Tuesday, 6 October 2009


We’ve all seen them. Chances are, each and every one of us has a close encounter with one every single working day. The dictionary calls them ‘pigeons’. Others call them ‘flying rats’. Some refer to them as ‘grey feather buggers’, ‘swooping doom shits’, or ‘evil beaky helmets’. They’re everywhere. They watch us with their beady little eyes, scuttling around like big ruddy ants. They wait until the very last second, scampering quicker and quicker until finally – WHOOMPH – they flap their feathery little arms in your face. They’re a bunch of unsettling gits and they know it.

The comparison with rats is not far wrong. Both wander the city streets searching for scraps of food, both look decidedly dirty if left to their own devices and both are usually unwelcome guests. The difference is that pigeons rub our faces in it. They don’t have the common courtesy to skulk in the shadows, using stealth and cunning to keep alarm at bay. No, they like the look of terror on our faces as they swarm around our dropped buns and discarded beef patties. Sit still long enough and one is almost guaranteed to try punching you. What’s more – perhaps their most potent weapon in this assault on humanity – they are capable of defecating on our faces from great heights. Next time you’re uttering a sentence that requires you to open your mouth wide for an extended period of time (such as “I haaave the powerrrr”) just bear in mind that an opportunistic pigeon could bullseye your epiglottis with a bum-flavoured torpedo. Savage.

There once was a tale that pigeons can’t pass wind. They are entirely unable to emit a pant ripper. “Pop a water-soluble aspirin in a chunk of bread and watch the plumed goon explode!” they said. “It’s the next logical step in our war on flappers.” Such claims fell on deaf ears. The mere suggestion that such wicked creatures cannot fart is desperate optimism. More likely their anal expulsions are the very poison destroying our ozone.

Most terrifying is their wanton disregard for their own health in this attack on mankind. Through a combination of cuts, grazes, disease and faeces, pigeons often lose toes or even whole feet. Quite simply, they are willing to shit their own feet off to win this war.

There is little we can do in the face of such extremism.