Menzoid Essay: Pigeons!

What exactly is our “deal” with the pigeons?

Is it just The Menzoid or are the pigeons getting increasingly emboldened when it comes to vehicles on city streets?

Granted, we’re all likely resigned to the fact that pigeons apparently like to play chicken with motorized vehicles for no apparent reason. You know the drill: even though these birds are indeed capable of flight, they prefer to slowly walk out of the way – at the very last nanosecond – before being rendered into feathered pancakes under onslaught of rolling Goodyear or Bridgestone rubber.

Surely this is a form of psychological torture these flying rats like to inflict upon commuters, the vast majority of whom have absolutely no desire to render unnecessary suffering upon any members of the animal kingdom (including these particular dirty birds.) And unlike squirrels – which are clearly brain-dead rodents incapable of properly crossing a street without inexplicably doubling back right into harm’s way – pigeons clearly know what they’re doing.

In fact, our “deal with the pigeons” was established in that classic Seinfeld episode in which George Costanza notes that “we” (motoring homo sapiens) have an unspoken agreement with these birds. Namely, we aren’t supposed to swerve or brake to avoid crushing them as pigeons will always take the initiative to avoid becoming roadkill. And it’s true: despite the prohibitive odds, I’ve never seen a pigeon in any major city buy the farm thanks to getting crushed. Which is why George was left mesmerized when he ended up killing some pigeons that did NOT get out of the way in time:

Which brings The Menzoid to an incident that occurred recently which definitely suggests the pigeons are indeed clearly taking advantage of our “deal.”

Your correspondent hopped into his Ford Adrenaline truck only to notice that a pair of pigeons were perched atop the pickup bed’s tonneau covering as though they were a couple of reverse hood ornaments.

The Menzoid cranks the ignition expecting them to take flight thanks to the rumble of the V8. Nope. The Menzoid pulls out of the parking space. They are still there! Geez, does The Menzoid’s truck have a Conklin Midway logo on it?

The Menzoid merges onto Adelaide Street. They’re still there. Twenty, 30, 40, 50-kilometres-per-hour… it’s enough to literally ruffle their filthy feathers. But those birds aren’t budging. Are they hitching a ride? Are they truly that lazy? Really? Damn, The Menzoid had been driving James Bond’s truck, there would surely be some way to electrify the hull…)

Finally, upon hitting the ramp for the Don Valley Parkway and just before accelerating to highway speed, the unwanted passengers departed, and in a display of grotesque ingratitude, they left behind their calling cards (justifying yet again that the Petro-Canada Car Wash Season Pass makes for a superb investment.)

Bottom line: whatever the fine-print is re: our “deal” with the pigeons, surely it does not cover this particular act of egregious avian hitchhiking chutzpah. So, seriously, if we killed off the pigeons, would anyone miss them? Put another way, The Menzoid would probably cry if the panda bear became extinct. But pigeons? Where’s the downside?

Seriously. What good are they –especially when they don’t abide by the terms and conditions of our deal?

You’re welcome.