite its almost equal longevity amongst humans. The only recent gull news I’ve been able to pick up involves gangs of rampant gulls attacking people and holding them hostage in their homes. I also found a very helpful guide on how to survive a seagull attack. They’re mostly feathers so they don’t even make a decent meal. Clearly these effing birds are irredeemable. To top it off, apparently gulls carry a drug resistant superbug. Hmmmm. Maybe it wasn’t the pigeons who killed my Grandpa.
To make matters worse, another article said that pigeons remember people who are mean to them and may possibly be planning revenge. I know it sounds petty, but who can blame them? If that’s the case, I’ve got a lot of pissed off pigeons on my hands. If I don’t make some sort of public apology and try to clear their names, I’ll never be able to go to Italy again.
So here it is, pigeons. I’m really, really sorry. You are clearly NOT the most disgusting birds on earth. If you did in fact kill my grandpa (and I’m beginning to suspect it was actually a f***ing gull), it was an accident. You are good and decent birds. So please don’t attack me. As is, I’ve got a bunch of f***cking gulls circling overhead looking like a dumpster just exploded in the sky and I’m pretty sure they want a piece of me.